On May 13, 2018, the Argentine authorities opened an investigation into the Hotesur case in which former President Cristina Fernandez and her family are involved
The Hotesur case is not an issue foreign to all Argentines, given that many of the investigations that Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and her family have come from this hotel chain. Since 2014, Argentine parliamentarians have requested that the former president be investigated for allegedly money laundering in the facilities belonging to the Hotesur chain. This chain of hotels was founded by the Kirchner family, which has hotels all over Argentina. However, now the hotel that is in the sights of the authorities, properly with Judge Ercolini, is the Alto Calafate hotel.
According to Judge Ercolini, the Alto Calafate Hotel was used as a façade for money laundering from bribes, public business, biddings such as Odebrecht and in general all kinds of businesses with an illegal conciliation in between. The evidence that founded this investigation are ghost reservations at the Alto Calafate Hotel. That is, reservations that are supposed to be made in certain hours and dates that do not exist or guests who entered the hotel, but the amount of the reservation does not correspond with the length of the stay of the guests.
According to BioBioChile, in the document delivered by Judge Ercolini it is reported that "the Kirchner family created a 'complex network of companies' with the aim of 'putting into circulation in the market part of the profits obtained as a result of the fraud to the State'".
But what does the previous statement mean? When a company complex is created, more specifically hotelier, some main facilities are created. After a while, small franchises are created where the buyer of the franchise has the right to use the name of the founding company, in addition to receiving specific requirements such as the shape of the rooms or reception.
However, in a corporate complex it is very easy to carry out money laundering since the money from bribes is put in as profits of the company, money that is going to be used to give change to the guests, to buy food and necessary objects in a hotel, for payroll, maintenance payment, etc. For this reason, it is so difficult to detect money laundering in corporate complexes, as it is not known where the money ended and who is responsible for money laundering.
According to the newspaper El Clarín, this time the investigated are: former president Cristina Fernández, her children Florencia and Máximo Kirchner, the businessmen Lázaro Báez and Osvaldo Sanfelice, Romina Mercado, niece of Néstor Kirchner, and the accountant Víctor Manzanares.
How does this affect former President Kirchner?
The effect of this scandal will not go beyond an ethical issue, because since last year Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner is Senator for the Argentine 'Justicialista' Party. That is, according to Argentine law, every Argentine senator enjoys parliamentary jurisdiction, which is why any attempt to have the former president arrested for the Hotesur case would be frustrated until it is voted in the Argentine Senate.
Now the balance in the Senate is very balanced, as the ‘Oficialismo’ has 25 chairs while the party of the former president has 24 chairs. So, it would not be possible to reach an absolute majority at the time of prosecuting Cristina Fernández.
Latin American Post | Miguel Díaz
Translated from "Hotesur: un nuevo escándalo de corrupción sacude a la Familia Kirchner"