They accuse the mayoress of Santiago de Chile of paying overprices for the construction of a municipal clinic
The purchase of the building would have cost USD 9,960,000, four times the last value paid for that property
Cristián Torresfrom Santiago, Chile
Irací Hassler, the communist mayor of Santiago, the capital of Chile, faces an accusation of using irregular money for the purchase of property for a popular clinic (Photo by Marcelo HERNANDEZ/ATON CHILE/AFP)/Chile OUT/RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE
The councilor of Santiago, Rosario Carvajal, accused the highest municipal authority of carrying out a real estate deal in the purchase of the building that will be the first municipal clinic in the country. He accuses the management of the mayoress Irací Hasler of paying an extra price in the purchase of the property.
Last 18 January in the municipal council of the municipality of Santiago, the project of the first Municipal Clinic in the country was presented before the plenary session.Project for which a building needs to be purchased. The place chosen is a property located at Calle Sierra Bella 1181, in the same commune, whose value amounted to $8,200 million pesos (USD 9,960,000). In the instance, the body approved the idea with 10 votes in favor and one abstention.
The member of the council, Rosario Carvajal, denounced that the purchase would be a real estate business and assured that four times the value was paid in relation to the last transaction related to the property corresponding to December 2022.
The questioned building was published on a real estate sales portal, in April 2021, for a value of 3,348 million pesos (USD 4,168), less than half of what the municipal council authorized to pay.
Jean Pierre Chifelle, legal director of the municipality, in charge of approving this type of transaction, referred to the accusation. “The Comptroller's Office forces them to carry out three independent appraisals to determine the fairest price to pay, which determined the value of 8,200 million pesos and, in addition, the Clinic was already authorized to be used as soon as possible with all its permits toilets up to date,” he said.
The Comptroller General of the Republic is the regulatory body that oversees that tax money is properly spent. Following the complaint by Councilwoman Carvajal,The entity ordered the municipality of Santiago to deliver all the necessary background information in ten business days to clarify the purchase.
According to sources familiar with the Comptroller's procedures In this case, a special investigation could be initiated to determine whether municipal resources were used properly.
For her part, the mayoress of Santiago, Irací Hassler, defended herself against the accusations. “The process has been in accordance with all the regulations” adding that “the value is less than the average of the three appraisals and, therefore, it conforms to the procedures and also to what we know that it is worth being able to have a clinic in the best conditions for our commune,” he said.
The popular clinic is the project of the municipality of Santiago to develop a health center with free and affordable prices for inhabitants of the capital commune of Chile
Through a statement, the municipality of Santiago clarified that it “acquired the property of the former Sierra Bella Clinic from the real estate agency San Valentino SPA, who entered into a sale of these facilities in April 2022, being registered with the Real Estate Registrar on December 16, 2022. The former owners of the clinic sold it to San Valentino in April 2022. The Municipality of Santiago did not hold any conversation with the former owners of said units.”
And he added that: “The property still appears in the name of San Valentino SPA because the name changes once the deed is registered without qualms before the Conservator. Once that has happened, the payment is made to the seller, which is San Valentino SPA. The deed signature was done today”, it is described.
Regarding the price, it was pointed out that, “by comptroller's opinions to establish the commercial value of the property, appraisals of the property must be carried out. The average of the three appraisals commissioned by the Municipality fixed the value of the offer proposal, which was the value accepted by the owner. This was on December 26 and accepted by San Valentino SPA on December 27. The purchase involves Sierra Bella 1181 and Ventura Lavalle 341″.
Another actor is a third party who ensures that the municipality rejected a more convenient opportunity. Lawyer Diego Berríos, who represents the Las Malvas company, will file a legal action before the courts, because he denounces that the municipality rejected the purchase of a property located in another area for less than half the price that he finally paid. As explained by the lawyer Berríos, for 10 months he held negotiations for the purchase, which was finally dismissed to the detriment of the Sierra Bella property.
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On December 16, 2022, the Sierra Bella Medical and Maternity Society had transferred the property for $2,080 million to the San Valentino Real Estate Company, which had just been created in February of last year by the lawyer Felipe Sánchez.
That is, Berríos claims, < b>the Municipality paid more than double the value and approved the transaction, despite the fact that there was a transfer of property between one company and another just a month ago, which was the same argument used to reject the purchase of the property of Carmen 35, the company that he represents, and for that reason his announcement of prosecution.