The journalistic investigation conducted by El Destape‘s Juan Amorín, which alleges that the Cambiemos coalition laundered money for the 2017 midterms campaign in the Buenos Aires Province through the recipients of social welfare plans, has resulted in the most resounding consequence to date: Buenos Aires Province Governor María Eugenia Vidal announced she’d ordered an audit on the campaign contributions, and fired the administration’s Accountant General María Fernanda Inza, as she was Cambiemos’ treasurer during the campaign and therefore in charge of declaring the origins of said contributions.
Inza had been appointed to her now former post only five days ago, and officially took office yesterday.
When asked about the issue in a press conference called to announce measures aimed at helping the province’s most vulnerable, Vidal said that her “behavior has always been based on honesty,” and based on the accusations, she had made the aforementioned decisions.
Regarding Inza, she said: “She was part of the campaign team, but beyond that she has worked with me for several years. I know her, I trust her, and I have no elements to show her involvement in this case.”
Ahora, expuesta, le pidió la renuncia. Pero Inza es Vidal, y el lavado no lo hizo por su cuenta.
— Juan Amorín (@juan_amorin) July 18, 2018
“Governor Vidal appointed Inza as Accountant General last week, even though the investigation was published three weeks before. Now, exposed, she asked for her resignation. But Inza is Vidal, and she didn’t launder money on her own,” said Juan Amorín when reacting to the news.
Vidal initially dismissed the the allegations, arguing they came from “Kirchnerite sectors” and said they will submit any documentation required. “There is nothing to hide regarding these accusations that were made about some contributors. We have done two things: first, request an audit of the financial documents within the Cambiemos campaign, and then, make ourselves available to judicial officials,” she last week.
However, the evidence and cases of alleged contributors who denied having given any money even though their names showed up at the official registers grew exponentially as days went by.
The accusation prompted three different criminal investigations. One was initiated by Jorge Di Lello, prosecutor before the electoral court; Federal Judge Sebastián Casanello was assigned another one, a result of an accusation made by NGO La Alameda; and a third was introduced to a La Plata court by provincial Senator Teresa García (Unidad Ciudadana), who directly accused Vidal, her Cabinet Chief Federico Salvai, and other provincial officials of the financial crime. In fact, Judge Casanello called 50 alleged contributors into questioning last week, in order to move forward with his investigation.