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An Argentine ex-Kirchnerite official caught red-handed trying to hide bags of cash in a monastery

Wednesday, June 15th 2016 - 05:26 UTC
Full article 38 comments

An Argentine former secretary of Public Works with the Cristina Fernandez administration, Jose Lopez, and currently a member of the Mercosur parliament, was arrested on Tuesday in the Buenos Aires province locality of General Rodríguez while he was trying to hide bags full of money and an automatic gun in the garden of a convent. Read full article

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  • Skip

    Sounds like a story for 1st April.... unfortunately not. Just some lowly beurocrat that only managed to fleece Argentina for US$5-8 million (maybe eventually be more).

    Jun 15th, 2016 - 08:18 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ElaineB

    I guess the fact that he was trying to hide the evidence means the net is closing in on the corrupt Kirchnerites.

    Jun 15th, 2016 - 08:39 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Room101

    Be fair to the man, he was merely attempting to make a donation to the Convent; the gun was surrendered as part of a Confession to indicate that he was mending his ways.

    Jun 15th, 2016 - 08:56 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Mendoza Canadian

    #1..at this point it is 8.9 million US...plus some Euros, Yen and some Qatari Riyal. Now we know why the K government imposed the “cepo”, which la cretina denied even existed. I can just hear her now...“we stop the peasants from buying foreign currency, and we steal it all. The peso isn't worth having anyway.... . They don't need to travel to Miami to buy things they can't get here...they don't need those fancy things anyway. And I can get the things I need when I go to New York, London and Paris on the peasants tab. And the peasants can pay for everything. Oh, I love this job....”

    Jun 15th, 2016 - 11:34 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Demantoid Garnet

    Oh I LOVE it!
    Of course, Lopez was just trying to donate those expensive watches to the nuns at the monastery. Everyone knows they need a good Rolex or fine Omega watch to schedule their prayers.

    You can't make this stuff up... it's too good.

    Best wishes everyone!

    Jun 15th, 2016 - 11:42 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • owl61

    This, and the fallout yet to come, will buy the Macri administration more time to right the ship of state. Vamos todavia.

    Jun 15th, 2016 - 12:44 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • chronic

    Poopsey laundering corrupt proceeds?

    Jun 15th, 2016 - 01:28 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Marti Llazo

    Where is reekie now, claiming that López is just an “amateur”?

    Instead of showing what a true professional Kirchnerista is really made of.

    It's being reported that López handled budgets of over US$90 billion during his years of in “Public Works” for the Kirchners. Along with indications that much of that work was overpriced by about 30 percent. Hmmmmm.....

    Media statement about the big-fish status (that Reekie denies), in jibber-jabber (pa' que Reekie entienda)

    “Reconocido como uno de los hombres fuertes del ex Ministerio de Planificación Federal, que conducía Julio De Vido, López estuvo al frente de la Secretaría de Obras Públicas a partir de 2003 y se mantuvo en el mismo hasta el fin de la administración kirchnerista en diciembre último.”

    Other investigators reporting that López was responsible for engineering the Kirchner family fortune. Stay tuned.

    The count as of an hour ago:

    US$8,982,047
    153,610 euros
    425 yuan
    49800 pesos
    2 Qatar reales

    Jun 15th, 2016 - 02:01 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • xenonman

    Maybe he was behind in his tithing! lol

    Jun 15th, 2016 - 03:21 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ChrisR

    @ 8 Marti Llazo

    It will be the 2 Qatar reales that nails him! :o)

    Jun 15th, 2016 - 05:42 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • xenonman

    He could at least have given the nuns Patek Philippe watches. lol

    Jun 15th, 2016 - 06:02 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Enrique Massot

    Indeed, this is truly a disappointment for those of us who support the politics of inclusion of the Kirchner governments.
    Mauricio Macri and his government must be recognized for going after those who appropriated public money.
    In addition, and to prevent similar crimes in the future, accountability mechanisms such as arms-lenght control offices should be put in place at all levels of government. Political support provided by this recent development will be favourable to legislate strong anti-corruption laws.
    Prosecuting any other corruption cases must continue and will no doubt be welcomed by the Argentine public opinion.

    Jun 15th, 2016 - 06:19 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • SauveQuiPeut

    Hear the pennies dropping,
    Listen while they fall,
    Ev’ry one for Jesus,
    He will get them all...

    'Ritondo said Lopez tried to bribe the police officers and went into shock when they did not accept, and later suffered a deep depression.'

    That awkward moment when it finally sinks in that your kleptocrats lost the last election to the other kleptocrats...

    Jun 15th, 2016 - 07:19 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Zaphod102

    312 “Indeed, this is truly a disappointment for those of us who support the politics of inclusion of the Kirchner governments.”

    I am sure that it is indeed a disappointment to realise that the “inclusion” was a con trick to distract you while they stole from you.

    “Mauricio Macri and his government must be recognized for going after those who appropriated public money. ”

    Agreed and noted (I'll add you words to the list).

    “In addition, and to prevent similar crimes in the future, accountability mechanisms such as arms-lenght control offices should be put in place at all levels of government.”

    Agreed. You want to introduce a structure that makes the rampant cronyism of the previous government more difficult and/or less effective to prevent such excesses in the future.

    “Prosecuting any other corruption cases must continue and will no doubt be welcomed by the Argentine public opinion.”

    Agreed.

    Let me be the first to congratulate you for not trying to either deflect or make excuses. You must feel somewhat dazed (but not as dazed as López!).

    Jun 15th, 2016 - 07:56 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • chronic

    Reeeeeeeeeeeeekie, you dumbass.

    Just because Macaroni may or may not have concealed some wealth in no way exonerates the perronist dogs of the grand scale thievery that they have perpetrated against rg.

    If anything it confirms what may be the only accurate thing that you have ever uttered: All argentines lie.

    Jun 15th, 2016 - 08:21 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Demantoid Garnet

    The photo of Lopez being transported by police is very interesting. Note the protective helmet and bullet-proof vest.

    Next question is... will he commit suicide (or be “suicided” shall we say) before he talks?

    Also, I wonder if those fine watches are POSSIBLY traceable by their serial numbers. I'm sure they were “gifts”, but it is possible the original purchaser is recorded somewhere. Not likely, but possible and worth a check.

    Best wishes everyone...

    Jun 15th, 2016 - 09:21 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ElaineB

    “We found 160 bundles of cash, 108 of dollars, and some of them still thermo-sealed with the stamps from China's central bank”

    CFK loved China.

    Jun 15th, 2016 - 10:18 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Marti Llazo

    @10 “ It will be the 2 Qatar reales that nails him!”

    -- Actually it was the loaded assault rifle he had in the car that nailed him first.

    Next charge seems to be “unlawful enrichment.” (That's a euphemism for “Kirchnerist government official.” )

    ------------

    The police who refused the bribes offered by López are evidently getting promotions.

    --------------

    López is reportedly on a 24-hour suicide watch by multiple unarmed police.

    -------------

    Just check out the López attorney. You don't need to read much jibberjabber to understand the sort he has for an attorney. Probably got her law degree the same way CFK did. Hint: she's a cumbia singer first and attorney somewhere down the line. Likely she does a mean habeas corpus after midnight.

    She will probably help López get off.

    http://www.clarin.com/politica/Alfanito-abogada-cumbiera-defiende-Lopez_0_1595840485.html

    Welcome to Argentina! Where every day is like Halloween !

    Jun 16th, 2016 - 12:42 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • owl61

    Habeus corpus indeed. Also corpus delecti (does that mean delicious body?). Tinelli will have material for the next 10 shows.

    Jun 16th, 2016 - 02:23 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Zaphod102

    #16 “Also, I wonder if those fine watches are POSSIBLY traceable by their serial numbers. I'm sure they were “gifts”, but it is possible the original purchaser is recorded somewhere. ”

    Good point. I believe that Rolexes do have serial numbers. If any were stolen then that will just deepen the hole he is in now.

    Apparently, he tried to bribe the police who caught him with US$1 million and he is now on suicide watch with a number of unarmed policemen.

    This event seems to be causing some famous people (and maybe our very own Reekie?) to re-think their support for Kirchnerism. While part of this may be people trying to distance themselves from illegal acts, it will also result in a decline in support for the Ks.

    Jun 16th, 2016 - 06:00 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • xenonman

    It is alarming how many “reformist” heads of state in Latin America have turned into corrupt crooks - Carlos Andres Perez in Venezuela, the Kirschner government in Argentina, Inacio Silva and Roussef in Brazil, and Fujimori in Peru, to name just a few

    Jun 16th, 2016 - 06:09 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Demantoid Garnet

    Greetings friends,

    In all the crazy info coming out, I forgot to consider the following...

    Evidently Lopez visited the site just the DAY BEFORE he got caught, and was very nervous, panicked some might say. I wonder what happened to have him relocate his stash from wherever he previously kept it, to the monastery area. This may be important to the investigation. Was he afraid someone would find it where it was? Did he believe he was being watched?

    The fact that he was carrying an assault rifle was illegal, but that would be the least of my concerns if I was moving millions of cash around.

    By the way, I have to say that I'm proud of the police doing their job and not accepting the offered bribe. This should always be the case, but unfortunately it is not.

    ANYWAY, let's see what happens next. I must admit... and I'm not proud to say it, I'm enjoying this spectacle.

    Peace and love to all...

    Jun 16th, 2016 - 10:11 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Enrique Massot

    Quite a sight the parade of MP commentators squealing in delight in the belief the López affair signals the end of Kirchnerism--perhaps they surmise that fact would end Argentina's claim over the Islas Malvinas perhaps?
    Well. Sorry to rain on your parade my friends. Not to diminish the impact of the Lopez arrest on the Kirchnerism--but you need two to tango.
    Which means that for Lopez to have millions hidden, someone must have given it to him. That someone is likely companies getting fat public works contracts.
    While in his past position, López oversaw the construction of 2,100 km of highways. Three companies got the bulk of the contracts, one being IECSA, of the Macri group. It will be interesting to see how far the investigation into the bribery goes.

    #15 chronic
    “All argentines lie.”
    !!!!!!!!!!!
    I am dumbfounded by the cosmic depth of your characterization of the 40 million of us.
    Hear all: (Play trumpets, marimbas and sarrusophones)
    Chronically constipated chronic has already judged, convicted and sentenced Argentina.
    He has gone where none has dared before, given us the apex of his intellect. He's exhausted by the effort, is now taking a deserved rest and as a result you won't see him much anymore.

    Jun 17th, 2016 - 02:23 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • chronic

    Sure, loooooooooooser.

    Jun 17th, 2016 - 04:14 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Marti Llazo

    @23 “....to have millions hidden, someone must have given it to him. ...”

    It is simply amazing, but also great entertainment, to see an argie pretending not to know how argie corruption works. But then.....he has reminded us that not only are government officials here magnificently corrupt, but there is an additional galaxy of argies also participating in an immeasurably vast universe of pervasive corruption, while being cheered on to greater corruption by yet another sector of the populacho. Not that anyone might have doubted this.

    Perhaps reekie's phenomenal insights can explain why many of the dollars in the López affair seem to have been sealed in thermoplastic wrappings which still bore the Chinese bank seals intact?

    -----------
    @23 “.. .in the belief the López affair signals the end of Kirchnerism....”

    Let's look at the surveys of how those chorros KK are actually dealing with this news.

    Fewer than half of those KK even feel “indignant” at the news of López being busted for trying to hide all that dirty money.

    Fewer than half of those KK believe that the money came from “corruption.” As opposed to the population in general, over 80 percent of whom find it reasonable to conclude that the money López had was the fruit of corruption.
    ----------

    Then again, there are a handful of argies who either can read the writing on the wall, or who have been counseled by foreigners on the concept of what is unequivocally shameful, because since the revelations about López, one argie senator and three deputies have said enough is enough, and have abandoned the Kirchnerist bloc. That there are any who remain to defend Kirchnerism is a tribute to the impressive lack of shame and the glowing pride in the continuation of corruption that still characterise the population of this country.

    Jun 17th, 2016 - 05:46 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Enrique Massot

    25 Marti
    Very interesting to see Marti's contortions and attempts to deviate the attention from the fact that corruption exists because of corrupt officials--and those who pay the bribes to get fat, some times over valued, contracts.
    Unfortunately, Marti ultimately gives in to his real contempt, which encompasses all Argentines. This seriously compromises his fake indignation about only one side of the equation.

    Jun 17th, 2016 - 06:51 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Marti Llazo

    We see that Reekie is very comfortable with the extraordinary degree of corruption in Argentina, and lacks any sort of appropriate indignation that such corruption is pervasive not only in the normal practices of government officials, but throughout the culture.

    Jun 17th, 2016 - 01:22 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Zaphod102

    #23 “Three companies got the bulk of the contracts, one being IECSA, of the Macri group. It will be interesting to see how far the investigation into the bribery goes.”

    Indeed. And another of the companies that got many of the contracts was CFK's Los Sauces https://panampost.com/raquel-garcia/2016/04/12/us-warned-argentinas-cristina-kirchner-of-money-laundering/

    So, If you put these two stories together it definitely looks like the net is closing on a substantial web of corruption and, as you said (#12) “Prosecuting any other corruption cases must continue and will no doubt be welcomed by the Argentine public opinion.” :-)

    Jun 17th, 2016 - 06:17 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Enrique Massot

    Agree. Bribes paid to corrupt officials are the tip of the iceberg in regards to spirited public money.
    For every dollar they pay, private contractors get hundreds in illegal benefits in the form of contracts accepted at inflated value and other advantages.
    Among other measures, whistleblower protection programs should be implemented, as the ones who know best are those churning out the paperwork.
    Long prison terms would contribute to deterrence.

    Jun 17th, 2016 - 11:27 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • axel arg

    THE FIFTH END OF KIRCHNERISM.
    As it was expectable, many politic and mediatic detractors of kirchnerism started saying that this is the end of that politic force, however it must be signalized that they are too enthusiastic, beside, they aren't even original, because they said the same in 2008 (during the conflict with the most powerful agrarian exporters of the country), in 2009 and 2013 (after the electoral defeats in Buenos Aires during legislative elections), in 2015 (after Macri's victory), and now they insist on their idiot argument after the diffusion of this pathetic corruption case.
    On the other hand, it was also expectable the opportunism of most members of the government, and of many cretins in our society, who usually complain about the corruption cases that involve kirchnerism, however, they never say a word about the Panama papers, were the president and some of his ministers are included, beside, it's pretty evident that those cynics just use these cases to show a false indignation.
    As far as i'm concerned, when it was published that Macri was involved in the Panama papers, i said that he must be given the benefice of doubt, because im not opportunist, and i'm not disposed to do with him, the same thing that was done with C. F. K., who was never given that benefice, by all those cretins who just complain about the corruption cases that involve kirchnerism.
    On the other hand, although i must recognize that it was a very big hit against us, i really think that fetid apples like Lopez, Jaime, Schiavi, etc won't destroy our moral, especially in a context of brutal adjustment like now, because of the reactionary measures taken by Macri, where we have a great responsability to take care of the achievements that workers could get in all these years.

    Jun 19th, 2016 - 05:43 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Marti Llazo

    Axis, do take an English course before you try posting here. Your attempts are frightening the horses.

    -----------

    In the news today, further admissions of the vast extent of bribes and corruption that characterised the Kirchner regime.

    Héctor Méndez, head of the Argentine Industrial Union, publicly admitted what everyone knew: to get public works under the Kirchner government, officials pretty much demanded a bribe. And that the practice was the country's worst-kept secret. No surprise there.

    News: ' El ex titular de la UIA Héctor Méndez admitió que entre los empresarios se llamaba a la obra pública “movicom” porque “va con el 15 adelante”, en referencia a las coimas que debían pagarse a funcionarios K........se le preguntó si en su sector era conocido el pedido de retornos por parte de funcionarios, manifestó: “Esto se sabía, era vox populi”. '

    He went on to say that there was a sort of pact of silence and that the culture of kickbacks was, well, we would say that it is the inveterate nature of the argentos to cultivate and maintain a climate of bribery. It's in their DNA and defines the national concept of morality. The judiciary under the KK government certainly didn't make a point of challenging the corruption that everyone knew about.

    Widespread. ¿ Entendés qué és 'widespread', Axis?

    Curiously, some of the public works that were going to be done under the recent Kirchner government are being re-competed. And the bids by qualified providers are coming in about 30 percent less. No kickbacks? How can we explain this? New government?

    Jun 20th, 2016 - 01:51 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • axel arg

    MARTIN LLAZO.
    Perhaps you are a good example of what i said in my comment 29, i mean those hypocrite people who just complain about the corruption cases that involve kirchnerism, however, they never show the same indignation when people like Macri, or some other conservative is involved in a corruption denounce.
    On the other hand, i would never put my hands on fire to defend the honesty of any politician, although i feel identified with kirchnerism in ideological terms, if justice finds enough prooves to say that a politician is guilty, i won't move not even one finger to ask for his liberation, what i won't never stop defending, are many of the things done along these 12 years and half of kirchnerism.
    Beside, if you weren't so ignorant, you would know that none of the governments since 1983 has done anything to finish with corruption, not just C. F. K., anyway, as you are a hypocrite, it's understandable whether you keep on blaming f. p. v. only, let me tell you that there are many other cynics like you in this country, and in all the rest of the world.

    Jun 20th, 2016 - 03:24 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    @31

    I'm curious. Do you think there is no or less corruption under Macri and his government than under the K's? What about the other governments before 2003?

    Are there any trustworthy politicians in Argentina?

    Jun 20th, 2016 - 08:22 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Marti Llazo

    @32 So, Axis, in fewer words, you acknowledge that since the end of the last military regime, the entire spectrum of political and economic activity in Argentina is beset by massive corruption. And we know that during most of that time, Peronism has been the dominant political force that correlates to that massive degree of pervasive corruption that we have seen since 1983 and which we are still observing today. (Con más abundancia de lo esperado o de lo debido.....)

    Implicit in Axis' mention of 1983 is the assumption that during the military government, much more was done to put an end to corruption in the country.

    On the other hand, we can view the degree of corruption in Argentina from a comparative standpoint, where Peronismo in general is corrupt as a 9 out of 10, El Frente Para La Verguenza is corrupt as a 10 out of 10, and the remainder are corrupt, on average, as what? As 5 out of 10?

    Corrupción, vuestro nombre es Argentina.

    Jun 21st, 2016 - 01:09 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • imoyaro

    @34
    Here's another of the achievements he keeps mentioning. Pocketing the money for 1800+ houses that should have been built for the poor is most certainly an impressive achievement! Note that the source is a pro Kirchner rag...

    http://www.buenosairesherald.com/article/216562/%E2%80%98auditors-said-that-they-didn%E2%80%99t-control-the-projects-due-to-orders-from-above%E2%80%99

    Jun 22nd, 2016 - 04:22 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Marti Llazo

    The same pro-Kirchner rag covering the discovery of the three vaults at that “convent” which turns out to be a semi-secret meeting-place for the Kirchner mob:

    “Three vaults monitored by security cameras were discovered by Federal Police officers at the convent in General Rodríguez yesterday, where the now incarcerated former Kirchnerite Public Works secretary José López was caught stashing large sums of money last week.

    ”Clergy officials also revealed that both former Federal Planning minister Julio De Vido and current Victory Front (FpV) Santa Cruz Governor Alicia Kirchner had visited the monastery in the past, as the case threatened to escalate and drag more Kirchnerite officials into the list of those already affected.”

    Likely now that Argentine catholic church leaders are going to be implicated before long, though some are insisting that the vaults were supposed to be for crypts. The money-sniffing police dogs reportedly suggest otherwise.

    Jun 22nd, 2016 - 02:07 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Mendoza Canadian

    I think axl arg is Axel Kicillof late of the ministry of economy. In # 30 he said ”On the other hand, although i must recognize that it was a very big hit against us... Us? mmmm....

    Jun 23rd, 2016 - 07:20 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Marti Llazo

    Axel K doesn't write or speak very good English. But then neither does our own forero, Axis. Axel K is thick -- he never learned to tie a tie knot -- but probably not so foolish as to use a nick so close to his real name.

    Jun 24th, 2016 - 12:36 am - Link - Report abuse 0

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