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Latino Daily News

Monday September 1, 2014

Did Narcos Call Argentine’s Presidential Office?

he Argentine government on Monday released a technical report in response to a judge’s request for information on alleged telephone calls made by drug traffickers to numbers within the executive branch.

President Cristina Fernandez’s chief of staff, Oscar Parrilli, was the person in charge of presenting the report prepared by the Casa Rosada communications office, where the numbers being investigated by Judge Maria Servini de Cubria were specified.

The judge last week made public the investigation and warned that she would issue a search warrant if she does not receive the requested information about who is using the telephone numbers.

“The written notification had an unusual dissemination and some statements that we believe are inappropriate on the part of the judge and some media who have tried to sow ... doubts about some alleged calls by drug traffickers to the Casa Rosada,” Parrilli said.

The official report says that, of the telephone numbers about which the judge said she required information, some never belonged to the Argentine President’s Office, others were shut down for technical reasons and still others belong to telephone exchanges linked with other numbers or extensions.

Parrilli said that none of the numbers included in the judicial request “is an entering or outgoing direct-dial number.”

Nevertheless, he said that “since it was required, one may identify who made a call on a (specific line) with the external number and the date and approximate time.”

Parrilli said that the report will be sent on Monday to the magistrate.

On trial in the case are the former heads of the Sedronar counter-narcotics agency, Jose Granero, and the National Registry of Chemical Precursors, Julio de Orue.

Also facing charges is Gabriel Yusef Abboud, an analyst in the Security Ministry.

In the indictment, Servini de Cubria said that 40,000 kilos of ephedrine - used in making methamphetamine - imported by authorization of Sedronar between 2004 and 2008 in reality were diverted to drug trafficking organizations.

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