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Sat Jan 13, 2018, 01:01 AM

Former Argentine Vice President Amado Boudou freed after appeals court slams "unfounded" ruling

Former Argentine Vice President Amado Boudou was freed yesterday following 70 days in prison after a federal appeals court overturned his detention as "utterly unfounded."

Boudou was detained at his home on November 3 but was not under formal investigation by the courts. Judge Ariel Lijo reportedly explained to him that he "was given no choice" - in reference to the right-wing Mauricio Macri administration.

Boudou, 55, had served as social security agency director, economy minister, and vice president in the center-left administration of Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, Macri's predecessor and chief political rival.

His nationalization of bankrupt private pension funds during the 2008 global crisis was widely credited with saving the nation's pension system; but his 2011-15 tenure as vice president was dogged by influence peddling allegations over the 2010 federal bailout of a printing contractor.

His recent arrest was on no specific charges, but instead on a presumption of “possible future obstruction of justice” - a concept so novel in Argentine jurisprudence, Judge Lijo could only cite the arrest of Congressman Julio de Vido, a another prominent former Kirchner official, on the same grounds a week earlier as precedent.

"The detention was utterly unfounded," the court stated in its ruling, noting that the defendant has complied with all court orders.

"The judge (Lijo), in 70 days, has not so much as issued a clear indictment - such that he either had no probable cause with which to link the accused to the alleged crimes, or had no real urgency to act as the judge claims."

Both Boudou and Congressman de Vido, who's 67 and diabetic, were denied the customary benefit of house arrest - a benefit Macri and close allies like Congresswoman Elisa Carrió, who spearheaded de Vido's expulsion from the House, have been actively seeking for the 733 officers convicted of human rights atrocities during the 1976-83 dictatorship.

"What matters is what's at stake for the country," Boudou said. "We are dealing with a system that is overturning the presumption of innocence and has more to do with denigration than with justice. The judiciary is committing abuses."

Boudou joined his fiancée, Mexican-born Mónica García de la Fuente, at their Buenos Aires home, where she's expecting twins.


Former Vice President Amado Boudou leaves jail. The presumption of innocence, he said, is being overturned.

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Reply Former Argentine Vice President Amado Boudou freed after appeals court slams "unfounded" ruling (Original post)
sandensea Jan 2018 OP
Judi Lynn Jan 2018 #1
sandensea Jan 2018 #2

Response to sandensea (Original post)

Sat Jan 13, 2018, 11:35 PM

1. You could put everyone in the world away on a charge of possible future obstruction of justice."

Absolutely evil. They only reason they can do this is by virtue of commanding all the power in the country.

This could happen anywhere the leaders were dirty enough to try it.

Pure muscle-flexing, nothing less. Macri is showing the world he doesn't even need to wait until his people can make something up, or else "frame" a political opponent, as they see him/her, fas long as he has crooked judges in his pocket.

It's almost enough to make a person weep, reading the following, from the article:

Judge Lijo could only cite the arrest of Congressman Julio de Vido, a another prominent former Kirchner official, on the same grounds a week earlier as precedent.

Judge Ariel Lijo

So Macri and his mob hate Amado Boudou because, as one example, he favors democratising the national pension plan, similar to creating a Social Security program, right?

Fascists are the same everywhere. They are ALL going to lose, eventually, because they are in no way democratic, they are murderous thieves and greedy scum, and they will perish, in the end. It won't be pretty. The good people of the world vastly outnumber them, and the monsters can't corrupt them all, not ever.

This next step is amazing, sandensea. It's a real education seeing a new fascist regime trying to gain brutal ascendancy successfully. Thank you so much for shining the light we all need.

What happens in Argentina most certainly connects with what's happening here.

Thank you.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Reply #1)

Sun Jan 14, 2018, 12:17 AM

2. True. Boudou's real "crime" was indeed renationalizing insolvent private pensions.

Menem, you may recall, introduced Chilean-style private pension schemes (known as AFJPs) in 1994 on the advice of the World Bank and IMF.

Though initially popular, AFJP accounts were subject to exorbitant commissions - at least 30% of total monthly contributions, and as high as 54%.

The AFJPs, moreover, were often fraudulently run (more on that below). They also suffered huge losses during the 1998-2002 crisis, such that by 2008 the state subsidized 77% of the funds' beneficiaries, including 40% whose annuities could not cover minimum monthly pensions, at a cost of $3 billion in taxpayer money annually.

Chile's experience has been similar (so much for "private" ). Their copper earnings, however, are more than enough to cover their pension commission problem - a facility Argentina doesn't really have.

Following Boudou's advice, in October 2008 Cristina Kirchner nationalized private pensions. These accounts were transferred to the ANSES social security agency, while leaving contributors the freedom to invest in private pension funds (not many did).

As you can imagine, the banks were pissed. They had been accustomed to using the AFJPs as dumpsters for their bad stock picks, since the AFJP managers would often buy falling stocks without too many questions (often in return for a bribe).

Once this scam was curtailed by nationalizing the AFJPs, they vowed revenge - and attempted to bankrupt the newly nationalized funds (which were heavily invested in stocks) by triggering a panic.

Boudou's steady hand as ANSES director at the time forced them to relent, causing stock prices to spring back and thus saving the funds.

Of course, he's certainly not the only former Kirchner official to have been jailed on trumped-up charges (or sometimes, no charge at all).

A few have been properly convicted, with evidence, on corruption charges (as they should be); but they are very much the exception - to say nothing of the fact that Macri and several in his cabinet and inner business/family circle would be as well if the judiciary functioned properly.

"There is nothing to celebrate," Boudou noted after being freed. "We must endeavor to have no political prisoners in Argentina because our democracy can't allow it."

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