The trial prosecutor Patricio García Elorrio requested a sentence of six years and eight months in prison for trade unionist Omar “Caballo” Suárez, former head of SOMU, considering him the head of an illicit association that committed fraud to the detriment of the union, social work and the maritime employees’ mutual. He did so in the oral trial before the Federal Oral Court 4 that has been held since 2019.
For the prosecutor, Suárez, “using the union platform, entered the a business trail beyond any lawful framework, for which it had corporate, financial and management structures, of which it was even the majority shareholder in some cases”.
In this sense, the prosecutor requested that if he is convicted the damage caused to the guild, the social works and the mutual is repaired of the SOMU workers and for this it is considered necessary to maintain the embargoes against the defendants.
In December 2021, TOF 4 resolved by majority to allow a statement of its defense and order the cessation of the planned coercive measures regarding the use of electronic anklets. Likewise, the “cessation of preventive detention” of Cristina Kirchner’s favorite trade unionist was ordered, as the vice president said.
When he began to be tried, he was accused of being the head of “an association dedicated to the commission of indeterminate criminal acts, taking advantage of the control that (its members) exercised over the United Maritime Workers’ Union (hereinafter SOMU) and the Obra Social of Maritime Personnel (hereinafter OSPM)”.
The trade unionist coordinated the remaining members “based on his role as former general secretary of SOMU, president of the aforementioned OSPM, vice president of the company San Jorge Marítima SA, and president of the Blue Foundation for the Care and Preservation of the Marine Environment , Fluvial and Lacustrine”, according to the prosecutor.
In the case of obstruction of waterways, the prosecutor assured that cannot be credited irrefutably for which in case of doubt it is always in favor of the accused for which he requested acquittal for this crime. He, too, was unable to prove any allegations of extortion.
The case began on May 15, 2012 when Miguel Ángel Doñate, on behalf of the Chamber of Pilot Boat Owners (CALAPRAC), a criminal complaint directed against the General Secretary of SOMU for obstructing water transport, compelling the strike and illicit association.
There he spoke of “extortive measures, one of the many practices installed as uses and customs by the SOMU as a means of pressure to obtain unjustified benefits, forcing national and foreign companies and/or those in which it is a participant to carry out acts that they do not have any type of relationship with trade union activity or the defense of workers.”
In February 2016, Judge Rodolfo Canicoba Corral, after prosecuting him as head of an illicit association and for extortion, ordered the intervention of the United Maritime Workers Union and accused Suárez of having diverted funds from the union and added other crimes against him, such as fraud to the detriment of his guild and his social work.
In that ruling, the magistrate ordered the immediate arrest of the trade unionist. Finally, the case was raised to trial and although everything was delayed due to health issues of the trade unionist.
Suárez reiterated last week his request for justice for the prosecution he faces and maintained that the government of Mauricio Macri “not only came to take over the country”, but “they were going to commit the same genocide that the dictatorship committed”.
“Thank God and the Argentine people who voted and displaced these people because they not only came to stay with the country, but they were going to commit the same genocide that the dictatorship committed,” Suárez said in statements to radio K.
In this context, he exaggerated that “not only did they put us in jail if they won, they killed us all“.
“Gladys Gonzalez (current national senator and at that time deputy) told (former federal judge Rodolfo) Canicoba Corral that if they didn’t put me in jail, they were going to put together the folders and he was going to end up in jail, because whoever had it longer It was Mauricio Macri,” he assured.
Suárez affirmed that when he was detained “he suffered torture”. The trade unionist participated in the February 1 march organized by Judge Juan Ramos Padilla against the Court.
“The trial will tell everything, because it is an invented trial without evidence,” he warned, adding: “I am going to wait for my acquittal and the reintegration of what they have taken and stolen from us and the disaster they have left in maritime families.”