General Yáñez is accused and investigated by the Prosecutor’s Office and the implications of «La Manada»: the party club for sexual purposes of Carabineros

During the investigation, the existence of "La Manada" was discovered, a group of Carabineros officers who organize parties for sexual purposes, who are currently being investigated for alleged sexual and labor abuse.

Por El Ciudadano

02/03/2023

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In May 2019, Second Corporal Francisco Monroy was accused of threatening to kill Captain José Saavedra. But, in the criminal investigation against him, falsification of documents were revealed, and that the military prosecutor in the case, Felipe Arías Stange – Rodolfo Stange’s grandson -, was Saavedra’s lawyer in the same case. Despite the fact that these irregularities were reported to Ricardo Yáñez, the General Director omitted the information to the courts of justice, for which he is currently charged in the Military Justice for breach of military duties and contempt. In addition, during this investigation, the existence of «La Manada» was discovered, a group of Carabineros officers who organize parties for sexual purposes -among them Saavedra-, who are currently being investigated for alleged sexual and labor abuse.

By Josefa Barraza Diaz

At noon on May 29, 2019, Second Corporal Francisco Monroy was on duty with Second Sergeant Roby Muñoz and Second Corporal Rocío Salazar, at the Unimarc supermarket -located on Avenue Teniente Cruz with San Pablo-, to then continue with the patrolling. Suddenly, a radio communication from Captain José Saavedra Carrasco interrupted the moment, triggering an alert in Corporal Monroy, who responded quickly without hesitating. Minutes later and at the entrance of the supermarket, Saavedra appeared, walking quickly, with an annoyed face.

«(Saavedra) It was obvious that he was angry and he began to yell at us loudly, saying in an arrogant and impolite way «what are you doing here» to which we replied that my sergeant was in the bathroom, which caused even more anger to my captain, saying in a derogatory way «you always do the same, you are simple corporals and you must do what you are ordered», all this with shouts in front of the civilians (…) immediately afterwards he returned the route sheet to me. When he was withdrawing, he turned around and pointed out to us «I’m bored, I’m going to pass a report and I’ll ask the sergeant for a written account», read Monroy’s statement before the Military Prosecutor’s Office on May 30, this year.

According to the background of the case, inside the supermarket, Saavedra hit the corporal – in his bulletproof vest – with the antenna of his portable radio, which caused surprise among the civilians. That scene was even corroborated by Corporal 2nd Salazar, Christopher Rojas, a guard at the Unimarc supermarket, and other local workers.

Regarding Monroy, the young man also declared that 45 minutes after what happened, and at the 26th Police Station in Pudahuel, he received a call on his cell phone from the Central Police Station, that notified him that he had been reported, while looking for a superior to explain what happened and feeling helplessness. But, in the patio of the police unit, he only found Saavedra, who asked him what was wrong with him. Monroy replied that he had humiliated them and treated them badly in front of civilians, which at that time was denied by the captain, so he called Corporal Salazar to ask her if he had treated them badly, to which she said «yes, you humiliated us in front of civilians».

«With this response, my captain became upset and told me to calm down, stand firm, and to put my hands firm to my sides, ‘otherwise I will arrest you for insubordination’ (…) in the lockers I began to cry again so as to vent, being in that place Mayor Chávez arrived, who is the Administrative Sub-Prefect of the Western Prefecture and asked me what had happened, so I told him everything that had happened (…) In addition, the Services Sub-Prefect Commander Neira arrived at this same place, and notified me of my arrest (…) 22 hours later I was notified of my institutional discharge», explained Monroy, in the investigation against him.

In addition, Captain Saavedra reported death threats with a firearm from the corporal, for which Monroy was deprived of liberty, and transferred to detention control before the Second Military Prosecutor’s Office of Santiago. The corporal’s lawyer, Marcos Herrera, clarifies that there was no prior order authorizing the arrest.

Therefore, a criminal investigation was initiated against Corporal Francisco Monroy, for the crimes of threatening to kill and insulting a superior, while on June 24, 2019, the lawyer Marcos Herrera filed a criminal complaint against José Saavedra Carrasco, for the crime of mistreatment of an inferior rank at work, for what happened inside the supermarket.

However, this case is just beginning.
The protection net

In a police report issued by the Investigative Police -on August 6, 2019-, it is detailed that the arresting officer who prepared the police report was 1st Corporal Diego Pereira, being signed by 1st Sergeant Juan Manuel Caffarena; that is, neither of the two officials was present at the events, for which reason they committed the crime of omission, by not adopting a flagrant procedure, which is also contradicted by what José Saavedra declared.

In another police report from the PDI – dated August 29, 2019 – the statement of second lieutenant Mario Zambrano is mentioned. Zambrano stated that regarding the part of detainees, he does not know why it is mentioned that he is an eyewitness, and that when he provided his statement to prepare said document, it was done by a third party, who gave him the document to sign.

«Nor is it indicated whether any eyewitness would have seen such an action (death threat), which makes the investigating officer doubt the facts narrated in the report with detainees (…) the second lieutenant himself declares that he has not made his statement, only that it had to be signed by him and that it was made by the captain (Saavedra)”, concludes the PDI report.

However, despite these results, the military prosecutor in charge of the case, Major Patricio Palacios (from the Second Military Prosecutor’s Office), did not consider the conclusions set forth in the PDI reports. Therefore, on February 15, 2021 -and after two years of investigation without clarification-, Marcos Herrera filed a disciplinary complaint before the Martial Court, against Palacios and his secretary, Monserrat Navarro, for protecting José Saavedra Carrasco, preventing the defense of Monroy, through the dilation of the process. The above was approved by the Court, and they were disqualified from the case.

However, in August 2021 a new prosecutor entered the case: Felipe Arías Stange, grandson of the former general director of the Carabineros (1985-1995) and member of the Military Junta, Rodolfo Stange.

On August 13, 2019, and as soon as he entered the case, Arías Stange closed the criminal investigation with the aim of not carrying out any further proceedings, and convicting Francisco Monroy.

Regarding this, on August 20 (2019), Marcos Herrera filed a motion for reversal with an appeal in subsidy before the Martial Court, since Arías Stange closed the process illegally and arbitrarily, despite there being pending proceedings. Five days later, Arías Stange responded to said appeal, stating that «it is not applicable, since the requested procedures are not important for the clarification of the facts investigated».

But, the Court decided to restore the status of the case, carrying out the pending proceedings, being a severe setback for Arías Stange. For this reason, on October 21, 2021, Monroy’s lawyer filed a disciplinary complaint against the military prosecutor, Captain Felipe Arías Stange, for not complying with the Court-Martial ruling, regarding the requested proceedings, and for being a  lawyer of José Saavedra in the same case.

«This Court, proceeding ex officio, declares Felipe Arías Stange, military prosecutor of the Second Military Prosecutor of Santiago, disqualified, since it is clear that he made a legal defense (of Saavedra) (…) for the same facts that are the subject of investigation», read in the resolution of the Court Martial of November 25, 2021.

«They disqualified him from the case, but they had to sanction him, and remove him as military prosecutor. But, they did not remove him and he continues to work as a military prosecutor in the Second Military Prosecutor’s Office, for being the son of a general and grandson of General Stange, which accounts for the influence peddling and corruption that exists in Carabineros», comments Herrera, in conversation with El Ciudadano .The defendant Ricardo Yáñez

On December 14, 2020, Marcos Herrera, Francisco Monroy’s lawyer, went to the Carabineros Reports Office, with the purpose of having the General Director of Carabineros, Ricardo Yáñez, hear a complaint against Colonel Oscar Figueroa and Major Rodrigo Mansilla, for a series of misconducts during the administrative summary of the Santiago Occidente (West Santiago) Prefecture, against Corporal Monroy.

In the conclusions of that internal investigation, Figueroa determined that Francisco Monroy did threaten Saavedra with death, being witnesses to it, second lieutenant Nicolas Araneda and non-commissioned officer Mario Zambrano (which was denied by the PDI).

«The General Director is informed that the resolution issued by Carabineros Colonel Oscar Figueroa was carried out with meager means of evidence, and those fabricated by Carabineros Captain José Saavedra, who accused Francisco Monroy of the crimes of insubordination, death threat (…) the captain of the Carabineros José Saavedra and colonel Oscar Figueroa, commit the crimes of ideological falsehood, perjury, obstruction of justice, administrative prevarication”, reads the criminal complaint of March 12, 2021, against Yáñez, Figueroa, Mansilla and Alejandro Casanova (General Chief West Zone), filed before the Second Military Court of Santiago.

Regarding the role of Major Rodrigo Mansilla, he is accused of clandestinely and illegally obtaining sensitive information from Monroy, which was sent to the Public Ministry. Marcos Herrera insists that all this information was brought to the attention of Ricardo Yáñez.

«The General Director Ricardo Yáñez, learned of these facts, which constitute crimes by junior officers of the institution, not only failed to report these facts to the courts of justice, but he also did not respond to the lawyer’s request (Herrera) (…) However, the General Director illegally forwards the information to the head of the West Zone, Colonel Alejandro Casanova, who, having knowledge of the facts, does not report them to the courts», details the complaint, which reveals that both Yáñez and Casanova committed the crimes of breach of military duties and omission to report, while Figueroa and Mansilla, administrative prevarication and abuse of power.

However, on August 9, 2021, Herrera requested the administrative summary in question via Transparency request, receiving as a response that there is no record of said summary, which would reveal a loss of the document -as explained by Transparency-. In this way, a new crime would have been executed by Yáñez: Infidelity in custody, for not protecting an internal investigation.

In addition, Marcos Herrera also denounced Yáñez for the crime of contempt, since, on June 17, 2021, the military judge of the Second Military Court of Santiago, Rocco Lancellotti, determined that all the background information (from the complaint of March 12, including the administrative summary) had to be sent to the corresponding police unit through the Second Military Prosecutor’s Office of the Army and Carabineros de Santiago. But the administrative summary was not sent to any police department, which would reveal that Yáñez violated a court order.

Finally, on November 14, 2022, the Second Military Court of Santiago decided to initiate a criminal investigation against Ricardo Yáñez for the crimes of breach of military duties and contempt -finding himself being accused-. The person  being appointed as military prosecutor is Colonel of Carabineros Alberto Veloso.

Regarding this, Herrera requested that Veloso be revoked as prosecutor in the case, since it is not correct or impartial for him to investigate his hierarchical superior.

Regarding the foregoing, Daniel Soto, a lawyer and retired colonel, states that in practice the Carabineros generals seem to consider themselves special public officials, that is, they would not have to assume command responsibility, nor would they be responsible for their own actions.

From the Carabineros Communications Department, they confirmed that Ricardo Yáñez is being investigated by the Military Prosecutor for the events described above. The version of the General Director regarding this issue was also requested. However, until the closing of this report, he still has not issued a response.The Chilean Carabineros Manada (Wolves Pack)

Despite what happened between Corporal Monroy and Captain José Saavedra, the latter was promoted to major – who was only reprimanded for verbal abuse of Monroy. However, his name is involved in another cause: La Manada.

On March 5, 2021, the lawyer for the Police Defender, Esteban Infante, filed a complaint with the Internal Affairs unit of the Chilean Carabineros, revealing the existence of a group of Carabineros officers from the Oriente (East) Prefecture, who during the pandemic held parties for sexual purposes.

“(A captain called) telling me that in the Oriente (East) Prefecture, where he works, there was a group of around 15 Carabineros officers, led by their Prefect, Colonel Sólis, who frequently held ‘concentrations’ (meetings) of male officers, where they forced female personnel of the institution to attend these meetings, both in the rank of second lieutenant and police officer. In the event that these women did not want to attend, they were harassed at work (…) (an example) the case of police officer N.A, who reportedly denounced Major Casas-Cordero, and who was transferred to the 18th Police Station due to this fact, in circumstances that she was a victim of crime», Infante told Internal Affairs.

In the background information exposed in the complaint, it is specified that the leader of this group is Prefect Raúl Sólis -currently director of the Carabineros NCO School-, together with the commissioner of the 43rd Peñalolén Police Station, Major Christian Bichett; while other members are the commissioner of the 46th Macul Police Station, Major Hernán Casas-Cordero, Commander Rodrigo Soto, Captain Pérez of the 46th Macul Police Station, captain Sánchez of the 43rd Peñalolén Police Station, and the captain of the 43rd Police Station of Peñalolén -and now older-, José Saavedra Carrasco.

The modus operandi of this group consisted of inviting police officers and second lieutenants to parties, to then «get them drunk, sexually assault them, in exchange for institutional benefits» – it is detailed in the case documents. Even the less senior officials were forced to attend, or else they would be transferred or have a bigger burden of work in their service.

«This group of officers, called themselves «La Manada» (wolves pack), like that group that raped the young woman in Spain (…) according to what this captain informed me, these meetings ended in orgies. Therefore there are crimes of abuse here, sexual and labor (…) When I informed the General Director (Ricardo Yáñez), as I was aligned with him, I informed him of all these complaints, and I can demonstrate this in the WhatsApp records that I have. At first, he took it seriously ( …) but during all this time there has been a kind of cover-up, because other officials have already been discharged or removed from their duties. I denounced this case to the General Director and the Public Ministry», comments Esteban Infante to this medium, who insists on the cover-up of the institutional high command.

This medium had access to the messages via WhatsApp between Ricardo Yáñez and Esteban Infante, which corroborates what Infante said. Yáñez even says that he respects people, so he will not refer to them with nicknames such as «La Manada or others«. Meanwhile, the police defender, emphasizes on the cover-up of the General Director in this case.

From the Carabineros Communications Department, they confirmed the existence of an administrative summary for the “La Manada” case, which is still in force, to date.

Regarding Major José Saavedra Carrasco, he is currently a student at the Academy of Police Sciences, preparing to hold high command positions in the Carabineros.

For Daniel Soto, lawyer and retired colonel, this is very strange, since an official who is investigated in an administrative investigation should not be admitted to the academy, since the Higher Institute Regulation No. 28 regulates this.

«An officer subjected to summary proceedings should be on Selection List No. TWO and, therefore, would not meet the requirements for application to the Academy of Police Sciences. Article 41 letter a) of the Regulations of the Higher Police Institute, No. 28, establishes that to be eligible for admission, captains must be classified in List No. ONE and the older ones in List No. TWO because they are supposed to be of their first qualification and not because they are on trial», says Soto.

El Ciudadano contacted the Ministry of the Interior and the Undersecretary of the same portfolio, to find out his version of the investigation against Ricardo Yáñez and the case of Corporal Monroy. However, until the closure of this report they have not issued a response.

Currently, the legal case against Corporal Francisco Monroy and Ricardo Yáñez is still in force at the Military Prosecutor’s Office; while the administrative summary for the La Manada case is still in the stage of legal proceedings.

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