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Executive director of América Transparente for the Raúl Torrealba case: “It was a ‘creative’ way of hiding public money”

The executive director of América Transparente, Juan José Lyon, spoke in conversation with The Counter in La Clave the case of the former mayor of Vitacura, Raúl Torrealba, who is being judicially investigated for possible embezzlement of public funds, bribery, tax fraud, money laundering and falsification of public documents.

Lyon explained the method Torrealba used to get an account with $2.3 billion and hundreds of cash deposits. They even found wads of bills on the walls of his home in Lago Colico, La Araucanía region.

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“It is a rather particular system. What worked in Vitacura was that it had different departments. Vita Deportes, Vita Salud, Vita Joven. They were municipal departments -so it seemed-, but the truth is that they were parallel, private institutions, because they had been constituted through functional community organizations, that is, through the legal figure of a neighborhood council,” said Lyon.

Along the same lines, the executive director of América Transparente explained that “what happened here is that Torrealba, during his administration, created a series of neighborhood meetings that he called Vita algo, to which they were transferred every year Millionaire funds. During his administration, $15 billion was transferred to them and from there they worked for health, youth.”

“If these had been normal departments of the municipality, they would have been subject to the Transparency Law. We could know who works, they would have had to buy through Chile Compras, but being a ‘neighborhood board’, they lacked transparency,” concluded Juan José Lyon.

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