The Argentinian Abundance: Macri’s Secret Offshore Companies Listed in the Panama Papers
President Mauricio Macri has, as promised, put Argentina in the covers of the most prestigious international newspapers. Just not in the way his supporters expected.
The financial documents leaked by the ICIJ, the Panama Papers, are out and Mauricio Macri is named as Director and Vice-President in two offshore companies, Fleg Trading Ltd and Kagemusha. The first existed between the years 1998 to 2009, and the second is listed as still active.
When Macri was elected Governor for Buenos Aires in 2007 he did not disclose his association with neither of them.
The Anti-corruption Office Director, Laura Alonso, was the first one to run to Twitter and clarify that offshore companies were not illegal per se. She was quickly followed by Macri’s spokesperson, Iván Pavlovsk, who added that the new President had not participated monetarily in the enterprise, he had just done so in name as an occasional administrator. No mention has been made regarding the second company, discovered a few hours after the first one hit the news.
Macri, who won the elections three months ago with an initial 34% of the votes and 51,4% in the second round (due to Argentina’s ballotage system), has seen his support steadily decline after applying what is considered anti-democratic measures through direct decree, massive layoffs, price increases and a devaluation averaging 40%. According to a recent conservative poll, since the beginning of his term there were 1,4 million new people living in poverty.
As this is being written (the day after the papers were made public), there has been little to no mention of the President’s offshore companies in the headlines of the biggest Argentinian newspapers (La Nacion, Infobae and Clarin, among others,) concentrated instead in any possible links to the previous presidency and repeating to exhaustion Macri’s official explanation that he has done nothing wrong. Comments have been disabled for articles that mention Macri’s involvement or are being regularly deleted.
This is what free media looks like in the South of the continent. We will have to wait and see how the story unfolds and do so using alternative outlets.