Government justifies research study purchase from organization created by Patricio Rojas

Vice President Edmundo Pérez Yoma has argued that it was necessary to create a civilian defense community after 17 years of military regime.

17 de Abril de 2009 | 14:37 | Karina Morales, El Mercurio Online

SANTIAGO.- The Vice President of the nation and former Minister of Defense, Edmundo Pérez Yoma, admitted to and justified the purchase of a research study from the Strategic Studies Corporation (CEES), which was created by former minister Patricio Rojas between 1994 and 2007.

"He organized a research center that employed many people and held a contract with the Ministry of Defense. At that time, civilian influence on Defense matters was very scarce, we were just coming out of a 17-year military regime, when civilians had completely been left out of military matters and we did everything we could to encourage a community of Defense, it seemed interesting to all of us", he stated.

"This came up for many years later and is an activity that is absolutely, in my opinion, legitimate", continued Pérez Yoma.

The head of the cabinet also stated that he sees "no problem" in the case, which came to light as part of an investigation into the Ciper Chile Center for Research and Journalistic Information.

Although the Vice President did not mention the sum paid for the studies, high-level sources in the Defense Department have said they cost some $94 million pesos.

When asked if he was aware that serving authorities participated in the CEES, Pérez Yoma stated that he is not convinced and believes "that is not the case".

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