UDI Party Founding Member Dead at 76

The party announced the death of Jovino Novoa on Tuesday morning. Novoa was also a spokesperson during the Pinochet dictatorship and later involved in corruption cases. UDI said his ideas are “more present than ever.”

Jovino Novoa has passed away at the age of 76 in Frutillar. His death was announced by the Independent Democratic Union party (UDI), of which he was a founding member. According to Radio Cooperativa, Novoa died of a lung emphysema.

 Novoa was part of the party’s first board in 1989, working alongside Jaime Guzmán, and the party’s vice president until 1991. He headed the party between 1992 and 1994 and in 2004. 

On its Facebook page, UDI wrote “we want to thank him for his life of service, and offer our condolences to his family and friends. Have peace of mind that Jovino’s testimony, a constant source of inspiration to our party, is now more present than ever.”

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In 1998, he was elected senator, keeping this position until 2014. He was Senate president in 2009 and 2010. Novoa served as government spokesperson during the dictatorship from 1979 until 1982.

 In 2015, he retired from politics, after he was convicted of irregular campaign financing, in the context of the Penta case, which involved high-level corruption. Novoa was the first politician convicted in the case. At first, he was sentenced to three years in prison, but after paying about CLP$10 million (US$13,730), he remained free and only had to sign a document each month.

His name also appeared in the Spiniak case, involving a network of high-profile pedophiles. But evidence was lacking.

Witness Gemita Bueno claimed she had been kept hostage in Claudio Spiniak’s house for months, where Novoa allegedly sexually assaulted her. However, after a year of investigations, Bueno withdrew her testimony.

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