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Montevideo, May 24th 2019 - 07:08 UTC

Chilean Lower House votes unanimously to end “copper law” that finances the military

Saturday, June 16th 2012 - 05:57 UTC
Full article 2 comments
 Defence Minister Andrés Allamand. “a historic vote” Defence Minister Andrés Allamand. “a historic vote”

Chilean Defence Minister Andrés Allamand achieved this week a unanimous vote in the Chamber of Deputies for the proposal to change the funding system for the Armed Forces. The proposal, should it gain approval in the Senate, would put an end to the so-called “copper law,” which has been in effect since 1958.

“This is a historic vote, where the ending of the copper law has been approved unanimously and a new financial system for the armed forces has been introduced,” he said.
The proposal would to end ties between the military and Chile’s state-owned mining company, Codelco, which funds the military through an annual 10% allocation its sales.

This means Congress would approve the military budget every four years. The budget must be equivalent to at least 70% of the military’s average annual budget throughout the last ten years.

After a two-hour debate in the Chamber of Deputies, the proposal passed with a unanimous vote of 107 in favour.

Dep. Alberto Cardemil, of the conservative National Renewal Party (RN), explained the importance of the results.

“We are happy because this is a project that took many years” Cardemil said. The fact that it was Piñera's government and minister Allamand working with all the congressmen in the way you have seen is especially important.”

“This will allow us to replace the copper law for a better one, that maintains and projects the military capacity of the country,” he added. “It is a great historic accomplishment and a very important one for the National Congress”.

Dep. Patricio Hales, of liberal Party for Democracy (PPD), spoke on behalf of the opposition, who also voted for the proposal.

“We made this approval for the country, not for the government” he said. “With a lot of work we have managed to end the copper law”.

By Sumy Sadurni - The Santiago Times


Categories: Economy, Politics, Latin America.

Top Comments

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  • Condorito

    Well done.
    Ironic that after 20 years of supposedly left wing government, this supposedly right wing government has taken the military bull by the horns.

    Jun 16th, 2012 - 01:52 pm 0
  • The Chilean perspective

    I totally agree Condorito.
    I love the fact that all the parliamentarians supported the Gov. on this one. It shows that they are using common sense rather than be partizan and appose just because they can.
    The best thing is that now the budget will be transparent. The defence forces will always get what they need, just that now the money will be more efficiently spent, although the armed forces chiefs were doing a pretty good job anyway. Just another step towards what developed nations do.

    Jun 17th, 2012 - 12:41 am 0
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