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Taking a distance from corrupt practices

Unlawful behaviour of a Translators’ association (COTICH)

Modif: 26/Jul/14
Versión en español: El Colegio de Traductores e Intérpretes de Chile (COTICH)

The Colegio de Traductores e Intérpretes de Chile (COTICH) is a translators association that operates in Chile under the same legal requirements and regulations as any professional labour union. Therefore, it has a statute or articles of association, a code of ethics, a by-law that establishes how the statute is enforced, an ethics committee, a board of directors and a General Assembly. It also owns a website, rents an office and manages a forum in the Internet (Google-groups) for its members to interact.

On December 20th 2010, this translator sent a registered letter asking the current President of the association, Alejandra Villarroel, to file a complaint against 5 translators (Giselle Noriega, Claudia Iglesias, Emilio Schulder, Carlos Iturra, Susana Legradi) for their violation of the Code of Ethics.

As some time before, a complaint due to violation of the Code of Ethics by another colleague (promoted by a group of colleagues) was judged and sanctioned in just over 30 days (See Verdict), it could be expected that this other complaint would have a similar time frame. However, the complaint was held back by the president of the Board and instead of assigning it to an Ethics Committee she delivered copies at the Board of Directors meeting on January 31st for the other Directors to “recoger apreciaciones” (which in Chilean Spanish means: to gather judgments, appraisements). (See Minutes).

On March 26, 96 days after delivering this complaint to the Board of Directors' President, and not having received any answer, neither from the President or from the Ethics Committee, I sent an Open Letter through the Google-groups forum to all the Association's members, highlighting the inconvenience of pushing this case under the carpet for the Association's interests. The Board of Directors did not give any explanation.
That's how months went by, and on May 27th, having not received, at least, an acknowledgment of receipt for my complaint; I decided to formally cancel my membership with this Association, sending a letter to the Board of Directors.
At the same time I informed the community of members through Google-groups, my departure from the Association and the reasons for taking that decision (See Open Cancellation).

The double standard used to enforce the Ethics Code, and the Board's serious dereliction of duties, going as far as burying it for more than 500 days, and till this date I haven't received a reasonable explanation for such abuse, I can only suppose that the Board of Directors had the intention of protecting the personal interests of a group of translators with complete disregard of equal rights. Obviously, the majority of the translators which belong to this organisation, agree, endorse or tolerate that their organisation doesn't respect established rules, transparency and equality before the law, that is, the rule of law.


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