Sunday, January 10, 2016

Chapo captured, the campaigning fugitives in Argentina

Sean Penn of all people did an interview with Sinaloan drug cartel boss "El Chapo" Guzmán before he was recaptured: El Chapo Speaks Rolling Stone 01/09/2016. It's an interesting read. But Senn makes it very clear that the conditions imposed by Guzmán meant that he was largely presenting his own version of his story with little if any probing questioning.

The interview was a joint project of Sean Penn's with the famous Mexican actress and producer Kate de Castillo. Kate starred in the film Under the Same Moon. She also played a drug "lordess" (I don't remember seeing that word before the Penn article) in the telenovelas La Reina del Sur and Dueños del Paraíso.

The three fugitives in Argentina that escaped from a high-security prison in Buenos Aires Province were briefly reported captured on Saturday. But the news turned out to be 2/3 premature (A victory turns into an embarrassing failure: two fugitives remain at large Buenos Aires Herald 01/10/2016):

The nearly two-week manhunt appeared to have finally come to an end in the afternoon, when several police and top politicians said authorities had arrested Víctor Schillaci and brothers Martín and Cristian Lanatta. The men escaped from the General Alvear prison in Buenos Aires province on December 27.

A couple of hours later, Security Minister Patricia Bullrich, confirmed that Martín Lanatta was the only one arrested and that he was on his way to Buenos Aires City.
The two brothers Lanatta had claimed that the Peronist candidate for BA Province Governor, Aníbal Fernández, had ordered the murders they had been convicted of committing. There was no proof offered other than their claim, which had never come up at trial. But the brothers appeared on television making the claim last year, which became a significant issue in the campaign.

This Guardian article gives background, although it was written based on the reports that all three fugitives had been captured, Fugitive killers recaptured after 13-day manhunt that gripped Argentina 01/09/2016:

The trio were convicted over the 2008 killing of three businessmen in the pharmaceutical industry who were allegedly linked to an ephedrine trafficking gang, in a high-profile case dubbed “the triple murder”. Ephedrine is used for the production of methamphetamine.

Their escape came two weeks after President Mauricio Macri took office. The daring prison break raised suspicions of outside help and a blame game erupted between Macri and officials in the government of the former president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner.

“Drug-trafficking has grown in the last decade like never before in our country because of the inaction or complicity of the last government,” Macri said this week, vowing to take on the traffickers.

In August, two months before the presidential election, Martín Lanatta alleged Fernández’s cabinet chief, Aníbal Fernández, was involved in the ephedrine trade and ordered the triple murder.

Aníbal Fernández has rigorously denied the accusation and prosecutors have not investigated the claim. The then ruling party said the allegation was designed to hurt its presidential candidates and derail Aníbal Fernández’s bid to become governor of Buenos Aires province.
Fernández posted this article on his Facebook page: Gabriela Cerruti, Las conexiones entre los prófugos, Cambiemos y Lanata-Wiñazki
10.01.2016; also in Conexiones entre prófugos, Lanata, Macri y Wiñazki Taringa! 10.01.2016 without the writer attributed. It reports that the one escapee really captured, Martín Lanatta, has apprehended at a property whose "dueña es Viviana Agusti, secretaria de gobierno de la Comuna de Cayastá, amiga de Nicolás Wiñazki, el periodista de Canal 13 que entrevistó a los hemanos Lanatta en el programa Periodismo Para todos" ("owner is Viviana Agusti, secretary of the government of the community of Cayastá, friend of Nicolás Wiñazki, the reporter from Canal 13 who interviewed the brothers Lanatta in the program Periodismo Para [T]odos"). reports that part of the story in Martín Lanatta fue detenido en el campo de una amiga de Nicolás Wiñazki09.01.2016.

As Raúl Kollmann reports in Huyó, volcó y lo pescaron Página/12 10.01.2016, the latest cock-up in the case where the authorities reported all three captured but later only one was a continuing embarrassment for the national government of President Mauricio Macri:

El presidente Mauricio Macri y los más altos funcionarios del país y la provincia de Buenos Aires se felicitaron entre ellos por la captura de los tres prófugos, mientras el Ministerio de Seguridad le informaba al juez Sergio Torres de las tres capturas. Sin embargo, horas más tarde el jefe de la policía de Santa Fe y luego el de la Federal, Román Di Santo, tuvieron que rectificarse: “Hay un solo detenido”. El estupor recorrió la tarde y los funcionarios empezaron a mirarse entre ellos y a cruzar acusaciones.

[President Mauricio Macri and the highest functionaries of the country and the Province of Buenos Aires congratulated each other for the capture of the three fugitives, while the Miniter of Security informed the judge Sergio Torres of the three captures. Nevertheless, hours later the chief of police of Santa Fe and later that of the federal government, Román Di Santo, had to correct themselves: "The is only one person arrested." The astonishment recurred in the afternoon and the functionaires start point fingers at each other and exchange accusations.]
Kollmann also observes that the resources on which the three fugitives have drawn so far, while sufficient to keep them all three at large for 13 days, were not of a quantity and sophistication that might be expected of a narcotics operation like that of which they were alleged to be a part.

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