Buenos Aires Times


Donor scandal: Union boss denies Cambiemos campaign contribution

Money from alleged fake donors was used to fund the campaigns of Cambiemos candidates in Buenos Aires province.

Wednesday 11 July, 2018
President Mauricio Macri and union leader Ramón Ayala.
President Mauricio Macri and union leader Ramón Ayala. Foto:Facebook

“I never gave a cent”, was how Ramón Ayala, the head of the Argentine Rural Workers Union (UATRE) responded to revelations that his name had appeared in a list of 2017 mid-term election campaign donors.

An investigation is underway into the financial activity of the Cambiemos (Let’s Change) congressional coalition during its 2017 mid-term election campaign in Buenos Aires province. The coalition that secured Mauricio Macri’s 2015 presidential win is alleged to have laundered money by falsifying donation receipts using the names and details of low-income welfare recipients.

Ayala appears in a list of donors as having donated 5,000 pesos.

“I never donated to the Cambiemos campaign. We worked for it and supported it but we did not donate money”, he told FM La Patriada, whose journalists Juan Amorín and Rocío Criado were the ones to deliver Ayala the news that his name had appeared on the list of donors.

“Really? It’s news to me”, he said. “It’s difficult to get money out of me”.

Federal prosecutor Carlos Stornelli has requested the auditing of campaign finances and an investigation into the structure of the campaign’s accounting and financial teams.

Four hundred people were listed as donors without knowing, with these fake donors appearing in financial statements as having given anywhere from AR$ 300 to AR$ 5,000, for a total of at least AR $300,000, the news site El Destape reported.

The money was then allegedly used to fund the campaigns of candidates Gladys González, Esteban Bullrich, Graciela Ocaña, and Héctor “Toty” Flores, all of whom won their respective races.

The complaint was made by the La Alameda political-activist group and picked up by the anti-Macri news platform El Destape.

One branch of case is currently in the hands of prosecutor Jorge Di Lello in Buenos Aires City and another with judge Sebastián Casanello. However, it may be moved to provincial jurisdiction, given the connections between the alleged laundering of funds and the 2017 election of candidates representing that province.



Top Stories

  1. 1Regional leaders to bury UNASUR, launch new PROSUR alliance on FridayRegional leaders to bury UNASUR, launch new PROSUR alliance on Friday
  2. 2Unemployment in last quarter of 2018 reached 9.1 percent, says INDEC
  3. 3Local producers concerned over tariff-free Brazil-US agreement for wheat
  4. 4BA's premier film festival BAFICI adds new venues, open-air screenings
  5. 5CFK publishes Florencia's medical records in bid to dismiss rumours
  6. 6Government renews its firepower as inflation picks up pace
  7. 7Economy set for slow recovery in 2019, experts say
  8. 8Congress honours Irish-Argentine newspaper, The Southern Cross, with exhibition
  9. 9Prosecutors request arrest of Techint CEO Paolo Rocca
  10. 10Nicaragua added to blacklist for failing to uphold human rights