Justice disseminates the foundations of the sentence against Cristina Kirchner: there were “promiscuous links” with corrupt businessmen | The USA Print

Argentina’s Vice President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner waves as she leaves her home prior to the verdict in the case against her, in Buenos Aires, on December 6, 2022.Enrique Garcia Medina (EFE)

During her government, Cristina Kirchner maintained “promiscuous and corrupt ties” with a businessman in charge of public works in Santa Cruz, the Patagonian province that is the political cradle of her political movement. This is how she appears in the grounds published this Thursday by the three judges who, last December, sentenced the vice president of Argentina to six years in prison and perpetual disqualification from holding public office. The judicial arguments were very harsh with Kirchner. The judges considered her the head of an organization created from the State destined to benefit Lázaro Báez with million-dollar contracts. The businessman, in turn, repaid “the benefits improperly obtained” through spurious deals with “the family businesses of the former president.”

The sentence, based on 1,616 pages, was structured for the most part on three pieces of evidence: a 2009 decree that allowed National Highway to have sufficient funds to pay Báez, the parallel businesses that the businessman had with Kirchner ―such as the administration of hotels― and a series of chats with a senior official from the Ministry of Public Works that demonstrate, according to the reading made by the court, that the former president ordered the erasure of all traces of corruption after losing the elections in 2015.

“The public policy that your government proclaimed, foreshadowing an unprecedented benefit for the extensive Patagonian province (Santa Cruz), in truth hid, like a Trojan horse, the essential budget for the successful development of the criminal enterprise and its multiple edges,” they wrote. the judges.

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“The magnitude of the criminal enterprise investigated here involved magnificent planning and sophistication in which different administrative levels acted. columned under the same purpose”, that is, to enrich themselves at the expense of State money, the magistrates considered. The judicial calculation of the embezzlement amounted to 84,800 million pesos, about 410 million dollars at the current exchange rate. For the judges, the business relationship between Kirchner and Báez was so stable that it “spanned practically three presidential terms,” ​​if the government of her husband, Néstor Kirchner, started in 2003, is included. In the list of joint ventures, the judges included sales of real estate, trusts for constructions, exchanges and money loans. The judges warned that these businesses were growing “in parallel and concomitant with the awarding of the works tendered and executed to the detriment of the National Highway Administration.”

Kirchner’s lawyers now have 10 days to appeal the ruling, which must be reviewed by a second instance court. The rest of the convicts will do the same, including Lázaro Báez himself, who was already serving a 12-year prison sentence for money laundering. Former Secretary of Public Works José López, famous for being caught red-handed when he tried to hide bags loaded with dollars in a convent, he received 6 years and life disqualification from holding public office. Four other defendants were acquitted, including former Planning Minister Julio de Vido.

Criticism of Kirchnerism

Kirchnerism criticized the fundamentals without nuances. The Minister of the Interior, Eduardo de Pedro, the man of the former president in the Cabinet of Alberto Fernández, said that the grounds reinforce the thesis of the “proscription” that the former president has been agitating since her conviction in December. “I still couldn’t read the 1,600 pages they published, but it struck me how on March 9, like March 9, 1956, we entered a proscription stage,” he said. On a day like today, but in 1956, the military government of Pedro Eugenio Aramburu signed a decree that outlawed Peronism as a political force and led to the exile of Juan Domingo Perón for almost 20 years.

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In the seventies, Peronism coined the slogan Fight and Come Back to promote the work of the Peronist organizations that promoted the return of the military from Spain. The same motto will be heard this Saturday, in an act organized by La Cámpora, the group led by Máximo Kirchner, son of the vice president, against what they consider the proscription of the head of the movement. Kirchner excluded himself from any candidacy the same day of the sentence, last December 6. “I am not going to be a candidate for anything, neither for president, nor for senator. My name is not going to be on any ballot” in the elections next December, she said. In practice, Kirchner is not impeded until the sentence of imprisonment and perpetual disqualification is final in the Supreme Court. That process can take years.

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