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  • Mauricio Macri and Maria Eugenia Vidal celebrate their 2011 mayoral victory in the Argentine city of Buenos Aires.

    Mauricio Macri and Maria Eugenia Vidal celebrate their 2011 mayoral victory in the Argentine city of Buenos Aires. | Photo: EFE

Published 17 July 2018

At least 1,000 people were falsely registered as donors to President Macri's Cambiemos coalition for the 2015 and 2017 campaigns, many of them living below the poverty line.

Argentina's governing coalition, Cambiemos, has been accused of a money laundering scheme in which at least 1,000 people were fraudulently registered as contributing money to President Mauricio Macri's 2015 campaign and the 2017 legislative elections.

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A report by investigative journalist Juan Amorin, of El Destape, suggests 1,000 people registered as contributors in Cambiemos' 2015 and 2017 campaigns were not aware they had donated money. The journalist also found many such donors relied on social programs for people living below the poverty line.   

"I want them to solve this and to be given my name back; they can't do this with those who have the least," Paula Benapres, who discovered she had 'contributed' US$80 to the campaign, told El Destape.

Amorin said of the victims: "Among them there are people who don't have the resources to be contributors, that have no light, whose children go to soup kitchens… There was falsification of public documents and of signatures for the party affiliations (as well as) identity theft."

Businessmen and former Cambiemos politicians also appear on the list of contributors. Hugo Valenzuela, former pre-candidate for a Cambiemos-affiliated party, denied having contributed US$1,162 for the 2015 campaign and said he will be a plaintiff in the federal court case.

Several criminal cases of money laundering and illicit enrichment have now been opened. Among the accused is Buenos Aires Governor Maria Eugenia Vidal, president of Macri's PRO party in Buenos Aires, who has yet to comment publicly on the allegations.

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