(Reuters) – Chilean justice minister Marcela Rios has resigned her post, the country’s President Gabriel Boric said on Saturday, amid accusations of wrongdoing over pardons given to people connected to violent 2019 protests.

Lawyer Luis Cordero Vega will take up the job in the coming days, leftist Boric added in a video statement, thanking Rios for her work during her 10 months in the role.

“When situations with these characteristics occur in politics, we must take responsibility,” Boric said.

Boric backed pardons for those convicted in less violent crimes during the protests that shook the South American country.

The list of those pardoned included men between the ages of 21 and 38 involved in various crimes such as looting, robbery, handling Molotov cocktails, and others.

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But political opponents decried the December pardons – which included a former guerrilla fighter imprisoned for other crimes – and accused Rios of poor communication and coordination. They were set to formalize those complaints in the legislature on Monday.

Boric urged congress to approve a new attorney general and pass a package of economic measures. The government has so far failed to garner enough support to name a top prosecutor.

(Reporting by Natalia Ramos; Writing by Julia Symmes Cobb; Editing by Sandra Maler)

Copyright 2023 Thomson Reuters.

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