Former President of Argentina Mauricio Macri | Photo: José Cruz / Agência Brasil
Alberto Fernández’s government accuses Mauricio Macri’s administration of smuggling riot munitions into Bolivia in November 2019 to “support the coup” against Evo Morales. Macri and three of his former employees are under legal investigation. Understand the case.
The complaint came after Bolivian Foreign Minister Rogelio Mayta published a letter in early July that was allegedly written on November 13 by Bolivian General Jorge Terceros, then commander of the Bolivian Air Force, to the then Argentine Ambassador to La Paz, Normando Álvarez. Terceros thanked the Ambassador for his “collaboration with this armed institution” and mentioned the receipt of riot cartridges, tear gas and gas grenades.
With the image of the letter, Mayta posted on his Twitter: “The government of Mauricio Macri provided ‘war material’ to Jeanine Áñez’s de facto regime in 2019 to suppress social protests and stop [ela] to consolidate in government by force. The massacres of Sacaba and Senkata cannot go unpunished ”. According to human rights organizations, 20 people died in these localities during demonstrations, during the time when ñez took power in Bolivia.
Álvarez said he had not received a thank-you letter from any Bolivian commander. Terceros, who is imprisoned in Bolivia, denied that the letter was authentic. However, a military attaché at the Argentine Embassy verified the authenticity of his signature on the copy presented by the Bolivian minister, indicating that he had received the letter.
Alberto Fernández accepted the accusation against his political rival and said he would investigate the case.
“It turned out that a shipment of material was sent from our country which can only be interpreted as strengthening the capacity of action of the seditious forces against the Bolivian population at that time”, wrote the head of the Argentine government. . “It was a collaboration decided by the government of then President Mauricio Macri with the military and police repression suffered by those who defended the institutional order in their country,” he added.
Macri assured that the denunciation was part of a political operation and said that during this period, the Argentine embassy in La Paz granted asylum to the employees of Evo Morales.
Complaint to court
A few days later, Argentina’s Minister of Justice Martín Soria announced that the government would take the case to court, after discovering, during internal investigations, inconsistencies in the records of sending ammunition and others. non-lethal riot equipment in Bolivia.
On July 16, the public prosecutor lodged a complaint for “aggravated counter-rando”, opening an investigation against Mauricio Macri; former Minister of Public Security, Patricia Bullrich; former Minister of Defense Oscar Aguad; the Argentine ambassador at the time, Normando lvarez; the former director of the Gendarmerie Nacional Argentina Gerardo José Otero; the former director of logistics of the institution Rubén Carlos Yavorski; and Carlos Miguel Recalde, former director of the gendarmerie operations department.
what is known so far
An Argentine Air Force plane landed in La Paz on November 13, a day after Áñez took over the country’s presidency, carrying guards from the Argentine National Gendarmerie, ammunition and riot gear to keep the country’s embassy in the Bolivian capital amid violent protests.
At first 3,600 rubber bullets were to be sent, but later Yavorski increased the request for authorization from the National Agency for Controlled Materials (Anmac) to transport another 70,000 ammunition to Bolivia.
This material is not returned to Argentina. It has been used in Bolivia in “training exercises and shooting practices,” as Argentina’s gendarmerie reported in a report last year. The Fernández government believes that it is “impossible” that they used so many rubber balls in training.
Luis Arce’s government, in turn, said some of the material is still in the hands of the Bolivian police and that there are no documents on its entry into Bolivia.
The process is in its initial phase. Judge Javier López Biscayart, who is analyzing the complaint, has made a series of demands on government institutions, including asking the Foreign Ministry that Terceros’ original letter to Álvarez be presented in the process.