Executive Education or Bought Loyalties?


The “Luksic Scholarship” that funds studies of Army officers at Harvard and Georgetown …
20 generals, colonels, elders and lieutenants of the Army have studied in prestigious American universities thanks to the financing of the Luksic Group, which since 2012 is responsible for paying the courses and masters with which Chilean officers are trained, which cost several tens of thousands of dollars. The business financing of the training of the officers comes to add background to the close relationship of the Luksic with the Army, whose details are already being investigated by the courts.

These are expensive academic programs. Only one of the Luksic-funded courses for Army officers at Harvard University costs almost $ 10,000 for a week of classes. Another, with a duration of two weeks, has a cost of US $ 13,900. The most expensive? The Master in Security dictated by Georgetown University can approach US $ 100,000.
CIPER had access to official Army documents that reveal that since 2012 senior officials of the institution have traveled to the United States to train at Harvard and Georgetown, thanks to funding from the Luksic family. In total, there have been 20 generals, lieutenants, elders and colonels who have accessed the benefit that in the military ranks they call “the Luksic scholarship.”
Three of the current members of the Army’s high command have benefited from this scholarship: the commander of Land Operations, General Esteban Guarda Barros; the commander of the Procurement Division, General Germán Arias Athanasiu; and the commander of the II Battleship Brigade, General Christian Bolívar Romero.
Six other members of the payroll of Luksic fellows were part of the high command of the Army until before retiring, and the remaining eleven officers are placed in positions of influence within the organization chart of the military institution.
The studies of the officers in the two prestigious American universities, thanks to the Luksic money, began in 2012, when then Colonel Esteban Guarda Barros traveled to Washington to study in Computer Security at Harvard University. A year later, four other officers traveled, two more did so in 2014, another two in 2015, six more in 2017 and 2018, and one of them in 2019.
Harvard courses are short, lasting one or two weeks. The theme is always cyber security. In parallel, the Luksic have benefited four other officers with a master’s degree in Georgetown, thanks to an agreement signed in November 2012 between Andrónico Luksic and the then president of that university, John DeGioia.
The Luksic Group has been integrating the top 100 of the world’s richest for years, according to Forbes. In Chile they are the first thanks to their mining, financial, transport, port, energy, food and media businesses. They are the owners behind the Bank of Chile, Antofagasta Minerals, the CCU, Enex, CSAV Hapag Lloyd, Channel 13 plus its radios and other companies.
The links between Andrónico Luksic and the Army are close. Since 2007 the businessman is a VIP reservist of the Army. That year he was part of the first generation of the course of aspiring reserve officers, that select group created by former Army commanders, Óscar Izurieta and Juan Miguel Fuente-Alba, to bring the elite to their ranks. It has been a permanent relationship. In 2009, the most powerful businessman in Chile was promoted from Ensign to Lieutenant, in a ceremony held in El Mercurio, and seven years later, from Lieutenant to Lieutenant. The photograph that portrayed that moment shows him posing in a solemn attitude. Henceforth Luksic’s relationship with Fuente-Alba was consolidated.

Andrónico Luksic, top right, during the ceremony where he was promoted from lieutenant to lieutenant, in 2016.

In 2011, a private Luksic plane brought General Fuente-Alba, his wife and his escort to Chile from Brazil, so that they would arrive on time to the inauguration of a chapel that Luksic himself had financed in the Peldehue Regiment. Then, in July 2013, the businessman had lunch with Fuente-Alba in the building of the commander in chief, where the then military chief mentioned that he would travel to London, Bosnia – Herzegovina and Cyprus.
Luksic invited him to stay with his wife at the Hotel Excelsior, a luxury hotel in Croatia that is owned by the businessman. That invitation meant a detour in the trip of Fuente-Alba, which is now investigated by Judge Romy Rutherford in the framework of the numerous episodes of corruption that are known in the press as the “milicogate case.” Luksic ran all the expenses in Croatia.
On these episodes Fuente-Alba had to expand on the interrogation with Minister Rutherford. The former commander in chief is accused of embezzling $ 3.5 billion of the Army’s reserved expenses and for that reason he was in pretrial detention until August 2019.


According to information collected by CIPER, Army officers who have traveled to study in the United States funded by the Luksic Group have enrolled in three different courses. The most relevant and expensive is the Master in Security Arts at Georgetown University, whose cost has varied over time. In 2012 it was priced at US $ 55,000, and in 2018 it reached US $ 74,000. For that same master the Army paid US $ 94,000 when he financed from his coffers the studies of an officer between 2010 and 2012.
The first officers financed by Luksic who attended that master’s degree were Lieutenant Colonel Patricio García Torres (current commander of the Copiapó Regiment), and Marcelo Masalleras (Head of Welfare Headquarters of the institution). Both traveled to Washington between 2013 and 2015. Then, between 2015 and 2017, Colonel Gabriel Alliende Zuñiga traveled to the United States, who until the end of last year served as an advisor to the General Staff in the Operations Directorate.
The fourth official to enroll in the master’s degree was Lieutenant Colonel Cristián Lauriani Ide (son of former DINA agent Fernando Lauriani, who is serving a sentence in Punta Peuco for human rights violations), who remains until today in the United States. finishing his studies.
The other two courses are shorter and both are taught at one of the Harvard Kennedy School institutes: the Senior Executive in National and International program lasts two weeks and currently costs $ 13,900; and the Cybersecurity: The Intersection of Policy and Technology program has a duration of one week at a cost of US $ 9,700.

Harvard Kennedy School, the Harvard University Institute where they have gone to study part of the Luksic Army Fellows. Photo: LinkedIn

Army officers began traveling to Harvard in 2012, and the first to do so was the current division general Esteban Guarda Barros, who today serves as commander of ground operations. Esteban Guarda is the fourth antiquity of the Army and a month ago the Comptroller’s Office proposed that he be called to retirement. The Third reported that the officer is linked to the embezzlement of public flows of the General Directorate of National Mobilization (DGMN) and the use of resources to finance food, celebrations, anniversaries and attention to authorities during working hours.
Another current high-ranking member who went to Harvard is Brigadier General Christian Bolivar Romero (traveled in 2014), current commander of the II Armored Brigade Hunters. In 2017 it was the turn of Brigadier General Germán Arias Athanaciu, who serves as commander of the Army Procurement Division.
Other officers who are still active and who traveled to Harvard are: Colonel José Farías Moyano (head of Army Institutes and liaison officer with the Colombian Army); Colonel Jorge León Gould; Lieutenant Colonel Alejandro Amigo Tossi (Commander of Logistics Regiment No. 1 Tocopilla); Lieutenant Colonel Carlos Parra Meier (Commander Regiment No. 10 Pudeto); Lieutenant Colonel Raimundo Irarrázabal (deputy director of the Infantry School); and Lieutenant Colonel Raúl Briones Arévalo.
In 2017, Colonel (r) Edward Slater Escanilla traveled to Washington, who between 2015 and 2017 was the director of the Petty Officer School, and who is currently still linked to the institution as director of Famae.
Of the 20 beneficiaries of the scholarships awarded by the Luksic, seven are officers who are currently in retirement, but who until recently held executive positions in the Army. In fact, everyone integrated the high command: John Griffiths Spielman, who until 2018 was the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the institution; Juan Henríquez Barrera, until December 2019 commander of the Northern Joint Command; Luis Espinoza Arenas, former commander of Land Operations; Jorge Peña Leiva, former Comptroller of the Army; Sergio Ahumada Labbé, former commander in chief of the III Mountain Division; and Cristián Chateau Magalhaes, brigadier general (r).


The money that the Army had to disburse from fiscal funds for the Luksic fellows is an issue that must be clarified by justice. And this because there are contradictions. The Army documentation that CIPER had in view for this investigation indicates that the institution did not disburse any weight to cover the teaching costs of the courses and masters at Harvard and Georgetown, but at least the tickets were funded.
But when comparing different official documents, versions differ. And sums that do not correspond. In an internal report of the International Relations Directorate, to which CIPER had access, it is assured that the trip of Lieutenant Colonel Raúl Briones Arévalo (of the DINE) to Harvard to participate in the Cybersecurity: The Intersection of Policy and Technology course, had a cost to the institution of US $ 43,129, however, its name appears in the list of those who benefited from the Luksic scholarship.
Judge Romy Rutherford, who investigates fraud in the Army.

The same document of the International Relations Directorate includes the trip of Colonel Edward Slater, who went to Harvard to participate in the Senior Executives in National and International Security course between August 13 and 25, 2017, where it is mentioned that his trip had no cost to the Army.
In the report, the Army acknowledges having spent US $ 3,815 on the trip of Lieutenant Colonel Briones Arévalo and US $ 4,423 on that of Colonel Slater. Although these items are not specified, other similar documents reviewed by CIPER show payments for airline tickets and per diem during the officers’ stay in the United States. Just the expense in per diem during the trips of the officers is one of the edges of the fraud that investigates justice.


As noted by CIPER Jeff Swyrin, executive director of Luksic Scholars (the initiative responsible for educational philanthropy of the Luksic Group), since 2000 the Luksic have invested US $ 40 million in financing study programs that have benefited 1,500 people, 900 of them of Chilean nationality. These scholars also include the current president of Croatia, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, a country where the Luksic operate the hotel business.
According to the Luksic Scholars version, there are no direct scholarships to the Army:

All the academic programs we have had and have in force are agreements signed with different universities in the world. The admission requirements, the selection criteria and the determination of who accesses the benefit are subject to the exclusive decision of the universities. Indeed, there have been members of the Chilean Army among the more than 1,500 people who have accessed programs, but that has been by autonomous decision of each university, after the applicants have met the requirements set by the respective house of studies.

That answer can be denied by citing an official document bearing the signature of Andrónico Luksic. This is the agreement that on Tuesday, November 27, 2012 the businessman signed with the president of Georgetown University, John DeGioia, where it was established:

Let Georgetown work with Mr. Luksic to explore the most significant way to collaborate to promote and facilitate international cooperation in security studies education, with the aim of strengthening the understanding and practice of security studies of the Chilean Army by providing access to funds for officers in the Chilean Army that have been admitted to the Georgetown Master in Security Arts program. ”

That is, the agreement was thought from the beginning to favor Army officers. This document was accessed by Pulse through the Transparency Law. In the case of scholarships that have benefited Chilean Army officers to study at Harvard University, the conclusion is the same.

The Luksic family posing for the Luksic Scholars website. Photo: luksicscholars.org

Funding for these studies was granted through the Luksic Scholars program “Harvard Kennedy School Executive Education for Chile”, which until 2019 acknowledges having benefited 16 Chileans. If you compare that figure with the number of Army officers who have studied at Harvard financed with money from the employer, the fit is perfect. The 16 Chileans benefited have all been Army officers.
CIPER consulted Jeff Swyrin, the executive director of Luksic Scholars, if the Luksic Group maintains or has maintained business dealings, of any kind, with the Chilean Army.
The response was vague: “These issues are independent of the philanthropic area and are the subject of each operating company in which the Group has a presence, so we do not handle information on the business relationships of companies” (see here the complete answer sent by Luksic Sholars to CIPER).
Until the closing of this report, the Army had not delivered its version to CIPER about these events.


The leader of the business group, Andrónico Luksic, had to go out and explain three weeks ago, when an Interference report revealed that the “big data” report that alerted the government about an alleged foreign interference – via social networks – in the social outbreak, He had left the offices of Quiñenco, the parent company of the Luksic.
Former Interior Minister Rodrigo Hinzpeter would have played a key role in delivering that report to the National Intelligence Agency (ANI), now from his role as director of the Luksic Group.
No wonder a former state minister, such as Rodrigo Hinzpeter, has been recruited by the business group to integrate its directories. There also occupies a seat a former Prime Minister of Michelle Bachelet’s government, Vivianne Blanlot. Before, other political leaders such as Soledad Alvear, René Cortázar, Nicolás Eyzaguirre, Rodrigo Álvarez and Alberto Arenas have paraded through these management positions.
According to Interference, Hinzpeter would have delivered the “big data” report to ANI at a meeting in early December where the then Under Secretary of Interior, Rodrigo Ubilla, representatives of the company that prepared the document and members of the Armed Forces also participated. The Luksic Group only acknowledged having contacted the author of the report with the government. So far it is unknown what was the real report that La Moneda received.

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