The lost republic of wiretapping and the jihadist attack that never was – Télam

Macri knew how to encrypt his management in a media and judicial dramaturgy through the continuous exercise of espionage.

The truth is that Macri knew how to encrypt his management in a media and judicial dramaturgy, through the continuous exercise of espionage. Therefore, its decline -as of 2019- coincided with the collapse of such impostures as the affair of the polymorphous agent Marcelo D’Alessio was left in the open.

It was about a dysfunction that already in June of that year acquired international overtones through the lapidary report of the UN Special Rapporteur, Joseph Cannataci, in whose dossier he spoke of “illegal mass surveillance”. That definition was based on an average of 6,000 telephone taps per month. And without ignoring the subordination of the Supreme Court (which exercised the administration of the interventions) to the AFI (its executing arm), among other institutional disorders.

This report coincided with another scandal on the matter: the so-called “Operation Puf”, which consisted in the media dissemination of illegal wiretapping of Kirchner prisoners with the illusion of pulverizing the file instructed in Dolores by federal judge Alejo Ramos Padilla.

Among the unwanted effects of this staging, the irate defense of the chambermaids Irurzun and Javier Leal de Ibarra stood out – in the name of the DAJuDeCo (Directorate of Judicial Assistance in Complex Crimes and Organized Crime), which depends on nothing less than the Supreme Court -, by attributing the crime to the AFI. But it was not the first short-circuit between the highest court and the spy station, a sizzle that, in addition, also linked the Casa Rosada. Was an unexpected misintelligence gone?

At this point it is convenient to go back to the end of the first decade of the century.

The telephony of evil

The building is on Avenida de los Incas 1834. It is a seven-story construction with exposed brick and tinted windows. There, between the winter of 2008 and the following autumn, the spy Ciro James used to go once a week to remove the illegal wiretaps commissioned by the City Government. It was the headquarters of the Office of Judicial Observations of the former SIDE, better known as the “OJota”. It is already known that for this matter the ex-commissioner Jorge “Fino” Palacios, the then Buenos Aires Minister of Education, Mariano Narodowsky, and James himself had been anchored in the prelude to an oral trial. But Macri, who led the batch of defendants, came out well off the matter: on December 22, 2015 – less than two weeks after entering the Rivadavia chair – he was blessed by federal judge Sebastián Casanello with a very timely dismissal.

Half a year earlier, the current senator Oscar Parrilli – already in command of the brand new AFI that replaced the former SIDE – had dissolved Ojota. And the punctures passed to the orbit of the General Attorney of the Nation. A devious blow for said intelligence organization, given that the sale of wiretaps was one of its historical boxes, and its use without judicial order or control was another of its strengths.

Of course, the fact that the chief prosecutor was Alejandra Gils Carbó did not improve things when Macri took office. So, in his offensive against her, he transferred the power of telephone interventions to the Supreme Court through a DNU, a month after reaching the first magistracy. Thus was born the Communications Capture Department, whose operative chief, Juan Rodríguez Ponte – a former secretary of federal judge Ariel Lijo – went on to command an army of 250 AFI snoopers subordinate to said agency. Its headquarters continued to be the Avenida de los Incas building.

The first visible sign of the antics committed from that catacomb were the tapping of Parrilli’s telephones and the illegal leakage of his conversations with CFK to the official media.

The first visible sign of the mischief was the tapping of Parrilli's phones.

The first visible sign of the mischief was the jabs on Parrilli’s phones.

Such dialogues began to be televised in January 2017. And a pack of editorialists, almost in chorus, pointed out an unforgivable accumulation of immoral acts and serious crimes by the former president: from pronouncing bad words to plotting a conspiracy against the famous spy Antonio Stiuso, in addition to pressuring judges of the federal jurisdiction. But regardless of the real crime in progress: the dissemination of illegally filtered audios, something very frowned upon by the Intelligence Law.
Precisely this collateral issue gave rise to the first friction between the most renowned pillars of the Nation.

The Imperfect Republic

At that time, it was enough for the prosecutor Federico Delgado to initiate a case (which federal judge Rodolfo Canicoba Corral left unfinished) with the aim of identifying the delivery person of the audios, to ignite a harsh exchange of accusations between the heads of the AFI – the ineffable Arribas and Silvia Majdalani– with the priests of the Judicial Power linked to the maneuver: Ricardo Lorenzetti, in complicity with the Irurzun-Leal de Ibarra and Rodríguez Ponte duo.

That interdict had splashed Macri himself. And the Machiavellian Lorenzetti understood that, upon receiving the power of eavesdropping, he was actually holding an ember in his hands.

Already then, the modus operandi of the maneuver came to the public light: the AFI requested in some preserve of Comodoro Py the application of a pre-cause, a word that alludes to a pseudo-legal remedy – and implemented only in very exceptional facts – to place a person under the radar of their snoopers without having a specific crime to prove. The judges did not hesitate to accept this invitation to “go fishing.” Those dynamics were manual: the AFI recorded the suspect’s telephone communications, the friendly press spread his words and the prosecutors took him to an investigation. This was carried out to the letter with recurrence. But the unexpected interference of the prosecutor Delgado exposed the method.

The remarkable thing is that from that moment they did it with the treachery of those who know that this trick is already an open secret.

Facade of the Federal Intelligence Agency.

Facade of the Federal Intelligence Agency.

Among the pre-causes revealed by the Bicameral there is a particularly bizarre one: the one that targeted the model Florencia Cocucci, whose great sin was having a relationship with the late prosecutor Alberto Nisman.

It was the winter of 2016. It was necessary to prove that the suicide bomber had been murdered. Then that 25-year-old woman had to be pressured so that her testimony favored such a fallacy.

The AFI’s request to federal judge Sebastián Ramos to initiate this pre-case was not wasted. And he was referring to the planning of “a terrorist attack to be carried out in Spain and France” by a Jihadist group (sic) that would be made up of people of different nationalities “. It added that the plan was denounced to the Spanish police by “an individual identified as Carlos” and that “the Argentine citizen Florencia Cocucci was involved.”

As part of the harassment, he received phone calls in which anonymous voices released private data obtained in the wiretaps: what he had for dinner last night, that the next day he would go to an optician and that the dog had a urinary problem, among other details. Such information was duly recorded in the so-called “investigation files”.

The operation of pre-causes had no limits. Even, emboldened by said franchise, the AFI boys – with the now prosecuted Alan Ruíz at the head – did not hesitate to “wire” with microphones, in mid-2018, the ward of the Kirchner prisoners in the Ezeiza prison.

It is already known that the sonorous fruits of that undertaking were the lifeblood of the “Operative Puf”.

The current deputy Eduardo Valdéz (FdT), who as a result of this maneuver was at the time placed in the axis of evil due to his telephone calls to former officials under arrest, explained it eloquently: “They are so obvious that before a cause that the incriminates for illegal espionage publicized from the media, they respond with illegal wiretapping publicized from the media ”.

Deputy Valdéz is now a member of the Bicameral Commission that oversees intelligence agencies. Turns of life.

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