Ex-president Bachelet to be heard in Catrillanca case

SANTIAGO – A political commission of the Chilean Congress, investigating the Catrillanca case, has decided to hear Michelle Bachelet. The former president will be questioned on her reasons to define part of Ercilla as security zone. Family members of Camilo Catrillanca and Carabineros involved are on the list as well.

Pailahueque, part of Ercilla, was declared a security zone under the second Bachelet government. Under that status it granted the police permission to act under the Anti-Terrorism Law, allowing preventive arrests and the presence of elite troops.

Those same elite troops, called GOPE or Jungle Commando, were responsible for the death of Camilo Catrillanca, and now the Investigative Committee of the Chamber of Deputies wants more explanations from the former president about her decision to define Pailahueque a security zone.

Miguel Mellado of ruling coalition party National Renewal (RN) and member of the commission, told 24 Horas news channel, that they need to hear Bachelet to get to know the reasons behind her actions, as “it is obvious the current government followed her previous decision”.

Catrillanca family and former generals invited

Mellado was criticized by a member from his same commission. Deputy Ricardo Celis of left-wing PPD party told La Tercera: “They are trying to link the launch of the Jungle Commando to someone. Inviting the former president is not necessary, as explanations can be given by other decision-makers”.

The Catrillanca-commission has also invited other people who are in some form tied to the case. Among them, the father and grandfather of Camilo Catrillanca.

(Former) Carabineros generals will be invited as well. Among them, former director Hermes Soto, who was forced to resign in the aftermath of the case, and Mauro Victoriano, who recently made headlines by claiming Interior Minister Chadwick knew specific details about the case on the same day the 24-year-old Mapuche was shot.

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