News site El Destape published yesterday a journalistic investigation accusing the Cambiemos coalition of laundering money for the 2017 midterms campaign in the Buenos Aires Province through the recipients of social welfare plans.
Journalist Juan Amorín explains he cross-referenced the lists of recipients of welfare plans “Argentina Trabaja” and “Ellas Hacen,” run by the Social Development Ministry, and the list of contributors to the 2017 midterms campaign in the Province, and found out that “an enormous amount of matches were found.” “They all contributed to the [Esteban] Bullrich and [Graciela] Ocaña campaigns with small amounts of money, which span from AR $300 to $1,500. So far, this news site was able to identify almost AR $300,000 whitewashed through this perverse method,” Amorín adds. He goes on to clarify that he called the people on the list and was able to confirm that none of them contributed to the campaign.
“None of them had made the contribution, and they are far from being able to undertake such an expense, given their precarious economic situation. Most ‘contributors’ turned out to be people who are extremely poor: they live in shantytowns (villas) or precarious settlements, and don’t even have permanent access to basic services. In many cases, they are not able to provide daily meals to their children,” the article reads.
Moreover, he indicates that the scope of the investigation was circumscribed to a few districts in the Buenos Aires Province, and speculates about the possibility of the scheme’s reach being much larger, even national.
It is fair to clarify that El Destape is known for being a staunch detractor of the Macri administration, making it clear on its headlines and articles. Its director is Roberto Navarro, one of the better-known critical voices of this administration mostly due to his late eponymous TV show in C5N channel. He was removed from the channel in September 2017 – in the middle of the midterms campaign – following continuous clashes with its authorities. Back then, he accused one of the channel’s managers, Federico Maya, of not letting him air an investigation concerning alleged shady activities by Cambiemos officials and then-candidates. “The government managed to get me fired,” he said then.
However, the investigation was picked up by other news sites, as well as journalists and renowned members of the opposition.