Local outlet Clarín published an article today stating that the records showing the comings and goings of visitors to the Olivos presidential residence are purportedly missing around the time of former President Néstor Kirchner’s death in October 2010 as well as other significant dates. The records were provided by the NGO Poder Ciudadano, which seeks to promote transparency and citizen participation in politics, in what the organization is calling “the Olivos Papers.”
Poder Ciudadano gained access to copies of the registers that (supposedly) document visits to the Presidential Residence from 2007 to 2016 (i.e. from former Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s first term until now). The documents total 2,806 pages and are divided into five sections. According to the NGO, this information is important not only to monitor who the presidents meet up with, but “reaffirm the public character of information pertaining to activities of public officials when complying with their duties.”
The registers show the names and surnames as well as the entry and exit time of every visitor: the allegedly suspicious ones referred to in the article are from Annex 3. In any case, there is a gap between October 22nd and October 31st 2010 in the daily records of vehicles entering and leaving the premises. Néstor died on October 27th in El Calafate (Santa Cruz Province) after having dinner with now infamous businessman Lázaro Báez. It would seem that the relevant pages have been taken out. You can see the entries for both dates in the gallery below or access the entire annex available here.
Why is this significant? First and foremost, the fact that there are missing records regarding who visits a country’s first family is a little suspicious and perhaps a little eerie: like the missing 18.5-minute gap in the White House tapes under former President Richard Nixon. As aforementioned, the existence of those records are a matter of public interest and transparency. They should be there, so where are they?
However, according to Clarín, the lack of records may imply that there were visits to Cristina, then grieving over the death of her husband, that were worth hiding. The fact that the Presidential Residence receives visits of a more personal nature allegedly makes the missing records all the more suspect (we’re not even going to go into the plethora of conspiracy theories surrounding Kirchner’s death).
One aspect that makes the issue more creepy is that certain days before and after the mysterious death of Prosecutor Alberto Nisman are also missing. Nisman was found dead in his apartment on January 15th last year with a single gunshot to the head hours before he was set to appear before Congress to back up accusations against Cristina. It’s still unknown whether this was a suicide or homicide. The entire annex is available here.