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ARGENTINA | 11-09-2023 17:02

Antonio Aracre, former advisor to President Alberto Fernández, indicted for alleged sexual abuse

Antonio Aracre, ex-CEO of Syngenta agricultural firm and former chief advisor to President Alberto Fernández, indicted for alleged sexual abuse of 17-year-old.

Antonio Aracre, a business leader and former chief advisor to President Alberto Fernández, has been indicted in a case accusing him of having sexually abused a 17-year-old adolescent.

As part of the investigation, Buenos Aires City Police searched two flats belonging to the former government official (Arévalo 1375 and Beruti 3300 block) on Sunday afternoon in search of evidence.

According to reporting based on police sources, City police officers seized mattresses, towels, underwear, garments, electronic items and a BMW car for subsequent biological analysis, as well as film material from the security camera in the entrance lobby of the apartment building. 

A preliminary analysis of a car found relevant biological tissue, Perfil reported.

Following the raids, police said the former chief advisor to the current head of state was not detained but he was placed under indictment. A restraining order is in place against the former official banning him from approaching the alleged victim or their partner or attending places where they previously visited.

According to the information from police sources reported by Noticias Argentinas news agency, the charges were presented by the mother of the youth.

The mother reported an incident that took place on Friday, September 8, when her son and his boyfriend, aged 18, interviewed Aracre on political issues at a downtown London City café on Avenida de Mayo and Perú.

After the older youth left, Aracre allegedly persuaded the victim to accompany him to his flat on Arévalo 1375 where the abuse reportedly occurred.

The former official is then said to have returned the victim to his home in Palermo, upon which the 17-year-old reported the incident to his mother. They filed a complaint with the police and attended a health centre, which identified signs of sexual activity.

The Juzgado en lo Nacional y Criminal No. 32 under magistrate Santiago Quian Zavalía and Secretaria No. 114 under Santiago Poncio are in charge of the case.

Aracre, previously the CEO of Syngenta agro-industrial multinational, was appointed chief presidential advisor last February to replace Julián Leunda but lasted little over 10 weeks in the post, resigning amid friction with Economy Minister Sergio Massa, who has since become the presidential candidate for Unión por la Patria.

The businessman ended a three-decade career with Syngenta, including 12 years leading its business in Latin America, to join the government.

Openly gay and seen as a rare LGBT+ voice among business leaders, Aracre was the third chief advisor to serve under the president. 

He was seen as a rare business-friendly voice in the administration and his presence within the government was criticised by some sectors of the ruling coalition, particularly Kirchernerites.

In recent weeks, he had declared his support for opposition leader Patricia Bullrich and her presidential candidacy.



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