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Communist Mayor Daniel Jadue arrested and given 120 days of preventative detention
Communist Mayor Daniel Jadue arrested and given 120 days of preventative detention

Condenamos la guerra legal por motivos políticos contra el alcalde Daniel Jadue, quien ha sido blanco de ataques de las grandes compañías farmacéuticas por dañar sus obscenas ganancias en Chile con su trabajo para llevar atención médica y medicamentos al pueblo, se lee en la nota in inglés de People Disparch.

The mayor of the Recoleta Municipality in Santiago, Chile, Daniel Jadue was arrested on Monday, June 3, after a judge in Santiago ordered he be held in preventative detention for 120 days over the “People’s Pharmacy Case”. Judge Paulina Moya, who made the ruling, considered that the mayor is a danger to society. 

The ruling took place in the fourth hearing where the charges against Jadue were presented by the Prosecutor of Metropolitan Center North and formalized. Jadue stands accused of bribery, tax fraud, fraud, and disloyal administration, while leading the Chilean Association of People’s Pharmacies (ACHIFARP). The Prosecutor’s Office had requested the judge give Jadue 120 days of preventative detention while they investigate the case.

Following the ruling, the mayor and member of the Communist Party of Chile (PCCh) wrote, “They judge me because of our transformative administration. There is not one peso in my pocket, but they give me the highest preventative measure. We will appeal this disproportionate measure!”

Jadue’s lawyer Ramón Sepúlveda announced that he would present an appeal to the order for preventative prison and stated, “we are in complete disagreement with the resolution presented by the Court. We believe that it confirms the crimes which we have evidently and with documentation disproven.”

The PCCh released a statement expressing support to Jadue on June 3, following the ruling. In the statement, the party highlighted that “the administration in the commune of Recoleta is recognized, in the first place, by its own inhabitants, but also nationally and internationally. The commune stands out for being one of the communities with the highest level of citizen participation… putting special emphasis on advances in the system of education through projects like the Open University, the people’s libraries, book fairs, and more.”

They also stated that with all respect for the institutions, rule of law, and courts in the country, they hope that the evidence and arguments presented by Jadue’s defense is considered by the authorities. They added, “As the Central Committee of the PCCh, and in absolute respect of what was defined on Monday… we believe that the measure of preventative prison is disproportionate,” highlighting that as Chile’s penal system defines it, he is innocent until proven guilty.

Legal experts and political analysts have harshly criticized the ruling decreeing the maximum preventative measure for Jadue, accusing the judge of political bias against him.

Daniel Stingo, a lawyer and analyst on La Voz de Los Que Sobran, affirmed that the judge in the case, “took a decision to favor a certain political position. Remember what she said here: ‘he is dangerous to society because of the risk of repeating the crime.’ Sorry, but is that even credible? ‘The risk of repeating the crime’? When he has four more months left as mayor with all of the judicial power watching him? So this is a political position of the judge.”

Before announcing the ruling, perhaps in anticipation of the backlash, Judge Moya declared, “before beginning to analyze the material elements of the crime, this judge wishes to expressly warn that, in accordance with the principle of impartiality that governs the jurisdictional function. This Court does not take into account affiliations or political ideologies to make its decision. This implies that no one should receive preferential treatment and that judicial decisions should be based solely on the facts of the case, the background provided and the applicable laws, without considering extra-legal factors.”

The case against Daniel Jadue has its origins in 2021, when the medical supply company Best Quality filed a lawsuit for fraud against ACHIFARP, insisting that the company had sold supplies to the association and were not paid for it and that there was an existing 1 million dollar debt. Following this, several other lines of investigation were opened up by the Prosecutor regarding the municipality’s people’s pharmacy, over “illicit activity” conducted by employees. Then in 2023, the Comptroller’s Office filed charges against Recoleta’s mayor, accusing him of failing to uphold probity while leading ACHIFARP.

In April 2024, the Prosecutor Xavier Armendáriz announced that he would press charges against Jadue for a series of charges linked to the “People’s Pharmacy Case” which were formalized this past week.

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