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Always interested in offers/projects/new ideas. Eclectic experience in fields like: numerical computing; Python web; Java enterprise; functional languages; GPGPU; SQL databases; etc. Based in Santiago, Chile; telecommute worldwide. CV; email.

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President Bachelet's Speech

From: andrew cooke <andrew@...>

Date: Fri, 1 May 2015 20:23:10 -0300


  This is a loose translation of the speech made by President Bachelet during
  the "Cadena Nacional", broadcast on April 28, 2015.

  Please note that my Spanish is imperfect (my English too!) and use the
  original for reference:

  See also
  * The Davalos Affair For Idiots
  * Another Tax Fraud
  * The SQM Affair For Idiots
  * The Penta Affair For Idiots

  My comments are [in square brackets].


Dear Countrymen,

I have decided to talk to you directly, through this broadcast, because
foundational work for our democracy should be discussed face to face.

The country has seen irregularities, corruption and a lack of ethics that
affect politics and business.  This is serious, because it weakens our
democracy and encourages abuse, privilege and inequality.  Chilean men and
women are worried.

Those of us with positions of leadership and power must take responsibility
for this situation.  Starting with myself, as I have said at other times.

But we cannot stay complaining and recriminating.  Now we must act, to change
things from the root.

Four days ago I received a solid report, written for the presidential
commission by Eduardo Engel, and today it is available from the web page of
the Consejo Asesor [Advisory Board].

It contains a range of proposals to fight efficiently against conflicts of
interest, peddling of influence, and corruption.

I have studied these proposals in detail.  Based on these, on measures I have
been implementing, laws currently in progress, and other proposals from
community leaders and politicians, I have defined a set of administrative
measures and legal projects that will drive a wide, complete reform, to
eradicate the bad practices in politics, in business, and in the relationship
between them.

They are severe measures, and some will want to resist them, so that things
stay the same.  But my principle is clear: democracy and politics belong to
all, and we cannot tolerate their capture by the power of money.

The public service is to serve, and not to obtain privilege; businesses are
to create development, and not to abuse or cheat.

This will be one of the reforms that will mark the legacy of my Government and
I will take personal charge, with all my energy, and without fear.  Because I
know that there will be no development, democracy, or social peace, if we
cannot rebuild confidence in our political life.

We will bring many measures forwards, and I cannot describe each of them in
the short time of this message.  At the end of next week I will give you a
complete plan, so that you can all be part of this common fight.

But I want to describe the main areas where we will act, and I will give you
some examples of concrete actions, administrative and legal.

First, we are going to work on political activity and parties.  I know that
many of you lack confidence in them, because there is no excellence in
political life, no democracy, no rights or social equality.  We must
strengthen our political life, make it more transparent, and, above all,
separate it from the financial control of the few.

Because of that, amongst other measures, we will make political financing
completely transparent, eliminating anonymous contributions [the original
talks of "aportes anónimos y reservados" and the latter are defined at], and
companies will be unable to make contributions of any type.  It will be a
crime to break these rules.

The State will finance public parties.  For which they must meet clear
standards and tests.  They will need to re-register all members to validate
their records; they will need to be democratic internally, to have transparent
accounting and auditing, and to give space to new leaders.  This investment is
necessary to improve public life and citizen participation.

We will strengthen the Servicio Electoral
[ - voter registration] and the Tribunal
Calificador de Elecciones [ - management of elections] to
make them more autonomous, with sufficient legal and regulatory power to
ensure that the law is followed.  We will give constitutional autonomy to
- some kind of political immunity].

We will regulate the financing of political campaigns in detail.  The emphasis
should be on the debate of ideas.

To do this, we will reduce costs.  Political advertising will be restricted to
designated areas, and "regalos de campaña" and "pago de cuentas" will
be criminal bribery.

And, as I announced a few days ago, all elected representatives that damage
public confidence will be excluded from popular elections and will lose their

But we must also strengthen the quality, integrity and transparency of those
that work in the public service.  We are going to increase the scope of the
Sistema de Alta Dirección Pública
- earlier reform] for State work, so that those that arrive there do so
through merit and vocation.  And we will regulate the ability of the current
Government to designate and remove them.

We will extend requirements and auditing on the use of public resources in the
Executive and councils [municipos], also regulating more exactly who is
providing services to the State.

Second, we will care how business is done.  We need a strong economy for
development.  Seeking profit outside ethical and legal norms is not progress,
but regression.  Because of this we will take severe action.

From my priorities I highlight the following:

We will overcome existing gaps in current law to ensure effective sanctions
against the use and exploitation of false invoicing ["facturas y boletas
ideológicamente falsas" - see

We will define and penalise the crime of corruption between parties
["corrupción entre particulares"], such as unwarranted payment for

Third, we will strictly regulate and audit the relationship between politics
and business.

The State is not for doing business, and clean businesses don't abuse the
resources and facilities of the State.

We are going to extend and strengthen restrictions on entering public
functions.  We will extend the scope of the prohibition on contracts in the
State, to include relations of the authorities.

We will regulate the "revolving door" between companies and public service, to
restrict unlimited exchange between executives and the authorities.

We will create an obligator public register of lobbyists, so that everyone
knows who represents private interests to those that make public decisions.

We must avoid irregular and speculative business.  No-one can will be able to
take unwarranted advantage of changes to zoning regulations ["planos
reguladores" - see].

Just as I have pushed in Parliament, we will significantly extend the
application and detail of declarations of ownership ["bienes"], interest and
inheritance ["patrimonio"] of State servants.

This will now apply, for example, to advisors of public institutions, to public
prosecutors ["fiscales"], directors of State owned businesses, mayors,
advisors and key division heads in councils ["municpales"], higher officials
in the Armed Forces, and also to their partners.

We need, without a doubt, better laws and auditing, and effective sanctions,
so that the law is really followed, with immunity for no-one.

The creation of a FiscalĂ­a de Alta Complejidad [complex crimes department]
remains critical, and the modernisation of the Ministerio Público.

But laws, even good laws, are not enough.  The quality of our public life
should rest on the ethical beliefs that each of us values and follows.  We
must form a society with mutual respect, confidence, and a sense of justice.

That is the most important transformation that we must undertake.  And we will
act decisively in this area.

We will give civic education, in values and attitudes, a central role,
throughout the education process.  All schools, universities and similar
education centres must have a solid, detailed program in civic development.
We will define ethical codes for all the public services and for the private

We need a country that is aware and vigilant.  We will create the position of
Defensor Ciudadano [Civic Defender], which will be responsible for promoting
and defending the rights of the people, against the arbitrary actions of the

To take this group of measures forwards, we have proposed a demanding
schedule.  Administrative measures must be enacted within a fortnight, while
changes to the law must enter Parliament within 45 days.

But we will start working now.  From tomorrow we will give priority to the
immediate discussion in Parliament of the Ley de Probidad y Transparencia
[Honesty and Transparency], and also to the motion that will end the
indefinite re-election of senators, deputies, and other popularly elected

This reform is not the simple sum of isolated measures.  They have a unity of
purpose that helps define the idea of the State, the democracy, and the
businesses, that we want to construct.

This is why the task we are starting today will be completed naturally with
the drafting and approval of a New Constitution.

So I want to announce that in September, the national month, we will start a
Proceso Constituyente [Constitution Process], open to the people, through
discussion, debate, consultation, and town halls, that should produce the
Nueva Carta Fundamental [New Constitution], fully civic and democratic, that
we all deserve.


Through these acts and decisions we can write the future history of Chile.

Now is the time to construct a better foundation for our Country.

I will not hesitate or delay in this task, because I honour the agreement made
with you, with my country, when you elected me as your President, to manage
our nation's destiny.

I trust in the same determination from Government employees and call on
representatives from all the powers of the State, from all political parties,
and from all corporate organisations, to this joint effort.

Above all, I invite you, citizens, to be part of this Reform, in this historic
opportunity to construct a better country for everyone.


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