SANTIAGO — If it's a scrum Chilean Sen. Jorge Pizarro wanted, he certainly got one. Though he didn't expect to be at the bottom of the heap.
Constituents complained to La Terceranewspaper that Pizarro, leader of Chile's Christian Democratic Party, traveled to the United Kingdom to watch rugby two days after the devastating Sept. 16 earthquake that shook the country rather than stay home during a parliamentary recess, when lawmakers were expected to visit their districts.
He departed for the rugby trip a day after visiting the worst-hit areas alongside President Michelle Bachelet. He told Chilean daily La Tercera that he had meant to go a day earlier but postponed his trip one day because of the earthquake.
The newspaper reported that locals were annoyed with his choice of priority. Pizarro defended it by saying he had planned it a year in advance. "It is a personal trip," he said. "I am in touch with all local, regional and national authorities, helping coordinate whatever is possible and most helpful to people in our region."
Ignacio Walker, a former Christian Democrat leader, told the newspaper in no uncertain terms, "He has to come back."