In his statement, Luciani said: “We have found directions to the companies of Lázaro Báez, from 1 to 51.” Baez’s company is called Austral Constructionsbut there are also other firms involved, such as Kank and Costilla.
Luciani exposed his findings
The judicial official – who cannot issue a ruling and is only limited to the role of accuser – emphasized the first tenders awarded, when Cristina Kirchner had just become President.
One of them is the tender number 39: “It is plagued by the same vices that we saw in previous cases. Same technical representative, ad referendum approvals, lack of presentation of certification. A term of 25 months became 74 months,” he mentioned.
According to his inquiries, it is the “first work awarded in the Government of Cristina Fernández and never passed through Congress”, bidding “with unusual speed”. Thus, the prosecutor calculates that the amount of the work was equivalent to 39 million dollars, at the exchange rate of that time, in 2008.
He also mentioned another example of an unfinished project: “It should have been done in 36 months, it took 90 months, it was found overpricingthey abandoned the work and a new tender was called”.
Luciani insisted: “There was a diversion of huge sums of money to Lázaro Báez, an attempt was made to cover up the company’s lack of capacity, in a rude move“. On Tuesday, on his second day of pleading, he had already said that in Santa Cruz there was an “inadmissible rude address”.
The trial against Cristina Kirchner takes place in a semi-presential way, although politics was absent due to its parliamentary agenda in the Senate, having been authorized. The rest participated by Zoom.
#TodosConCristina, the slogan to repudiate ‘lawfare’
Faced with this judicial advance against the most popular leader of Peronism, progressive leaders expressed their rejection on social networks with the hashtag “#TodosConCristina”, considering that it is a judicial, media and political persecution. In fact, human rights organizations denounced “persecutory judicial practices towards political leaders”.
Specifically, they consider that the legal cases against Kirchner are in tune with the trials faced by Rafael Correa in Ecuador and Lula da Silva in Brazil, limiting his presidential aspirations despite leading the polls.
Thus, the Puebla Group, which brings together important progressive Latin American leaders, did not hesitate to affirm that Kirchner is the victim of a “legal war (lawfare)”. This, because the litigation that he faces is “a process full of contradictions and motivated by obscure political interests of powerful economic conglomerates”.
Together for Change celebrates
Instead, several leaders of Together for Change celebrate how the case against Kirchner is progressing.
María Eugenia Vidal was one of the first to comment: “In an Argentina that is bleeding, It is refreshing to see that the judgment has arrived And that there are people in the Judiciary willing to do their jobs no matter who’s on the bench.”
The leader of the Civic Coalition (CC), Elisa Carrió, one of the complainants of the cases under investigation, said: “Thanks to the entire team of the ARI Civic Coalition, especially its head of investigation, Paula Olivetto, because They investigated since 2004 and we made the complaint in 2008. Perseverance is invincible”.