Chile: Boric enacts bill protecting whistleblowers in corruption cases

Chile: Boric enacts bill protecting whistleblowers in corruption cases

Friday, August 11th 2023 – 09:30 UTC

There can be no sweeping the garbage under the carpet, Boric said

Chilean President Gabriel Boric Font Thursday signed into law a bill providing for the protection of whistleblowers in corruption cases within the government, it was reported in Santiago. The initiative was pushed after a journalistic investigation last June into then-Social Development Minister Giorgio Jackson.

 According to the research, the Ministry of Housing of the Antofagasta region signed three agreements worth around US$ 500,000 with a foundation headed by Congresswoman Catalina Pérez of Revolución Democrática.

“Today we have good news, we are enacting the law for the protection of those who denounce acts of corruption or lack of probity in the public administration,” Boric said during a ceremony at La Moneda.

The Whistleblower Protection Law seeks to protect civil servants who are “witnesses or victims” of acts of corruption and need assurances to come forward.

Boric said the law makes it possible “for complaints to be made and investigated with a new digital channel that is going to be administered by the Comptroller’s Office with the option of keeping the identity of the complainant confidential” and pointed out that the fight against corruption “requires joint, transversal efforts and a State vision.”

“This Whistleblower Protection Law is part of a more robust probity agenda, which we are promoting not only as a government but as a state together with all public institutions and the most diverse political sectors,” said the president.

“In the face of every irregularity or crime that has been discovered or reported, we have investigated, we have instructed summary proceedings, and I have asked for the resignation of those who have failed in their duties and public faith,” Boric went on.

“Here there can be no room for impunity or for sweeping the garbage under the carpet and I want to be clear on this: It applies to anyone,” he underlined.

A Plaza Pública Cadem survey published earlier this week said 56% of Chileans link Jackson to the scandal while 33% of those consulted believed the case splashed Boric. The study also showed 72% disapproved of the Government’s management of the crisis.

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