The Pandora Papers is the biggest trove of leaked offshore data, comprising 11.9 million files "exposing" the alleged secret wealth and dealings of the world's richest and most powerful. The documents were released by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).
Chile's Government Considers Opposition-Initiated Impeachment Process 'Coup' Attempt
© REUTERS / IVAN ALVARADOChile's President Sebastian Pinera delivers a statement at the Government house in Santiago, Chile, October 4, 2021.
© REUTERS / IVAN ALVARADO
SANTIAGO (Sputnik) - Impeachment proceedings launched by the Chilean opposition against President Sebastian Pinera, over his children's alleged involvement in a tax evasion scheme unearthed by the Pandora Papers, are intended to gain a few points before the elections and amount to a coup attempt, government spokesman Jaime Bellolio said Wednesday.
A group of 15 opposition members of parliament initiated the process of impeachment earlier in the day, just over a month before Chile is scheduled to hold presidential and parliamentary elections on November 21. The impeachment motion will now have to be approved by both houses of the parliament.
"This accusation is an attempt at a coup in the sense that it damages the institution of the Presidency," Bellolio told reporters, adding that "the parliamentarians who presented this groundless accusation are thinking about the elections, hoping to earn a couple of votes."
The government's spokesman expressed the hope that other members of parliament will not support the motion, warning that it could lead to instability and prevent a smooth transfer of power.
The Pandora Papers, published by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists on October 3, allege that over 35 current and former world leaders, and about 400 officials from more than 100 countries, have been involved in offshore schemes for the purpose of tax evasion.
Among 11.9 million leaked financial documents were those alleging that a Chilean mining company was sold through an offshore firm owned by Pinera's children.
The Chilean president's children, who own one-third of the mining company, allegedly used an offshore company in the British Virgin Islands to sell their stake in a shell company, owned by the president's close friend Carlos Delano, for $138 million, which presumably took place during the first term of Pinera's presidency.
Since the release of the Pandora Papers, multiple individuals have been swept up in backlash, with investigations being launched by government watchdogs.