Argentina's government will use an anti-terrorism law for the first time to seek criminal charges against a U.S.-based international printing firm which closed its Argentine plant without warning, president Cristina Fernández said on Thursday. She linked the company to some of the hedge funds in litigation with Argentina over defaulted bonds.
Several hundred workers were left jobless when RR Donnelly abruptly filed for bankruptcy and shut down its printing presses on the outskirts of the Argentine capital, Buenos Aires.
We are facing a real case of fraudulent behavior and an attempt to intimidate the population, said Cristina Fernandez in a speech at Government House.
“We will apply the anti-terrorist law. We filled a motion under charges of altering the economic and financial order and terrorizing of people,” the head of state expressed after blaming Donnelly with tax fraud and evasion.
There was no immediate reaction from the company on its website.
Fernandez said the printing firm had ties to foreign investors whose decade-long debt battle against Argentina in the U.S. courts led Argentina to default on its debt last month for the second time in 12 years. Allegedly Donnelley was funded by a number of so-called 'vulture funds' linked to Elliott Management head Paul Singer.
Argentina enacted its anti-terrorism law in 2011 but has not applied it until now.
The Argentine president also answered Aurelius Capital Management's claim from Wednesday, who argued “the worst is still to come” for the country, following stalled negotiation with private banks in an attempt to buy Argentine defaulted bonds.
“It is a threat to all Argentines and we will take note of this,” Fernández de Kirchner warned.
“With me as President, they will not see us on our knees”, she added.
Cabinet Chief, Jorge Capitanich and Economy Minister Axel Kicillof were present at the event, among other guests such as San Juan Governor, Luis Gioja, and of AFIP Federal Tax Office Ricardo Echegaray.