Friday 12 August 2022

Dutch police arrest fugitive Chilean politican

Karen Rojo at a press conference in 2020. Video: 24 Horas

At the request of the Chilean authorities, Dutch police arrested Karen Rojo in Ter Apel on Wednesday. The former mayor was convicted of fraud for stealing public funds for education and healthcare to fund her reelection campaign.

Rojo, 42, had, since 2012, served as the mayor of the northern port city of Antofagasta. In 2018, she was charged with treasury fraud for stealing 24 million pesos, or about €30,000, of taxpayer money. She was forced from office in 2020, after she was convicted.

The day after her appeal was rejected by the country’s Supreme Court in March, she boarded a KLM flight from Santiago to Amsterdam, with a return from Paris in order to comply with tourist visa requirements.

The country’s chief prosecutor, Cristian Aguilar Aranela, announced at a press conference yesterday that Rojo had been apprehended after four months on the run. He has requested her extradition back to Chile to serve her five-year prison sentence.

According to the public prosecution service, Rojo will remain in custody until an extradition hearing can be held, probably in the coming weeks.

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