In the News: Chilean cops fired for links to (child) prostitution ring

As taken from the Latin American Herald Tribune:

Senior Chilean Cops Fired for Links to Prostitution

SANTIAGO – President Michelle Bachelet’s government fired four high-ranking members of Chile’s PDI investigative police for alleged ties to a prostitution ring that exploited underage girls.

Among the officers forced into early retirement is Hector Soto Candia, the PDI’s erstwhile inspector-general, who was in charge of probing allegations of police involvement made by one of the victimized girls in October 2007.

The PDI chiefs in Santiago and the coastal city of Valparaiso were also ousted.

Last Friday, the PDI suspended five of the six detectives mentioned in a television expose of police links to the prostitution operation managed by Carlos Parra Ruis, known as “Charly.”

The PDI acted within days of the airing on Chile’s Channel 13 television of a documentary, “Charly’s Angels,” detailing alleged police collusion with the pimp.

Channel 13 launched its investigation after hearing from former police deputy inspector Hector Guzman, who claims he was fired for investigating Charly.

The broadcaster said that several police detectives were regular customers at the two brothels run by Charly: the Hotel Louisiana and the Cabaret Pandemonium, both in Valparaiso.

Those detectives were allegedly protecting Charly’s operation, taking payment in the form of sessions with drugged girls.

Some of the girls also said they were taken to the police barracks to have sex with officers.

While the prostitution ring was eventually broken up by PDI officers from the Santiago division assigned to Valparaiso, Channel 13 said that neither police leadership nor prosecutors were willing to investigate the charges about cops’ collusion with Charly.

The television program prompted the Human Rights Committee in the lower house to summon Defense Minister Francisco Vidal, PDI director Arturo Herrera and Deputy Police Secretary Ricardo Navarrete to testify on the scandal.

On Monday, Deputy Interior Secretary Patricio Rosende said that given the “explosion of charges” which followed the Channel 13 expose, prosecutors had been asked to “get to the bottom of the matter, to exhaustively investigate and do it quickly.”

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