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Patricia Muñoz says the Cobreloa case is worse than the pack

At the beginning of May the lawyer Patricia Munozformer defender of Children, was contacted by the lawyers who were advising V., a young man who in 2021 reported having been the victim of a group rape and whose alleged perpetrators were nine former Cobreloa cadets.

He immediately agreed to represent him and filed a complaint. Today he maintains that the background information collected by the Public Ministry leaves no room for doubt that the accused participated in the reported events.

For the same reason, he questions the role that the defense of the footballers has taken. He assured, in fact, that through his actions they have attempted to threaten the victim and re-victimize her.

How do you face this process?

This has been a particularly difficult and complex process for her, from the beginning. Particularly considering the incomprehensible delay and delay that the beginning of the investigation had in order to reach the stage in which we find ourselves today, with the accused not only formalized but also with precautionary measures in their regard.

She has been supported by the professional lawyers who have been with her from the beginning, Patricio Salas and Cecilia Rivera, and also by the psychological team that they, through a foundation, have been able to provide her. From that perspective, V. is supported and we hope that this process also allows her progress to continue evolving. We are now also concerned about ensuring that she is protected in terms of not suffering any type of threat, harassment or intimidation from people linked to the accused.

Have you been the target of threats?

There have been attempts at contact. But regarding what has been asked of you in terms of generating self-protection mechanisms, fortunately we have tried to ensure that this does not have a major impact and does not generate any lack of protection for V. Obviously we are interested in that, in that sense, the Prosecutor’s Office maintains its attention not only in the investigation and criminal prosecution of this crime – which inexplicably took so long – but also in the duty they have to provide him with effective protection and prevent him from being a victim of any type of threat.

How do you evaluate the investigation carried out by the Public Ministry? She reports it, but the next day she gives up and the PDI paralyzes proceedings. It has been indicated that there was pressure from the police to lower the accusation and, for this reason, once she reiterates her interest in resuming the investigation, internal investigations begin to elucidate what happened.

Having been a prosecutor for 10 years and having worked in the Prosecutor’s Office for almost 15, he was unable to understand that an investigation related to a crime as serious as the one that happened did not follow the course it should have. For this reason, it seems very valuable and essential to me that this internal investigation be carried out and the responsibilities of those who were in charge of this investigation determined and who simply did not do what they should.

The former Cobreloa cadets were arrested in different cities of the country, following the victim’s complaint.

But it must be recognized that prosecutor Peña, who is the chief prosecutor of Calama, and prosecutor Cristián Encina assume that this case has a particular gravity. And there I take the bombastic words of the defender of the majority of the accused, who says that this is not like ‘the pack’, and well, if we try to compare it with it, I can say that this is worse than the case’ the pack’. And what the Prosecutor’s Office does, then, is do its job: investigate subject to the principle of objectivity and on the basis of that determine, with the elements that are in the investigation folder, the evident need not only to formalize charges, but that in addition to request the only precautionary measure that was proportional to the seriousness and magnitude of the events of which V. was a victim, which was preventive detention.

Are you satisfied with the efforts made in this “second stage”?

It seems to me that the Prosecutor’s Office has fortunately fulfilled, although belatedly, its role. And as a plaintiff lawyer, I am also very attentive to the results of both the internal investigation of the Prosecutor’s Office to see what happened that they did not do what they should, and also with respect to the PDI, which would have had a very direct impact on this alleged voluntary withdrawal of V. of not continuing.

What do you think of the position adopted by the defense of the accused? There are reports in the file that validate the testimony of their client, but they have stressed that they always acted with V’s consent.

It seems to me that what the defense intends with its assertions is to somehow threaten the victim and, without a doubt, revictimize her, which is frankly unacceptable and very regrettable coming from a legal professional. But well, what supports the accusation of the people involved in these events, as well as the decision of the precautionary measure ratified by the Court, is not what the defense maintains in a way – it seems to me – quite reckless.

Considering the confidentiality of the case, no details can be given, but precisely as has been revealed in some news, it is clear that not only is the testimony of the victim herself, but there are also testimonies from third parties that impartially reveal the situation. where the victim was, which the accused took advantage of for the purposes of committing the crime. From there, it seems to me that what the defense interview reveals is his conception of a woman’s consent and, well, that will be worrying for the women who surround themselves with him and with those around the accused, who also believe that his behavior had to do with something related to the victim’s consent.

The role that Cobreloa has taken in response to this complaint has been controversial. How do you analyze the club’s performances?

Regrettable and probably adjusted to this established conception, apparently, in some areas of football, where they believe that these types of actions are not relevant, they are not serious. Of course, it is not up to a club, much less a lawyer, to say whether there is a crime or not, and therefore what the club’s report represents, in short, is an attempt to protect itself and to demonstrate some action that the truth is. It is not consistent with what, in my opinion, would have corresponded, which was to be direct participants in the complaint from the beginning and to have facilitated all the mechanisms to provide support and support to those who were victims of actions by those who worked at the club.

What they do through that report is try to ‘whitewash’ their actions, but I understand that the lawyer who carried out this pseudo-investigation, whom I know and respect, then explained that it was obviously the Prosecutor’s Office that was responsible for determining whether there was a crime. or not. And precisely the Prosecutor’s Office, fulfilling that duty, what it has done is gather more than enough information to support the accusation.

Considering the events that have occurred, the shortcomings you mention, are you confident that you will obtain good results, justice for V. and that it will be judged with a gender perspective as requested by the Public Ministry?

That is, total confidence that if the actions of the institutions involved are consistent with their constitutional and legal obligations, this will follow a procedural course that will take us to a judicial instance in which, ultimately, the decision that, from our perspective, will be adopted. It cannot be anything other than the condemnation of such serious acts. The gender perspective is added, but sometimes that also generates a contrary reaction, which positions the analysis of the case from a perspective that many times there are people who believe is intended only in favor of the victim, without being able to do an objective analysis. or impartiality.

Jose Robles/Photosport

What do you think of the defense moving forward that will incorporate videos and other records?

That reinforces what I was saying. What the defense intends to do is threaten the victim. We do not address it and those threats seem unpresentable to us. He knows that the case is confidential and, therefore, any image he has or video he has must be integrated into the process. We already know that if an image of the victim is disseminated, we are clear about who may be responsible. And, obviously, we are going to pursue this by initiating the necessary actions if it occurs, due to the violation of secrets that a situation like that would represent. But basically, we are very calm because we know that the accusation is strong enough.

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