Between 390 and 500 million: doubts about the cost of the Convention’s trip to Antofagasta

Between 390 and 500 million: doubts about the cost of the Convention's trip to Antofagasta

Since Sunday, a good part of the 154 conventional workers left Santiago and moved more than a thousand kilometers to the northto the Antofagasta region. The reason? Carry out the second regional exit of the Constitutional Convention, which was previously suspended due to the narrow time frames and the workload carried by the conventions.

With the draft of the new Constitution already finished, and the debate of the thematic commissions concluded, the conventional ones resumed the activities of popular participation that had remained unfinished, and have dedicated themselves to publicizing the proposal for the new Constitution that will be submitted to a plebiscite the next september 4.

However, the trip has been questioned -mainly by conventional right-wingers- for two aspects: its cost and by carry out popular participation activities when the draft of the new Constitution is already written.

consulted by The Third PMthe The board of directors of the Convention recused itself from revealing the data referring to the costs of transportation and accommodation. They argued that the Ministry General Secretariat of the Presidency (Segpres) is the institution that should publish the amounts in its monthly expense report.

However, this medium contacted the agency in charge of the trip, Esquerre Consultantswho confirmed that what was paid to them involved an expense of 389,765,789 pesos, plus VAT.

Specifically, what is included in the contract with the agency are the internal transfers of all the commissions -which includes some 160 people-, accommodation in Antofagasta, Calama, Mussels and Tocopilla; the technical production of the plenary sessions that took place in the region, the internet service and transmission transmissionIn addition to the service catering for committees and plenary sessions.

These same sources specify that hosting and technical support are the items that cost the most money.

The contract with the agency was not signed by the Convention or by Segpres, but by the Regional Government of Antofagastaprior listing through the Public Market during the first week of April. It was done this way because the Convention has the power to transfer the money to other public entities for purposes of popular participation.

So, it was the BLOOD of the region who took charge of the output. The same thing happened with the BLOOD of Biobíowho assumed responsibility for coordinating the first regional exit from the Convention.

This outing took place between November 21 and 26, 2021in the Biobío region and a total of $325,599,307 -according to a report from the previous board of directors-, between the transfer and the activities carried out in the region. That time, the Convention also contracted the services of Esquerre Consultants.

However, the current contract with the agency It does not include the air transfer of conventional vehicles to and from Antofagasta, the details of which are unknown.. According to sources from the Convention and Segpres, the trip, between the flights and the contracting of the agency, It would have a cost of around 500 million pesos. If so, the value would be more than what the table initially contemplated, since they believed that it would be close to 460 million pesos.

Some right-wing conventionalists expressed objections about the cost of leaving. For example, Martin Arrau, Dew Canterbury Y Teresa Marinovic They sent a letter to the table explaining that they would be absent for this reason. In the text they stated that “we have found out about the itinerary of the outing, which includes several visits to tourist places. In addition, the instances of popular participation have already ended months ago.

In this line, the conventional RN-Evópoli-IND Ruggero Cozzi argued that “the April 26 Several constituents sent a letter to the board of directors pointing out that the trip to Antofagasta meant an unjustified waste of public resources, at a time when there is no longer popular participation, and that, for the same reason, the trip would be perceived as an additional sign of the disconnection that exists between the constituents and the citizenry”.

And he added: “Since the table did not even bother to respond, I personally sent a letter to excuse myself from the trip.”

Another aspect that was criticized from this sector was that advisers have been transferred and housed together with the conventional. Some of them say that there are about 20 additional advisers who joined the journey.

The conventional Arrau charged that “it is public knowledge that some conventional advisers have also traveled to the north on this tour, presumably with expenses paid by the Convention. Therefore, We will officiate to the board of directors to clarify this situationbecause if there is only one Chilean peso that has been used on this trip (…) so that the advisers could travel or stay in the north, it would be an extremely serious event.”

From the table they specify that the Convention did not pay for the travel of the advisers, but they would only have occupied some accommodation quotas for the conventional ones who did not travel. However, the number of advisors who traveled additionally was not specified.

Faced with the questions that the cost of the trip triggered, consulted by The Third PMthe president of the Convention, Maria Elisa Quinteros (Social Movements), justified the exit. “Due to our intense work and tight deadlines, we had to postpone our territorial weeks, which were always considered in this constituent process. Now that we have finished the constitutional debate, and finished the draft of the new Constitution, We were able to fulfill this commitment to be in direct contact with the citizens again,” he said.

Along these lines, he emphasized that “our presence here represents an opportunity to meet again with people who are usually far from the places where decisions are made. It will undoubtedly be a valuable moment to listen to them, but also to present the draft of the new Constitution”.


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