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Montevideo, August 16th 2022 - 04:49 UTC



Chilean Constitutional Convention VP admits he did not have cancer, sparks controversies

Tuesday, September 7th 2021 - 09:04 UTC
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His head shaved and without eyebrows, Rojas Vade claimed he was taking a break from chemotherapy back in 2019 His head shaved and without eyebrows, Rojas Vade claimed he was taking a break from chemotherapy back in 2019

A confession by Chile's Constitutional Convention's former Deputy Vice President Rodrigo Rojas Vade, who admitted it was not true that he had a deadly disease, continues to raise controversy nationwide.

Rojas Vade, who resigned his vice presidency after confessing to the falsehood of his statements, has left a vacancy that was filled by Tania Madriaga on Monday.

But other steps to be taken in the future are still to be decided. Pedro Muñoz (PS), one of the seven deputy vice-presidents of the CC, assures that it is an “elaborate lie”, which is why it responds to a serious fact that must receive a resounding rejection. “I believe that we must remove the blinders of personal affections, affections, relationships that can be given within the Convention because what is at stake here is the greater good: the credibility of the Convention”, said Muñoz in a radio interview.

Rojas Vade had written on Instagram that “when I was 29 years old, they notified me that I suffered from a discriminated disease in this country, at that moment the world fell over me, I thought my loved ones were leaving me to be rejected.”

Muñoz said that “I know people with HIV, they are very painful cases. (…) Those of us who belong to sexual diversities, because of the stigma with which it is carried since we are aware of our identities, start from that stigma. But here it is a different question, which profoundly affects public faith.” He insisted the episode puts the good name of the Constitutional Convention at risk.

“There are some regulatory gaps, so lessons must be sought for the short term. We are in the middle of the regulatory construction process and we have to take all precautions to, from this case, draw lessons for what is to come,“ Muñoz added as he highlighted recall referendums, where citizens have the last word.

Until the CC has approved its own set of rules, the body is governed by the statutes applicable to the House of Deputies, which clearly show avoid on a matter such as Rojas Vade's.

”I was not honest with you, with my family or with anyone,“ Rojas Vade had said Sunday.

”Given the seriousness of the facts, we have accepted the resignation that Mr Rojas has presented this afternoon to the Deputy Vice Presidency of this Convention,” said the Convention's Board of Directors in a statement on the very same day.

Rojas Vade's stunt was a scandal that has sunk the credibility of the politician's heterogeneous group, which surprised traditional parties in May by winning 27 of the 155 seats in the assembly drafting the new Chilean Magna Carta.

Vade did admit, however, that eight years ago he was diagnosed with another disease which he declined to specify. Due to his alleged cancer, Rojas made an impact during the hardest days of the social outbreak of October 2019, with his head shaved and without eyebrows, very thin and even with a catheter exposed in his wrists and chest. During his appearances then, he claimed he was taking a break from his treatments, including chemotherapy.

In the last month, the People's List has suffered the departure of emblematic figures that gave it popularity. At least 17 members of this list have resigned after the unsuccessful presidential candidacy of indigenous activist Diego Ancalao, which was annulled due to the alleged falsification of more than 60% of the required signatures. The notary public who had validated them had died in February.

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