Former Chilean conventional explained for the first time why he invented that he had cancer

Rodrigo Rojas Vade became known during the 2019 social protests and was later elected constituent. Until he resigned from his bank after acknowledging that he had lied about his illness

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In September 2021, the then-conventional Rodrigo Rojas uploaded a video to his social networks explaining that he never suffered from cancer — a disease that was his “flag of struggle” during the social outbreak and part of his political campaign — but that he had other diseases that he did not explain at the time, which was why he presented his renounces the body responsible for drafting the new Constitution.

The former constituent spoke after six months since he admitted not to have leukemia. In the interview he made a mea culpa about his lying. It was this Sunday on the television channel La Red that Rodrigo Rojas Vade, better known colloquially for “Pelao Vade”, explained the reasons for the origin of his deception.

“Nine years ago I started to get sick to my stomach, very recurrent, with hospitalizations included, bloody diarrhea, problems... well, diarrhea, super recurrent stomachs. Within the diagnoses I was diagnosed with syphilis,” said Rodrigo Rojas.

He added that, “what happens when you face these diagnoses, which is not the same to face them now, ten years later, nine years ago I felt a lot of shame, a lot of fear, a lot of hate against myself, which are feelings that I have been carrying since I was a child,” said the former conventional.

“After syphilis, I had a very important spinal cord involvement with plasia, bicytopenia. Regarding this important hematological commitment, which after it was repeated in the following years, which were attributed to autoimmune responses, I preferred to say that it was leukemia,” he added.

Debt for salary donation

When Rodrigo Rojas resigned from the Constitutional Convention, he said that, “I will not accept money from the days when I did not work without justification and as soon as there is a mechanism to submit my formal resignation, I will use it.”

His resignation was accepted on Wednesday, March 16, by the Qualifying Elections Tribunal (Tricel), for “undermining the public faith”, seriously affecting its performance in the Constitutional Convention. In addition, the agency for the drafting of the new Magna Carta stipulated that he must return 100% of the salaries received since he requested his resignation.

Each conventional receives a monthly remuneration of approximately $3,117, which can reach up to $8,727 for assignments. Therefore, the total that Rodrigo Rojas must repay corresponds to about $14,961 dollars, he referred to this and said that, “I could never refuse to receive that salary because it was not legally possible”.

According to the questioned former conventional, the salary for his first month, since he resigned, is close to $3,740 dollars and was given charitable to people with cancer, organ transplants and animal organizations. However, this donation was not recognized by the Ethics Committee of the Convention because it did not have legal personality, since it was individualized, so you will have to return it from your pocket.

He admitted that “I'm going to be indebted with that money I donated (...) I'm going to have to replace it.” In the interview he explained that he is living with his father and financially they are paying off his dad's salary, in addition to the bake sale that Rojas does and offers online.

His brief passage through politics

Rodrigo Rojas became known within the Chilean population during the social outbreak in 2018. Where throughout the country, thousands of people came out to demonstrate for inequalities that affected the population. The former constituent participated in the protests in the city center, stuck a clinical catheter to his chest and left with signs alluding to cancer — which he never suffered from —.

The slogans that Rojas approved were: “I am not afraid of cancer, let alone your repression”, because of the demonstrations and appealed to the need for the creation of a National Cancer Law, even for international cancer day he put up a poster that read “happy day for the pleasure of dying with cancer in Chile”.

This disease was also used as part of his political campaign by the former conventional of the extinct People's List. In addition, he did an economic campaign in his favor to pay for his medical treatments and assured they were for that.

Regarding his application to the body in charge of the new Constitution, he stated that, “we are looking for a way to be able to equalize the court and try to support people who want to accede to the Constitutional Convention.”

I add to this that, “in that process I made myself available to help as much as I could and many people asked me to run, they had a hard time convincing me,” he acknowledged that when he accepted, he said that if there was someone better trained than him, the position was available. “It was never my flag,” Rojas said.