Complaint filed against former Argentine president Macri over ammunition supply to Bolivian coup regime

Former Argentine President Mauricio Macri and nine former officials of his government have been accused of aggravated smuggling of weapons and war ammunition, embezzlement of public funds, abuse of authority and crimes that compromise the peace and dignity of the Nation

July 14, 2021 by Peoples Dispatch
Former Argentine President Mauricio Macri is being investigated for the irregular shipment of war ammunition to the Bolivian coup regime of Jeanine Áñez in November 2019. Photo: Archives

On July 12, the Argentine government of President Alberto Fernández filed a complaint against former President Mauricio Macri and nine former officials of his government for the irregular shipment of war ammunition to the Bolivian coup regime of Jeanine Áñez in November 2019. On July 13, the case was assigned to judge Javier López Biscayart, an expert in economic criminal matters.

The complaint has been filed by security minister Sabina Frederic, justice minister Martín Soria and the head of the Federal Administration of Public Revenue (AFIP) Mercedes Marcó del Pont. According to the complaint document, Macri and his ministers and officials have been accused of aggravated smuggling of weapons and war ammunition, embezzlement of public funds, abuse of authority and crimes that compromise the peace and dignity of the Nation.

In addition to Macri, the complaint includes accusations against former security minister Patricia Bullrich, former defense minister Oscar Aguad, former foreign affairs minister Jorge Faurié, former customs director Jorge Davila, former Argentine ambassador to Bolivia Normando Álvarez, former director of the National Agency of Controlled Materials Eugenio Cozzi and three former commanders of the Argentine National Gendarmerie.

Last week, on July 8, Bolivian foreign minister Rogelio Mayta denounced that Macri’s government, like the government of former Ecuadorian President Lenín Moreno, had also supplied war ammunition to Áñez’s de-facto government in the first days following the coup d’état against former President Evo Morales. Mayta lamented the fact that the supplied weapons were used by the Bolivian security forces in the Sacaba and Senkata massacres, in which a total of 27 protesters were shot dead and about a hundred were gravely injured.

As evidence, Mayta shared an official letter, in which the former head of the Bolivian Air Force, Jorge Gonzalo Terceros, thanked the then Ambassador of Argentina, Normando Álvarez García, for the delivery of 40,000 12/70 AT cartridges and over 100 tear gas grenades.

The former security minister Bullrich, on July 12, explained that the delivery of these military supplies as well as the departure of 10 gendarmes of the Alacrán group was intended to protect the ambassador, his family and the Argentine embassy. But the complainants claim that this was aimed at “hiding a maneuver that made its authors necessary participants in crimes against the constitutional order in Bolivia and serious violations of the human rights of the Bolivian people.”

The complainants also accused Macri’s officials of eluding the participation of Congress, the entity responsible for authorizing the departure of troops from the Gendarmerie and the war material as established by the Constitution, as well as of violating the quantities and destination of the items declared in the customs service.

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