Supreme Court defined the number of candidates to lead the National Prosecutor’s Office

After listening to the presentation of each of the candidates, who presented their views on the judicial system and advanced part of their proposals to lead the Public Ministry, the Supreme Court defined the five persecutors who could succeed the retired Jorge Abbott as head of the National Prosecutor’s Office.
Of the 17 professionals who went to the Supreme Court today, the quina was finally composed of the regional prosecutor of Magallanes, José Morales; criminal lawyer Ángel Valencia; the lawyer and director of the Specialized Anticorruption and Legal Unit of the Public Ministry, Marta Herrera; the regional prosecutor of Aysén Carlos Palma, and the former deputy prosecutor of the Metropolitan Regional Prosecutor’s Office North Center, Rodrigo Ríos.
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The candidates had to present for 10 minutes before the highest court. They addressed the fight against crime, organized crime, violent crimes and those committed by public officials, the conflict in the south, the gender perspective, and the need to regain the trust of citizens. All with proposals to improve the task performed by Abbott.
Morales got 17 votes, as did Valencia. They were followed by Herrera with 9 votes, Palma with 7 votes and Ríos with 3 votes. Now, everything is in the hands of President Gabriel Boric, who must propose to Congress his chosen among those five names.
For the La Moneda option to be ratified, it must have the support of 2/3 of the incumbent senators, which corresponds to 33 of the 50 members of the Upper House. If President Boric’s proposal is rejected, the Supreme Court must propose a new quina to the Executive.
It is worth mentioning that, currently, the Public Ministry is being led by the alternate national prosecutor Juan Agustín Meléndez, who served as regional prosecutor of Los Ríos. This, since last September 30, after Jorge Abbott turned 75 the next day and reached the age limit to lead the agency, having to leave office after seven years at the head of the persecuting entity.
Along the way were the regional prosecutor of Los Ríos, Juan Agustín Meléndez, who has served as deputy national prosecutor after Abbott’s retirement; his regional peers from O’Higgins, Emiliano Arias, from Ñuble, Nayalet Mansilla, and from Magallanes, Eugenio Campos; and the Children’s Ombudsman, Patricia Muñoz.

Applicants for National Prosecutor

José Morales Opazo: lawyer from the Central University of Chile, has a diploma in Criminal Law in that house of studies. He began his career in the Public Ministry in 2000, serving as Chief Prosecutor in Los Vilos. During that time, he obtained the first conviction of the Criminal Procedure Reform, specifically in the crime of money laundering in the Court of Ovalle and in the case of an international network of vehicle theft that was carried out between Chile and Bolivia. In the same way, he acted as a persecutor of causes such as the Monjitas case in 2002 in La Serana and the robbery of securities transport trucks during the years 2006 and 2007. In 2005, Morales became Chief Prosecutor of Colina, arriving at the North Central Prosecutor’s Office as Chief Prosecutor of one of the territorial prosecutor’s offices a year later, to later go on to lead the High Complexity Prosecutor’s Office, in which he directed an investigation against the former executives of La Polar. He has starred in a media case, where he acted as a persecutor in the case of fraud of the commercial engineer Rafael Garay.
Ángel Valencia Vásquez is a criminal lawyer from the University of Chile. He holds a Master’s Degree in Oral Litigation from California Western School of Law. During the years 2000-2002 he worked in the Coordinating Unit of the Criminal Procedure Reform in the Ministry of Justice as a deputy coordinator, after which he arrived at the Public Ministry as an advisory lawyer in the Regional Prosecutor’s Office of Aysén and later as deputy prosecutor in Valparaíso and Santiago.He has been part of the defense of cases such as that of Rafel Garay and the former general director (r) of Carabineros Bruno Villalobos, who was accused of embezzlement within the institution. Today he practices as a trial lawyer at Amenábar & Valencia Abogados. In addition, he is a professor at the Faculty of Law and Social Sciences of the University of San Sebastian.
Marta Herrera Seguel: lawyer from the University of Chile and director of the Specialized Anticorruption and Legal Unit of the Public Ministry, Marta Seguel. He has a diploma in New System Criminal Procedure and a Diploma in Sexual Assault in the same house of studies. He also holds a master’s degree in law from California Western School of Law. She was attorney of the State Defense Council of the Fiscal Prosecutor’s Office of Santiago, during the years 2000-2001. Then, she worked as an advisory lawyer to the National Prosecutor’s Office of the Public Ministry until 2003, being appointed in 2007 in the position she maintains today.
Carlos Palma Guerra: lawyer from the University of Talca and Regional Prosecutor of Aysén since 2017. He has a Master’s degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice from the Central University. He has been a professor in charge of the diplomas on Criminal Law and Litigation Skills and Sexual Abuse Expertise at the University of Concepción, being also affiliated with the San Sebastian University, where he holds the chair of Criminal Litigation Skills and Procedural Law. He was Chief Prosecutor of the Coronel Prosecutor’s Office, in addition to deputy prosecutor of Concepción and Talca, he served as deputy to the Regional Prosecutor’s Office of Bio Bio, from 2011 to 2017. And he has experience as a prosecutor specialized in the investigation of sexual crimes, money laundering and organized crime, drug trafficking, human trafficking and crimes of public corruption. Currently, he is in charge of the investigation for alleged implantation of evidence in the framework of the so-called “Hurricane Case”.
Rodrigo Ríos Álvarez: lawyer from the University of Chile. He holds a diploma in Criminal Procedural Law and is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Law at the University of Buenos Aires. He served as deputy director in the International Cooperation and Extraditions Unit of the National Prosecutor’s Office between 2014 and 2016. He served as Deputy Prosecutor of the North Central Metropolitan Regional Prosecutor’s Office and has worked in the Judiciary as secretary and judge (s) of the First Criminal Court of Santiago and as an individual in the Public Criminal Defender’s Office, performing external auditor work. From 2018 to the present, he serves as a member of the Innocents Project Committee, being also a professor of Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure at the Finis Terrae and Católica del Maule universities.

Consult the minutes of the Supreme Court.

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Original source in Spanish

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