U.S. Warned Argentina’s Cristina Kirchner of Money Laundering
EspañolIn Argentina, an explosive confession threatens to complicate matters for former President Cristina Kirchner, who is under investigation for money laundering in the so-called “K money trail” case.
Leonardo Fariñas — one of many figures accused in — decided to tell judge Sebastian Casanello everything he knew in hopes of a reduced sentence.
Fariñas moved bags of cash from laundering operations organized by Kirchner business partner Lázaro Báez. He explained the money came in cash to Buenos Aires on airplanes or trucks from the city of Río Gallegos. It was moved to the SGI Financial Headquarters in Buenos Aires and then taken to Uruguay.
The money was the result of US$650 million in public works contracts given by Nestor Kirchner and Cristina Kirchner between 2012 and 2013, he claimed.
Clarín reported that Fariñas told the judge the US embassy “unofficially” warned Cristina Kirchner’s government that Báez, owner of construction company Austral “was leaking millions of dollars abroad.” This revelation would have angered the former president, who threatened him withe the reduction of public contract work he relied on.
After the scolding, Báez reportedly told Fariñas and others who worked for him: “Boys , from now on we have to be more discreet,” according to Clarín.
This and many other confessions made by the informant allegedly complicated the situation of former president Cristina Kirchner, who was formally charged on April 9 by Prosecutor Guillermo Marijuan on money-laundering charges.
Báez is also being investigated in the “Hotesur” case, which seeks to determine whether hotel chain partially owned by the Kirchners was used to launder funds from illegal sources. The family finances are also under investigation because the court wants to know if the Los Sauces company, owned by Kirchner, was used as a screen to receive money from two public works contractors, including Báez, and other public concessions beneficiaries.
The former president is also accused of concealment of fixed-term contracts that her husband Néstor Kirchner had, but that she would not have declared.
On April 6, Kirchner was subpoenaed to testify at an inquest on a record that analyzes whether she was responsible for damage to the Central Bank generated through operations that allowed to buy dollars at the official price, agreeing its future sale to the Central Bank, but at the same time those currencies were acquired they could be sold in other markets for 15 pesos.
On Monday, Kirchner arrived in Buenos Aires to attend the summons. A crowd of kirchnerista supporters received her at the city airport and her home to offer their support.
The former president and her family have remained silent despite the arrests of Lázaro Báez and his accountant, and the incriminating statements by Fariñas that have unleashed a political storm in the country.
“Everyone with Cristina”
Former chief of staff Jorge Capitanich said media and judicial “corporations” want to “politically attack a leader who produced significant changes against their own interests.”
Kirchnerista youth group La Cámpora asks for support: “all with Cristina” and spreads the message of women’s Victory Front who said “with Cristina, we defend victories, freedom and rights.”
Mayra Mendoza, former president of Argentina’s Treasury, Congresswoman Juliana Di Tullio, and the Buenos Aires legislator Jose Ottavis made calls on social media to defend Kirchner.