Saturday, January 29, 2011

Investigations Target Military, Ex-Commander

Chile's armed forces, which generally have kept themselves out of trouble during civilian rule, are facing a series of corruption probes. The alleged misdeeds include trying to buy a $1 million home for the chairman of the joint chiefs, a questionable purchase of a temporary bridge (see earlier post) and nepotism in the air force. The air force is handling accusations that former commander Ricardo Ortega's wife was paid twice for accompanying her husband on trips while also serving as an air force doctor. Also, authorities are checking out a trip to Haiti by Ortega's daughter and a scholarship for his son. Even if the investigations don't result in formal charges, a backlash is already unfolding: Some politicians are pressing the armed forces for greater transparency.

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