País - Entrevista con Elisa Carrió 21-04-2017 Foto: Fernando de la Orden

Cambiemos is mounting the pressure to oust and arrest Deputy Julio De Vido. Federal Prosecutor Carlos Stornelli alleged yesterday that De Vido embezzled 265 million pesos from Yacimiento Carboníferos Río Turbio (YCRT). His fate now lies with the Chamber of Deputies. “Will this man declare?” asked Elisa Carrió, the Cambiemos deputy most vocally in favor of De Vido’s prosecution, to Radio Miter. “Or will they kill him before he does?”

As Planning Minister under ex-President Cristina Kirchner, De Vido was responsible for exploiting and transporting the country’s carbon resources. He controlled the flow of pesos to YCRT, which started as a national entity in 1958, privatized in 1994, and re-nationalized on Kirchner’s watch. According to Stornelli, he diverted the allocated funds. “His policies were designed to obstruct the flow, and bypass transparency mechanisms that governed his public contract,” said Stornelli in his judicial statement. He requests the detention of De Vido and twenty-two collaborators on charges of fraud, according to Infobae.

If Judge Luis Rodríguez, who is investigating the case, accepts Stornelli’s request, two-thirds of deputies must be present at the vote to impeach De Vido. They need a simple majority to make it official. President Macri confirmed yesterday that his block of deputies will support the initiative. Cambiemos members are confident that they have enough votes. They calculate that with backing from the Frente Renovador and some members of the Bloque Justicialista, 147 of 257 deputies will vote in favor.

Anti-corruption crusaders in the Chamber see De Vido as a key player in the money laundering scandal that engulfs the former administration. “De Vido passed the money to Kirchner and colluded with everyone, up and down,” said Carrió. But Judge Rodríguez must approve the case for Carrió to have her say. “The most important thing is for the judge to accept the prosecutor’s request,” said House Majority Leader Nicolás Massot. “Otherwise, voting is useless.”