May 24, 2013
Governor accused of paying off looters
Río Negro Governor Alberto Weretilneck yesterday accused Bariloche Mayor Omar Goye of allegedly paying 100,000 pesos to the 1 de Mayo Cooperative, seven members of which are currently in prison after being accused of intitiating the supermarket lootings on December 20.
Weretilneck highlighted the progress in court and police investigations which had led to the arrests of the accused who “belong to a work cooperative”, which could have political ramifications in Rosario and other parts of Buenos Aires City.
In a radio interview yesterday, the governor stated that there are people who have been working with the Bariloche city government all last year. “One day after the looting, the mayor paid the cooperative 100,000 pesos for contracts that were supposedly executed,” said Weretilneck.
He added that the cooperative works with different popular organizations, does not have a visible leader and affirmed that in 2012 it had been contracted to build several sidewalks in different parts of the city, such as Diagonal Gutiérrez street.
“What we know is that it is a cooperative which has been extorting by pressuring for work throughout the year, before finally turning to supermarket looting,” the governor said. The hospital construction work had generated controversy due to an accusation by Bariloche city councillor Carlos Valeri over alleged high prices, leading council members to protest against the member responsible. However, even after the lootings, a resolution was passed by Goye, paying 94,000 pesos for the hospital works, the payment referred to by Weretilneck.
As a result, the Río Negro governor and Senator Miguel Pichetto requested the resignation of the mayor two weeks ago, while Goye announced he would fight the charge.
The councillors are considering beginning the process of revoking the mayor’s mandate. Weretilneck explained that Goye no longer has the trust of the people, the labour unions nor businessmen.
—Herald with Telam