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How a Chauffeur Could Bring Down Argentina’s Political Elite

Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner
Cristina Fernandez de KirchnerPhotographer: Michele Tantussi/Bloomberg
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A chauffeur’s notes could send dozens of Argentina’s political and business elites to prison. On Aug. 1, Argentine newspaper La Nacion published an investigation that detailed alleged bribes from business executives to officials in the former governments of President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner and her late husband, Nestor Kirchner. Evidence in the eight notebooks, kept from 2005 to 2015 by the chauffeur of a former government official, has led to the arrests of more than a dozen men. And Kirchner could be next.

Oscar Centeno, the driver for former planning secretary Roberto Baratta, kept meticulous notes for 10 years with details of bribes that he delivered. His notebooks include names, amounts, addresses and dates, including bribes allegedly delivered to Kirchner’s homes in Buenos Aires. It’s not known why Centeno kept the records. The notebooks chronicled about $53 million in bribes.