More than 150 members of the National Gendarmerie (Border Guards) carried out raids at least nine locations linked to Hugo Moyano's Camioneros truck-drivers' union on Monday, as part of a criminal investigation into an alleged illicit association involving the Independiente Football Club.
The raids, ordered by prosecutor Sebastián Scalera from Court No. 9 of Lomas de Zamora, covered a total of nine locations – two in Buenos Aires Province and seven others in Buenos Aires City – that act as headquarters for the powerful union group.
The case is probing Hugo and Pablo Moyano – who are both leaders of the union, as well as holding executive positions with the legendary Avellaneda club – for allegedly "validating criminal actions" carried out by the Primera División's hooligan gang, or barrabrava.
The raids come in the wake of a new statement from Pablo 'Bebote' Álvarez, a former leader of the barrabrava turned state's witness, who implicated the Moyanos in criminal wrongdoing. The duo deny the allegations.
"If Macri wants to put me in jail, they should do it," said Hugo Moyano, a former leader of the CGT umbrella union grouping and a hugely influential labour leader. "They don't dare."
Moyano, who originally supported Macri in his campaign to win the presidency in December, 2015, has since become a strong critic of the government.
The veteran union leader has already announced he will likely support former president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner (2007-2015) in October's vote, despite the fact that she has not yet confirmed she will run.
"What they are doing today is a product of the general 'parazo' that the Argentines did last week," Pablo Moyano told the C5N Channel, referring to a strike held six days ago by several unions against the Macri administration's policies. He described the operation as "circus" and said the government was seeking retribution for the shutdown.
Moyano Jnr later said the government was "worse than the dictatorship," a reference to the 1976-1983 junta that ruled Argentina and conducted a campaign of state terrorism that human rights advocates say left at least 30,000 individuals dead.
Hugo Moyano later accused Security Minister Patricia Bullrich of seeking "revenge" with the raids.