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Deputies vote RUF and UDI question absence of Tohá

After 10:30 a.m., in the Carlos Lorca room of the Chamber of Deputiesthe session began this Thursday at united commissions of Constitution and Citizen Security, to discuss and vote until the Rules for Use of Force (RUF).

Despite the fact that at the beginning of the week the Frente Amplio deputy, Maite Orsiniwith the approval of the government and a large part of the ruling party, had not given unanimity for this initiative to be dispatched, on Tuesday afternoon, the benches of The Chamber reached an agreement to unblock the RUF project and the one that creates the new Ministry of Security, so that they can be voted on in a special session on Friday afternoon.

Despite thisthe beginning of the session of the united commissions was tense. For example, the deputy Cristian Labbé He questioned the absence of the Minister of the Interior, Carolina Toháwho appeared at the commission, after 1:30 p.m.

“I would like to know what the minister is doing, if she is going to come or not, because the truth is that we are entering, that is, the project is entirely important, but it would be important for the minister to be here or at least let us know what time she is going to arrive so we know,” Labbé said.

The right, furthermore, with the support of non-aligned legislators, dealt two blows to the ruling party: it rejected the entire article that regulated the regulations on the use of force (which establish criteria and protocols so that the troops can use their weapons) and eliminated a proposal that protected detainees in military or police custody.

In recent days, the opposition had also managed to discard the “principle of proportionality” with the argument that this rule forced police and military personnel to have to respond with weapons comparable to those that were eventually attacked. For example, if the attacker used a knife, the official, in the opinion of the right, was obliged to defend himself with a knife. That rationale, however, was rejected by the government.

The great legislative battle of the day, in any case, was the indication initiated by the deputy Diego Schalper (RN) that returned to military justice cases in which soldiers or police officers committed a crime while carrying out public order duties.

Although after the end of the military dictatorship, the military courts had broad jurisdiction, even in human rights cases, two reforms, one in 2010 and another in 2016, established that no case involving civilians, either as defendants or victims, could be heard by military courts. This measure was for decades a banner of the Concertación and especially of the socialists, since in the first years of transition the communists and other leftist forces did not have parliamentary representation.

Faced with this attempt to return to the military courts a part of their protection, at least in the cases that had to do with public order or security, in compliance with mandates by states of constitutional exception or custody of critical infrastructure, La Moneda deployed measures that They almost work.

In the afternoon, deputy René Alinco (ex-PPD independent) surprisingly appeared at the session, who through a letter from his party took over to replace Pamela Jileswho was the head of the united commissions.

The entry of Alinco, a deputy who defines himself as leftist, allowed the Executive to aspire to be able to reject Schalper’s debated indication on military justice.

In addition, there were conversations with centrist legislators such as Andrés Jouannet (Yellow) and Miguel Ángel Calisto (Democrats), who in the past were part of the Concertación.

However, the efforts did not work and Jouannet and Calisto aligned themselves with the right’s proposal. In the end, the indication was approved in the joint commissions by 14 votes in favor and 12 against.

The result, in any case, is not definitive. The House of Representatives plans to vote on the project between 4 and 7 p.m. (a time that could be extended given the complexity of the issue).

Furthermore, despite the setback in the commission, the government achieved an important point in its favor: The secretariat of the united commissions considered that this rule effectively reorganized the powers of the courts, so a quorum of 78 votes in the room would be required.

Additionally, the minister Alvaro Elizalde and the pro-government deputies made a reservation of constitutionality because Schalper’s indication escaped the matrix ideas and, furthermore, in the opinion of the Executive, it interfered with the exclusive powers of the President.

“What the right has proposed is that it wants to transfer the trial of the police and the Armed Forces to military justice, and we obviously do not agree with that. We believe that civil justice has to deal with these cases and that is perhaps the main proposal among the other things,” the Minister of Segegob, Camila Vallejo, had said in the morning.

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