December 7, 2013
Córdoba police drug scandal deepens
Former narcotics chief to remain in custody, widow of late suspect ‘doubts’ suicide
A new chapter in Córdoba’s political crisis was written yesterday after Federal Judge Ricardo Bustos Fierro denied a motion to release former police chief Rafael Sosa, who was arrested last month for his alleged links with drug traffickers.
Not only will the former Narcotics Unit chief not be able to walk free — the judge also ordered Sosa be remanded in custody for “abuse of authority and breach of duties by a government official” due to his alleged failure to denounce a kidnapping that took place in July.
“Because of his position as a police officer, he may influence witnesses that are yet to testify,” Bustos Fierro said.
Sosa was arrested along with five other members of the provincial Dangerous Drugs Unit after he was accused of being responsible for the supposed links between police officers and local drug-traffickers.
A total of 10 people were charged in the case.
Meanwhile, the widow of Juan Alós, one of the police officers being investigated for alleged links to drug-trafficking who was found dead on September 7, went to court to raise her “doubts” over the fact that his late husband had committed suicide.
OTHER CHIEFS TO FOLLOW?
Sosa will remain behind bars in the Bower Prison in Córdoba City, while today the judge may make the same decision for the former Narcotics Unit chief of the Mina Clavero province district Gastón Bustos.
Bustos was arrested following a case involving the disappearance of 30 kilogrammes of marijuana originally seized during a raid in Villa Cura Brochero. Judicial reports indicate that by the time the package arrived at the Federal court, it contained only alfalfa.
Meanwhile, Roxana Luna, the widow of 34-year old former policeman Juan Alós, appeared before the Córdoba Federal Court to explain her doubts over Alós’ alleged suicide.
“I trust the judicial system, but I say my husband could not have taken such a decision,” referring to the alleged suicide. “It sounds strange and I want the courts to investigate and determine whether it was a suicide or a homicide,” Luna told the press.
COSSAR DENIES ‘FALSE’ REPORTS
Also yesterday, Córdoba City Deputy Mayor Marcelo Cossar denied links with drug dealers following a number of statements from a drug-trafficker reported in local media.
Jorge “Gallo” Altamira, who is currently under arrest, told the ADN programme run by Cordoba’s National University (UNC) that Lauro Cossar, brother of the deputy mayor, is involved in an alleged drug-trafficking and weapons business in Police Station No. 5 of Córdoba’s capital city.
Moreover, Altamira also said that the drug mafia had “decided” Marcelo Cossar was to be the deputy mayoral candidate for the Radical (UCR) party, suggesting that the local official was aware of the kind of support he had.
Yesterday morning, Cossar — who is also a lawyer — said he used to have Altamira as a client — and that Altamira’s statements are from around two years ago.
“He already apologized for every and each word he said back then,” the official explained.
It is likely that federal prosecutor Enrique Senestrari will include this new element in the main investigation.
The Córdoba police drug scandal was a big blow for Córdoba Governor José Manuel de la Sota, who accepted the resignation of Police chief Ramón Frías and provincial Security Minister Alejo Paredes.
On a day filled with Córdoba news a claim by Civic Front Senator Luis Juez stood out as particularly odd.
According to Juez, Córdoba’s main figure in the Broad Progressive Front (FAP), his sister was robbed and beaten at her home in the provincial capital — but burglars left her a “message.”
“They told her to tell me to shut up,” Juez said.
The Civic Front leader tried to link the episode with his recent accusations relating to the police drug scandal.
“Things get nasty when you screw with drug-traffickers,” Juez told Radio Mitre Córdoba.
Herald staff with DyN, Télam