Chile’s Justice Minister Resigns Amid Protest Pardons Controversy

Former Chilean justice minister Marcela Ríos

Chile’s justice minister has resigned amid allegations of impropriety regarding pardons granted to individuals related to 2019’s violent protests. Marcela Ríos will leave her position immediately and is set to be replaced by lawyer Luis Cordero, Chilean president Gabriel Boric announced.

“When situations with these characteristics occur in politics, we must take responsibility,” Boric said.

Boric had advocated for clemency for people guilty of less violent offenses during the civil unrest which rocked the country.

Men between the ages of 21 and 38 who had committed offenses like as looting, robbery, and handling molotov cocktails were among those pardoned.

However, political opponents criticized the December pardons – which included an ex-guerrilla combatant doing time for other offenses – and accused Ros of inadequate communication and coordination. On Monday, they planned to file these concerns with the legislature.

Boric urged congress to appoint a new attorney general and implement a set of economic reforms. The government has been unable to gain sufficient backing to appoint a top prosecutor.