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forest444

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Member since: Tue Dec 30, 2014, 06:11 PM
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As revenue falls below inflation, tax burden in Argentina shifts from agro-exporters to consumers.

The Argentine Federal Revenue Agency (AFIP) reported that federal revenues in June rose by 24% from the same time a year ago, for a total of 174.6 billion pesos ($12.3 billion).

The figure is an improvement from May, when revenues rose by a meager 17.9% over a year earlier; but for the fifth straight month they fell far short of inflation, which according to the Economy Ministry at the City of Buenos Aires (whose mayor is a close ally of right-wing President Mauricio Macri), reached 44.5% in May.

Assuming yearly inflation in June remained the same (it is likely higher, given the preliminary data), federal revenues thus fell by 14% in real terms and by 21% in dollar terms over June 2015.

AFIP Director Alberto Abad justified the shortfall by pointing out that "we are seeing the effects of the tax cuts and all the other changes made;" but admitted that "with economic activity flat and consumption falling, revenue collections followed accordingly."

The report also revealed that trends differed widely among the major federal revenue streams. Social security contributions rose 37.3% to 42.5 billion pesos ($3 billion); value-added taxes, by 38.2% to 33.3 billion pesos ($2.4 billion); and wealth taxes (assets and accounts), by 41.2% to 14.4 billion pesos ($1 billion).

Income tax revenue rose by a disappointing 13.8% to 49 billion pesos ($3.5 billion) however. This represented a 21% reduction in real terms, the result of Macri tax cuts mostly benefiting those earning over 30,000 pesos ($2,100) a month - nearly twice the median full-time income in Argentina - as well as a sharp fall in real incomes themselves of at least 11%.

This reduction nevertheless paled in comparison with the one enjoyed by exporters, whose witholdings plummeted by 52.6% to 4.9 billion pesos ($350 million) - the lowest figure, in dollar terms, in a decade. The Macri administration sharply reduced withholding taxes on most grain and oilseed exports by decree the day after taking office seven months ago.

The aim was to incentivize agricultural exports, which were 18% higher during the first half of 2016 ($13.3 billion, or 42% of the total) than the same time last year. Central Bank data, however, suggest that the additional $2 billion in exports were mostly wired abroad, since capital flight actually increased to $3 billion last quarter.

Import taxes, on the other hand, jumped by 64.1% to 4.7 billion pesos ($330 million) due to Macri's devaluation (which raised the cost of imports in pesos by over 50%) as well as higher import volumes as a result of free trade policies. Local manufacturers have cut output by around 5% since the beginning of the year, with many industry managers citing both flat demand and rising imports as causes.

At: https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=es&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.politicargentina.com%2Fnotas%2F201607%2F15112-la-recaudacion-impositiva-crecio-solo-un-24.html&sandbox=1

Offices of Tiempo Argentino, a Buenos Aires newspaper critical of Macri, ransacked.

The production offices of Tiempo Argentino, a Buenos Aires newspaper critical of the right-wing Mauricio Macri administration, and its companion radio station, Radio América, were ransacked early on Monday morning. Furniture, fixtures, computers, server, documents, and communications equipment were destroyed.

The attack took place at around 12:30 a.m. at the newspaper's sole location, a small office building in the largely residential Palermo section of Buenos Aires. Several men in ski masks broke into the office through the entrance to the radio station and forced the three newspaper employees sleeping inside out onto the sidewalk before vandalizing the premises.

Founded in 2010, its 125 employees formed a workers' self-management cooperative after its previous owner, Matías Garfunkel, sold the newspaper in February. They took turns guarding the production office at night as a result of both reiterated threats and a dispute with the buyer, Mariano Martínez Rojas, who according to employees has carried out asset stripping at the newspaper with the goal of closing it.

Martínez Rojas was present at the time of the attack, which according to employees was allowed to take place by police in their refusal to intervene or to allow employees to intervene. Police eventually mediated an exit with the vandals; but not before considerable damage had been inflicted. Police were later filmed escorting a number of vandals out without issuing arrests and without removing their ski masks. Martínez Rojas escaped without arrest.

Police refused to comment; but the assistant manager of the city's Social Communications Office, pro-Macri propagandist Yamil Santoro, dismissed the incident as "a problem between two private parties." While he described Martínez Rojas' use of vandals as "illegal," Santoro defended the decision not to arrest them, calling the vandalism "not flagrant."

The president of the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, Hebe de Bonafini, spoke in support of the newspaper's employees and tied the attack to the Macri administration, whom she likened "to the last dictatorship, with the exception the thy're not killing people - yet." The attack, she said, "was exactly like those that took place during the dictatorship, when they'd force their way into homes and offices and destroy everything." Bonafini lost two sons and a daughter-in-law during the Dirty War in 1977, and co-founded the world-renowned human rights organization she still heads.

The attack came the day after Tiempo Argentino revealed that Shell Argentina profited by $100 million after Energy Minister Juan José Aranguren decided to import natural gas from a Chilean company purchased by Shell Argentina just months before the newly-elected Macri appointed Aranguren Energy Minister. The purchase resulted in higher prices for consumers in Argentina, where it's now winter, because gas from Bolivia (the country's normal supplier) is 56% cheaper.

Speaking at a press conference hosted by the Buenos Aires Journalists Union (SIPREBA) the following morning, the president of the Más Tiempo cooperative, Javier Borelli, described the incident as a "violation of our rights by both management and the state, of which we expect that our security be guaranteed."

Borelli explained that Martínez Rojas was able to elude arrest by showing police a false lease agreement when, according to Borelli, "no current lease agreement exists between Martínez Rojas and building's owners."

"The damage was inflicted with the goal of stopping the publication of Tiempo Argentino," Borelli said. "We were about to improve our daily online edition, and this complicates that as well as our weekly newsprint edition distributed every Sunday."

Borelli, however, assured that publication will continue. A special newsprint edition is being prepared for Tuesday, July 5.

At: https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=es&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.diarioregistrado.com%2Fsociedad%2F-el-dano-fue-para-impedir-que-tiempo-pueda-seguir-saliendo-_a577a673dcfe4c87c72d757be
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Tiempo Argentino's Facebook page (if you'd like something translated, please ask): https://www.facebook.com/DiarioTiempoArgentino/?fref=ts

Linda Burney becomes first Indigenous woman elected to Australia's lower house.

Source: The Guardian

Australia will have the first Indigenous woman elected to the lower house of the federal parliament, with Linda Burney claiming victory in the marginal seat of Barton.

Burney, the former deputy leader of the New South Wales Labor party, called her election in the southern Sydney seat on Saturday night.

The Wiradjuri woman resigned from the NSW parliament in March and announced she was running for the federal seat of Barton. The seat was a marginal Liberal one but after redistribution became a notionally marginal Labor seat.

Burney claimed victory after 7pm on Saturday. “Wonderful, wonderful,” Burney told Sky News.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2016/jul/02/linda-burney-first-indigenous-woman-elected-australia-lower-house



Argentina's Macri: "If I said what would happen, people would've voted to put me away in a nuthouse"

Speaking in Buenos Aires to a gathering of the Christian Association of Business Leaders - a business roundtable close to the far-right Catholic sect Opus Dei - Argentine President Mauricio Macri admitted that "if I said what would happen, people would've voted to put me away in a madhouse."

The phrase, part of a private speech in which the embattled Macri exhorted executives to "share in the effort" to reverse the sharp increase in unemployment since he took office seven months ago, recalled a similar quote often attributed to former President Carlos Menem: "if I told people what I would do, no one would have voted for me."

The latter quote, which was often used against the populist-turned-privatizer Menem, was actually said in his defense by one of his well-known supporters, tennis great Guillermo Vilas, in a 1989 interview. Menem himself never publicly said those words; Macri, however, did.

The president's admission comes on the heels of a deep recession triggered by his December 17 decision to devalue the peso by 40% in one day, as well as subsidy cuts and other austerity measures that have more than doubled public transport fares and raised utility rates by over 300%. The austerity plan - enacted in direct contradiction to reiterated campaign promises - has also triggered a wave of small-business bankruptcies, the loss of at least 150,000 jobs, and an inflation rate of 45%.

The Macri administration's claim that GDP grew 0.5% in the first quarter from the same time a year ago was likewise met with skepticism. "Considering the cuts implemented by the administration and their impact on prices," industrial economist Mariano Kestelboim observed, "it's striking that their estimates would show government consumption rising by 2.7% or private consumption by 1.1%."

Consumer confidence, meanwhile, has languished since April at 30% below the level registered when Macri was elected last November according to the market-friendly Di Tella University. A recent poll by Isonomía showed that 47% of Argentines feel they are worse off today than when Macri took office in December, with only 9% saying they are better off. A whopping 80% of respondents stated that Macri has failed to live up to their expectations.

At: https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=es&u=http://www.24con.com/nota/150518-si-decia-lo-que-iba-a-hacer-me-encerraban-en-un-manicomio/&prev=search

And: https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=es&u=http://www.noticiasurbanas.com.ar/noticias/segundo-semestre-igual-o-peor/&prev=search

Macri electoral reform bill raises questions over electronic voting, campaign finance.

The electoral reform bill introduced last week in Argentina by the Mauricio Macri administration is likely to have smooth sailing in Congress; but opposition leaders expressed doubts over the draft bill’s proposals for an electronic voting system.

The bill, which would amend the Political Parties Financing Law signed in 2009, also included campaign finance reform proposals that are mostly of a voluntary nature. These were also met with skepticism, given that financial reports from all the main parties — including President Macri's PRO — have been plagued with irregularities.

In the case of the PRO-led "Let’s Change" coalition, its titular financial officers were two retired women, aged 68 and 82, with no official affiliation with the party. These revelations come less than three months after the Chequeado fact-checking website revealed that Macri had received almost three million pesos ($320,000) in cash donations from government contractors ahead of the 2015 presidential elections, which is illegal in Argentina.

These and other irregularities were confirmed by the auditor’s body at National Electoral Court (CNE) that is now reviewing the financial reports submitted by the country’s political parties after the PASO primaries held in August last year.

Federal prosecutor Jorge di Lello responded to news of alleged illegal practices spotted in Macri’s right-wing PRO; but also in financial reports filed by the center-left Victory Front (FpV) candidate Daniel Scioli and the centrist Renewal Front leader Sergio Massa. “Either those doing the accounting don’t know their maths, or there’s something strange going on,” di Lello told Radio del Plata. “Campaign financing is the greatest corruption phenomenon in the country.”

Interior Minister Rogelio Frigerio and Political Affairs Secretary Adrián Pérez touted the bill's anti-corruption provisions such as expanding the National Electoral Court (CNE) audit council from seven to 24 members. Auditors have been requesting an expansion in the council to help speed the review of the staggering 3,727 financial reports filed last year at the national, provincial, and municipal levels.

Experts in political financing have said campaign expenses and contributions in last year’s elections were underreported, suggesting the declared funds amounted to less than 10% of the total. Macri's presidential campaign, for instance, declared expenses of only 27 million pesos ($2.9 million at that time) and 22 million pesos in private contributions.

But activities such as opinion polls, political consultancy services, rallies, and payments for prime-time TV spots are rarely detailed in these reports. The PRO declared 92 million pesos ($10 million) in unspecified "party development" expenses during 2015.

Electronic voting

The government-sponsored bill calls on replacing the existing paper ballots currently in use in most of the provinces with a fully electronic system befor the 2017 mid-term elections. Electronic voting in Argentina was first used in Salta Province in 2009, and extended to the Buenos Aires mayoral election last year.

The Macri administration touts electronic voting as a way to achieve greater “transparency and agility” during the vote count. Proposals for electronic voting came under fire last year, however, after a Buenos Aires IT security professional (Joaquín Sorianello) discovered and reported vulnerabilities in the electronic system used in the Buenos Aires mayoral elections (which the ruling party candidate narrowly won despite being behind in most polls).

Once the vulnerabilities - including exposed SSL keys and ways to forge ballots with multiple votes - were reported to the manufacturer of the voting machines ("Magic Software Argentina" and the media, Macri - who was mayor at the time - ordered Sorianello detained and his computers and electronic devices impounded.

Justicialist (Peronist) Party legal counsel Jorge Landau said the Macri administration should not rush to implement the electronic system. “Since we’re talking about a new, unknown tool for most Argentines, there should be only a progressive implementation of the measure — they way they did in Salta,” Landau said, adding that “Brazil took eight years to switch from paper ballots to the electronic system.”

At: http://buenosairesherald.com/article/216914/electoral-bill-raises-questions-on-electronic-voting-campaign-financing

Argentine judge okays inspection of three years of President Macri's financial disclosure statements

Argentine Federal Judge Sebastián Casanello has ordered that President Mauricio Macri’s sworn financial disclosure statements from 2013 to 2015 be analyzed in order to determine whether Macri “maliciously omitted information” or if there is missing data in his patrimony records.

Knowingly filing false financial disclosures by a public official, or a candidates to said office, is a felony in Argentina.

Judge Casanello approved a request by prosecutor Federico Delgado, who on June 8 recommended a more comprehensive examination into Macri’s sworn statements from his last three years as mayor of Buenos Aires (as Macri was gearing up for his presidential run in 2015).

The analysis will be conducted by experts at the University of Buenos Aires School of Social Sciences

The request was filed following revelations made public by the Panama Papers and Open Corporates scandals in April that Macri was a director of at least two offshore shell companies, held a separate Merrill Lynch investment account in the Bahamas, and was linked through immediate family members (particularly his father, contractor Francisco Macri) to up to a dozen offshore firms.

Macri’s bother, Gianfranco, alone owns eight shell companies in Panama. According to economist Ezequiel Orlando, who has done research on the Macris’ links to offshore companies, five out of the other seven companies in which Gianfranco Macri is a board member were established in December 12, 2007, only two days after Mauricio Macri became the mayor of Buenos Aires.

None had been declared by Macri when he ran for president as Argentine law requires; he has claimed he “didn't realize” he had them.

At: http://buenosairesherald.com/article/217086/judge-okays-inspection-into-president-macris-sworn-statements-
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Macri, of course, is doing his best to stonewall the Panama Papers investigation - even using the Foreign Minister to do so. http://www.democraticunderground.com/110851562

This, btw, is the same foreign minister (Susana Malcorra) who he's pushing to become the next UN Secretary General.

Macri names son of dictatorship's chief economist, ISDS litigant against Argentina, to patent office

Argentine President Mauricio Macri replaced the heads of the National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI), the office responsible for protecting industrial patents, with two corporate lawyers whose firm represented numerous multinationals suing Argentina over the past decade.

The two appointees, Dámaso Pardo and José Alfredo Martínez de Hoz, jr, were chosen by decree to replace Mario Aramburu and Mario Díaz, who had served as INPI director and assistant director, respectively, since 2002.

Pardo and Martínez de Hoz are partners in the Buenos Aires corporate law firm of Pérez Alati, Grondona, Benites Arntsen & Martínez de Hoz, which advises transnational corporations as to Argentine intellectual property law and have represented numerous multinationals suing Argentina in front of the World Bank's International Center for Settlement of Investment (ICSID). The ICSID is the world's preeminent investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) tribunal, whose rulings often override national sovereignty and whose secret inclusion in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has created an international uproar against the agreement.

Martínez de Hoz is also the son of the late José Alfredo Martínez de Hoz, whose tenure as Economy Minister from 1976 to 1981 was marked by free trade policies that flooded Argentina with imports and reduced industrial output by 20%, wage freezes that reduced real pay by 40%, and by financial deregulation that led to $30 billion in bad debts by 1981 as well as the country's ruinous debt crisis throughout the 1980s.

His appointment was also controversial because he in particular represented multinationals in patent infringement lawsuits against Argentine firms - particularly the pharmaceutical industry. The South American Patent Observatory, a leading continental watchdog against patent lawsuits by multinationals thought to be filed in bad faith in order to intimidate local firms, called Martínez de Hoz's designation "incompatible with his public duties" for this reason.

Their appointment is in keeping with a Macri administration preference for appointing corporate lobbyists to oversee the very agencies charged with regulating their respective industries.

Some prominent examples include:

* The Finance Ministry, headed by a JP Morgan private banker (Alfonso Prat-Gay) closely linked to billion-dollar tax evasion case involving the late cement baroness Amalia Lacroze de Fortabat as her former accountant.

* The Central Bank, headed by the official (Federico Strurzenegger) who still faces fraud charges stemming from the 2001 Megaswap - which added over $38 billion to the public debt and yielded participating banks hefty commissions.

* The head of the National Bank (Carlos Melconian) who in 2001 had dropped investigations into a $15 billion bailout from 1982 and later joined vulture funds in their recent bid for 1,600% payouts on old defaulted bonds (which Macri awarded them in February).

* The Energy Ministry, whose head (Juan José Aranguren) is now facing charges of using his office to benefit his former employer, Shell Argentina, with expensive natural gas imports from a Chilean subsidiary.

* And the Financial Intelligence Unit (UIF), the federal money laundering abatement bureau, whose new appointees, Mariano Federici and María Eugenia Talerico, previously defended banks charged with wrongdoing by the UIF - notably, in Talerico's case, HSBC Argentina, which was revealed by the 2014 SwissLeaks scandal to be at the center of a massive tax evasion scheme on behalf of wealthy Argentines.

The bank’s CEO, Gabriel Martino, and its director, Miguel Ángel Estévez, had their banking license revoked by the UIF in 2015 under Sbatella; but returned to their posts in May thanks to a reversal of the decision by the UIF's current leadership.

At: https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=es&u=http://www.pagina12.com.ar/diario/economia/2-302830-2016-06-28.html&prev=search
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Argentine Government delays information requests on Macri's offshore companies.

Requests for information issued by Judge Sebastián Casanello to Panama and Uruguay as part of the investigation into President Mauricio Macri’s offshore financial activities – leaked in April by the Panama Papers scandal - could take longer than expected as the Foreign Ministry has said that the “description of the attributed events” was not “clear enough” in order to continue with the process.

Judge Casanello had sent legal requests to Panama and Uruguay for fresh information over Macri’s offshore accounts connected to the Foxchase Trading SA company, which was created in 2012.

Macri was among the tens of thousands of rich and powerful people named in the leak of four decades worth of documents from Mossack Fonseca, a corporate law firm based in Panama which specializes in setting up offshore companies in tax havens.

The Panama Papers revealed that Macri was listed as director of Fleg Trading Ltd between 1998 and 2009, and of Kagemusha S.A. since 1981; both shell companies had been opened by his father, contractor Francisco Macri, who has been linked through other family members to a dozen such firms.

Opposition lawmakers demanded on Monday that President Macri explain his role at the offshore companies. The president faces now an investigation into whether he maliciously omitted his links to these firms - as well as to a Merrill Lynch account in the Bahamas he “didn't realize” he had - in his sworn financial disclosure statements, a felony in Argentina.

At: http://buenosairesherald.com/article/217022/govt-delays-information-requests-on-macris-offshore-companies-

As corruption probe grows in Argentina, Macri allies feel the heat.

A judicial probe of possible corruption during Argentina’s previous administration is also threatening the new one as some of President Mauricio Macri’s own allies face investigation.

Macri took office in December from his leftist predecessor, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, pledging to root out corruption as well as to implement market-friendly economic reforms. Investigations have already led to the arrest of a Kirchner ally (contractor Lázaro Báez) and landed the former president in court for questioning. But now questions are also being asked of some close to Macri.

IECSA, a construction firm run by his cousin Ángelo Calcaterra and part of the Macri family empire, is one of nearly 100 companies in Argentina being investigated as part of Brazil’s growing “Operation Car Wash” scandal. The Car Wash probe has focused on kickbacks and other irregularities in bloated contracts at Brazilian state oil giant Petrobras.

Macri has also come under fire awarding IECSA a number of large public contracts and for failing to disclose numerous offshore accounts uncovered in April by the Panama Papers scandal.

The Macri administration, which defunded the federal anti-money laundering bureau (UIF) and appointed a hard-line supporter (Laura Alonso) as head of the Anti-Corruption Office (OA), is instead pushing to investigate corruption under Kirchner. They have encouraged whistle blowers to come forward; but not so in the case of JP Morgan whistle blower Hernán Arbizu, who sought extradition to the United States on June 16 in order to testify in a massive tax evasion case involving JP Morgan and among others Macri's Finance Minister, Alfonso Prat-Gay.

K money and M money

Argentine media spent considerable time airing corruption allegations during President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner's second term (2011-15). The Kirchners' business relationship with contractor Lázaro Báez was the centerpiece of the much publicized “K Money Trail,” a term coined by anchorman Jorge Lanata during his stint at the TN cable news channel owned by the Clarín Media Group - which was at odds with Kirchner over a bill signed in 2009 that would have limited their near-monopoly over Argentine media.

Prosecutors are probing a complex web of cases linked to Báez. He was arrested in April for questioning after some $5 million was allegedly deposited in his son’s bank account, and news on June 14 that the Kirchner-era official who approved bidding for federal public works, José López, attempted to hide $9 million on church grounds added a dramatic new twist to the case.

Associates of Macri, including IECSA, also have Báez connections however - notably a partnership IECSA formed in recent years with Báez’s Austral Construction in a failed attempt to collude for public works bids. IECSA also had numerous large bids approved by López, and in fact grew to become Argentina's third largest contractor (Austral Construction was, despite Báez's relationship to the Kirchners, only the 36th largest). Also caught in the Báez probe is a Macri Federal Intelligence official, Silvia Majdalani, who is now being investigated for money laundering.

Macri’s cousin, Ángelo Calcaterra, attempted to sell his IECSA shares following these revelations.

The dollar futures case, based on Macri's allegation that his predecessor's Central Bank authorities sold $17 billion of dollar future contracts at below market rates during her last year in power, has similarly backfired.

The case began losing momentum when Judge Claudio Bonadío, a close Macri ally, summoned former Economy Minister Axel Kicillof in April only to have Kicillof inform him that the Argentine Central Bank cannot offer dollar futures contracts in New York (as Macri suggested they do) due to both Central Bank and SEC rules. The case imploded politically when it was revealed that numerous Macri officials and associates - including Macri's Central Bank President, Federico Sturzenegger, and Macri's own father - bought dollar futures worth millions, and themselves profited (at a cost of $4 billion to the Central Bank) when Macri ordered the peso devalued by 40% on December 17.

A similar case of conflict of interest has ensnared Energy Minister Juan José Aranguren, whose offices were raided on June 9 on charges that his decisions to deregulate household gas rates and to import natural gas from Chile - rather than from Bolivia, which is 56% cheaper - were tailored to benefit his former employer, Shell Argentina. Aranguren was CEO of Shell Argentina from 2003 to 2015, and according to his own financial disclosure statement still holds shares worth $1.1 million.

Laura Alonso, the Macri loyalist whose job it is to investigate current officials implicated in corruption (a total of 22), calls the cases “complicated.” Her alleged stonewalling led Kirchnerist lawmakers to file a complaint against her on June 9 for complicity.

The cases against Kirchner-era officials meanwhile continue to move forward in the courts, particularly Judge Bonadío's. Yet, there are political risks. “They went looking for the K money road,” Cristina Kirchner told a crowd of supporters last April; “but they found the M money road instead.”

At: http://www.buenosairesherald.com/article/214069/as-corruption-probe-grows-macri-allies-feel-the-heat

And: http://buenosairesherald.com/article/215893/laura-alonso%E2%80%99s-office-investigating-other-21-officials-%E2%80%94-but-no-sanctions-yet

Buenos Aires man who shot two progressive women in March ID'd as Macri supporter, and hiding in U.S.

The man who fired shots at a gathering of members of the center-left Nuevo Encuentro party in midtown Buenos Aires on the evening of March 5, injuring two women (including one carrying a toddler), has been identified as Alejandro Fabián Cidero.

Records show Cidero contributed to President Mauricio Macri's right-wing PRO campaign last year, and that he entered the United States within days of the incident.

The sniper lived in an apartment high-rise overlooking the Nuevo Encuentro office opened that evening. PRO records from the 2015 campaign show that he donated 50 pesos ($5 at the time), and he was known by acquaintances to be especially hostile toward Kirchnerists - supporters of the center-left FpV, to which the smaller Nuevo Encuentro party is an ally.

Daiana Soto, 19, and Florencia Girotti, 30, were both shot in the arm; Soto was carrying her little sister, a toddler, in the same arm that was shot by the .32 caliber bullet.

The leader of the Nuevo Encuentro party, Martín Sabbatella, blamed the attacks at the time on a "political context in which opponents (of the right-wing Macri administration) have been vilified" and called on President Macri to "emphatically repudiate these incidents of political violence, which by sheer luck didn't kill anybody."

Macri later did so, and Security Minister Patricia Bullrich and Interior Minister Rogelio Frigerio met with Sabbatella to discuss the case. Its handling by the City of Buenos Aires Metropolitan Police - a force created by Macri and frequently used for warrantless searches, wiretapping, and other politically-motivated activities - was so lethargic that attorneys representing the injured women had the investigation taken over by the National Gendarmerie.

Gendarmerie investigators were able to ascertain the identity of the sniper by cross-referencing serial numbers taken from the bullets with RENAR agency data on gun owners residing in the Torres Jardín apartment complex. Cidero, according to customs records, had by then fled to the United States.

The Macri administration has not commented further on the case, and no international arrest warrants have as yet been issued.

At: https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=es&u=http://www.noticiasurbanas.com.ar/noticias/el-que-tiro-en-marzo-contra-militantes-de-ne-aportaba-al-pro/&prev=search
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