Senator Juan Castro: the IND-RN that invited Pancho Malo to the former Congress and was formalized for bribery

Senator Juan Castro Prieto (IND-RN) has been these days in the media eye for defending and inviting the leader of the Patriotic Team (or Team Patriota), Francisco Muñoz – better known as Pancho Malo, former head of the White Claw – to the table parallel to that led by the presidents of the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate, Raúl Soto (PPD) and Álvaro Elizalde (PS), respectively, for the constituent process.
The legislator (62 years old, born in San Clemente, Maule Region, and who since 2018 is a senator for that area) has taken out hives in the opposition party. Among the reasons is its integration into the parallel table of the constituent process, made up of independent parliamentarians, from the DC, Amarillos por Chile, PDG and the Republican Party.
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The parliamentarians issued criticisms last week against the other table, in which the parties of Chile Vamos, including RN, participate. Specifically, they pointed to an “exclusion.”
To that episode is added the defense of Castro to the assistance of Pancho Malo – who was imprisoned in 2000 for homicide – to the parallel table, which happened on Thursday. This caused criticism from different political sectors, considering that Francisco Muñoz has dissected several political figures, especially from Chile Vamos, for continuing the constituent process.
One of the funas that Muñoz has made, together with Team Patriota, has been against the president of the UDI, Javier Macaya, on September 25. On that occasion, more than 10 people surrounded the car in which Macaya was traveling and subjects shouted “traitor of the UDI”.
“I don’t know any record of him, for me he is just another Chilean,” Senator Castro said Wednesday, when asked about Muñoz. The same parliamentarian interceded on Thursday to let Pancho Malo access to the former Congress. Like the previous occasion, when it was accredited as a press, it could not enter the enclosure.
Given these facts, the leaders of the political commission of RN will ask the senators of the collectivity on Monday to expel Castro from the parliamentary committee.
One of the bills presented by Senator Castro – in July 2022, before the exit plebiscite – aims to extend the period of incapacity of former contestants to be candidates for popular elections. Specifically, five years (the original term is one).
Irregularities in the Municipality of Talca
Juan Castro was mayor of Talca for two terms: between 2008 and 2016. In August of that year he was formalized for the crimes of bribery, incompatible negotiation and embezzlement of funds.
According to a report by Ciper, the Comptroller’s Office detected in a 2015 report a series of irregularities between the municipality of Talca and the cleaning and maintenance company CTS Municipality of Talca.
According to the aforementioned media, the Municipal Council of Talca awarded in 2009 – when Castro was already mayor – a contract to CTS for sweeping the streets, removing debris and cleaning the canals. The company offered the lowest cost: $42.4 million monthly.

The then communal chief signed in October 2009 a decree in which the Municipality of Talca gave CTS the sweeping and lifting of garbage dumps for five months, for a total of $ 212.4 million. In the following two years, ctS benefited from three extensions of its contract: for an amount that almost doubled the first agreement and for longer.
In addition, after the 2010 earthquake, Castro leased a warehouse he owned to CTS for $500,000 a month. By that time, the then mayor and Christian Tizza Martinez – then owner of CTS – had already traveled together outside of Chile.
The Court of Guarantee of Talca approved, in April 2018, the conditional suspension of the case for two years. This, after an agreement between the prosecutor Mauricio Richards and the former mayor.
The deal, according to Ciper, was not made on the basis of Castro’s innocence. The reasons of the Prosecutor’s Office were the partial prescription of the crimes that were imputed to him and the low sentences that he risked in case of being found guilty.
In addition to Castro, the former chief of staff of the former mayor, Juan Valdebenito, was also formalized; the former municipal administrator Juan Carlos Díaz (current mayor of Talca); and Tizza Martínez.

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Original source in Spanish

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