World

Dilma signs letter that classifies Cristina Kirchner's trial as “persecution”

The Puebla Group, a forum that brings together progressive leaders from Latin America and Spain, issued a statement this Thursday (4th), signed by former presidents such as Dilma Rousseff, in which it expressed “repudiation” of what claims to be a judicial “persecution” suffered by Argentina’s vice president, Cristina Kirchner.

“The Puebla Group regrets and rejects the legal war (lawfare) being waged against the vice president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner in a process plagued by contradictions and motivated by obscure political interests of powerful economic conglomerates”, states the text.

Cristina, who was president of the country between 2007 and 2015, faces the final stretch of a trial in which she is accused of being part of an illicit association during her years as president, allegedly intended to favor with works contracts construction company Lázaro Báez, who has already been convicted in 2021 for leading a money laundering scheme money obtained from public works contracts awarded during the Kirchnerist governments.

On Monday, during the pleadings phase, the prosecution alleged that the current vice president and her late husband, the Former President Néstor Kirchner (2003-2007), created “one of the most extraordinary matrices of corruption” during their mandates.

The Puebla Group considers that this case confirms “the risky but unfortunately common trend” of other cases in Latin America against former presidents such as Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Rafael Correa, Evo Morales and Dilma Rousseff , with a common denominator: “retaliation for their work on the side of progressivism”.

“We express our repudiation of this persecution and warn about the serious risks it entails for Argentine democracy”, says the document, signed by 26 political leaders, among them, in addition to Dilma, the former president of the Government of Spain, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero.

More than three years of trial

After leaving the presidency, in 2019, when Mauricio Macri won the elections, Cristina Kirchner began to be prosecuted in several cases for alleged corruption during her tenure, something that the leader of the Kirchnerist wing of Peronism has always claimed was “lawfare” (law war) to destroy political personalities.

Since she returned to power as vice president, with Alberto Fernández as head of government, some charges have been dropped, but others remain pending.

The only ongoing trial with her in the dock defendants began on May 21 May 2019, a few days after Cristina announced her alliance with Alberto Fernández for the October elections of that year, which both ended up winning.

The case involves alleged irregularities in the award of 51 public works contracts to companies owned by Báez in the province of Santa Cruz, in the south of the country.

According to the Public Ministry, the contracting of public road works in that province was “intentionally chosen” as a means of diverting resources.

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