Two of the non-nuns who helped former Kirchnerite Public Works Secretary José López in his attempt to hide roughly US $9 million in their non-convent (I’ll clarify this in a bit, I promise) today testified before Federal Judge Daniel Rafecas regarding their role during that fateful night.
According to various outlets, one of the non-nuns — who has been identified as sister Marcela — told Rafecas that the non-convent’s mother superior, Sister Alba, requested she keep an eye on the gate “because José [López] was about to arrive.” Some consider this as another indicator pointing at the fact that López didn’t just decide on the spot randomly but that he actually turned to it after he allegedly received a call warning him about an imminent raid to his house. In fact, it was also confirmed last week that Sister Alba was in touch 11 times with López’s wife before his arrival.
Moreover, Sister Marcela told Rafecas that during that night she was alongside Sister Inés, the non-nun who can be seen in video footage helping López get the bags in the non-convent. Inés was formally indicted last week for being an accomplice of this alleged crime, after the video’s images revealed that the events didn’t actually unfold as she initially claimed.
Let’s recall that Inés first told press that, “López tried to enter the monastery but was arrested” before he could make it, and later told the show Periodismo Para Todos that she had told him to “leave the bags in the kitchen,” thinking that they were food donations.
“The nuns didn’t just monitor López’s arrival at the convent, they also greeted him and helped him bring the money into the house. They were very calm, considering that there was a rifle centimeters away from the door,” said Prosecutor Federico Delgado in his written statement requesting Sister Inés be indicted. “Sister Inés took the bags in her hands as naturally [as] someone who collaborates in covering a crime [would],” Delgado added.
The deal with these non-nuns is that they are not in fact nuns but Discalced (or “Barefoot”) Carmelites, lay people who dedicate their lives to prayer. There were already other suspicious elements to the story, such as the discovery of hidden “vaults” beneath the non-convent. According to the nuns, they were built as a “crypt,” destined to hold sister Alba’s remains once she passed. However, they were hidden under a carpet and the convent itself is stocked with infra-red cameras, making their crypt story somewhat weak, or just weird.