The air is cut with a knife in some of the departments of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Minrel). To the string of unforced errors in the appointments in some chiefdoms and in the embassies of Chile abroad, a series of misunderstandings are added (they say on the one hand), or “bad milk” and mere segregation and “none” (they replicate on the other side). The truth is that internal relations are not going well in foreign relations.
Former officials feel displaced from their responsibilities or made invisible simply because they are from another generation or from another political tent. “They have put together a kind of generational razzia, and they attack especially the people linked to the former Concertación. The third man in the Foreign Ministry (the secretary general) is being circled around the world, in charge of minor issues, just to keep him away. A question that does not proceed,” says a source.
And he adds: “Likewise, they are making life impossible for the consul general in Barcelona, Jaime Ferraz (former Concertación), who filed an internal complaint because no one warned him that the new cultural attaché in Spain, Carlos Berger Hertz, would settle down to live in Barcelona, and not in Madrid as appropriate. Then they sanctioned him with a demerit note, when someone leaked that internal claim to the press.”
Complaints about the little interaction of the chiefs rain. “They have their small group as a reference and do not look beyond their noses and friends,” claim sources in the sector.
Many darts from officials concerned with the situation point to Minister Antonia Urrejola’s chief of staff; Carola Muñoz Oliva, and her husband; the Director of Personnel of the Foreign Ministry, Iván Favereau Urquiza. The current director of Ceremonial and Protocol, Manahi Pakarati, would be part of this internal group.
It also points to Carlos Figueroa Salazar, grandson of Carlos Figueroa Serrano, current international advisor on the second floor. “It is not yet known what role he is really playing in the entanglements of foreign service appointments,” complains another official.
The quasi-ambassadors and the Treaty with the European Union
As far as Chile’s representatives abroad are concerned, much remains to be done. Just to name a few: missing is the appointment of ambassadors in Mexico -the second largest economy in Latin America-, in Vietnam and the confirmation of Ambassador Sebastián Depolo, who still does not receive the approval of the Brazilian government, the first economy in the neighborhood.
And not to mention the sloppiness in several other appointments. The last was the “descent” of the designated representative in China, Andreas Pierotic, a few days after taking office (August 1), and already granted the “agreement” by the Chinese government. The reasons: allegations of mistreatment by his sister, Tania Pierotic, and by the partnership he has with the questioned ex-son-in-law of Joaquín Lavín, Isaac Givovich, in a lighting company that owns Chinese capital.
Weeks earlier, the appointment of architect Susana Herrera as ambassador to the United Kingdom generated an angry reaction from several members of the diplomatic corps. “Lack of experience not only diplomatic, but also in politics and international relations,” was the widespread complaint.
The very important agreement with the European Union (renegotiation that was ready since the end of the government of Sebastián Piñera) is also pending, and with the Europeans waiting. In this regard, the deputies of National Renewal, Catalina del Real and Sofía Cid, sent a letter to Foreign Minister Antonia Urrejola, asking for greater prolixity in the management of foreign policy.
There are voices that point to and “blame” the self-imposed parity of the government that privileges gender over expertise and trajectory; a kind of positive discrimination. Others are inclined to the haste and certain arrogance of youth; others to the bad practices of always, but now of another sign… The truth is that in the Minrel, things are not very diplomatic.
Follow us on