Lazaro Baez match with Cristina Kirchner in a concept. “As she said, this is political and the sentence is already written”, he slipped in a conversation this week. Next Tuesday the Federal Oral Court 2 (TOF 2) will read the verdict at trial for the alleged addressing in public road works in Santa Cruz.
It is not the first time that contractor K faces a similar situation: it weighs on him a twelve-year sentence for money laundering. He awaits the decision of the judges accompanied by his partner, following political programs and with a Constant review of the file.
The silence was the judicial strategy of Lazaro Baez during this trial that put his firm under the magnifying glass badgeAustral Construcciones (ACSA) and how, through it, it became a supplier to the State.
They were also exposed multiple and millionaire businesses who wove through the same company, with Nestor and Cristina Kirchner. ACSA became a synthesis: the businessman’s assets grew by 12,000% while ACSA’s by 45,000%.
After more than three and a half years, the trial in which it was reiterated by the Prosecutor’s Office and many witnesses, the relationship that Báez had with the Kirchners as part of the same equation, comes to an end.
The former business partner of the vice president knows the circuit: final words in the morning, a quarter intermission and finally, the reading of the verdict.
He faced something similar in February 2021 when the Federal Oral Court 4 (TOF 4) sentenced him to twelve years in prison for having laundered 55 million dollars in the case known as the Money Route K. For these operations it was essential to have Austral Construcciones.
Days after hearing the ruling, Báez maintains the premise in his most intimate that the “sentence is already written because it is all political.” Under this concept, denies any accusation. He defends the role of Austral Construcciones on Santa Cruz soil and for this, he repeats another statement: “The company gave work to 3,000 families.”
The days before hearing the verdict, the Patagonian contractor maintains regular conversations with his lawyer -Juan Villanueva-, his primary source of consultation. With the file in hand, constantly rereading each part of the accusation that led to a sentence request by the Prosecutor for twelve years, constantly ask questions.
He knows the cause, he knows the questioned routes and under investigation, he also follows the future of his company, which knew how to be awarded 51 tenders for $46,000 million and which is in the middle of the auction stage of its assets in the framework of the bankruptcy that carry out commercial justice. This issue bothers him, he claims that the company was “robbed” and that they “brought it into bankruptcy on purpose.”
The truth is that the common denominator in all the legal proceedings that it faces is its construction company and its fund movements with a direct link with the Kirchner couple and with another antecedent: 24 unfinished routes on Santa Cruz soil. For that, it also has another person responsible: the government of Mauricio Macri.
With this puzzle of arguments, he believes that what will come is a new sentence, although he adds one more claim: to the lack of evidence to support the alleged irregularities in the road contracts, Báez maintains that he is the only one in the file who does not He is a civil servant “I did not decide on the processes or on the money”, he repeats whenever he can.
This time in which he is under house arrest at a home in Greater Buenos Aires, he is accompanied by his girlfriend Claudia Insaurralde. Each visit that Lázaro Báez receives must be reported to the Court, which is in charge of supervising his preventive detention.
On a day-to-day basis, Báez lives with the custody of the federal forces installed 24 hours a day at the access to the home, responsible for controlling all the movements of the property that he has. a garden to which he dedicates several hours the businessman who was engaged in construction.
To this almost unalterable daily life, the owner of Austral Construcciones adds a television routine, in which he does not lose how much policy program can see. That becomes the obligatory talks with those who are going to visit him, including his lawyers.
Using his political analyzes as context, he argues that in the trial there is no prosecution evidence that can support a conviction, but awaits an indictment once again. He does not explain, however, how he became a construction businessman, how he managed to never lose a single tender, how he managed to build an emporium of twenty companies. Silence is imposed as a strategy.
Another bad news?
Fully immersed in his causes, he knows that in a short time he could receive another bad news: the Chamber of Cassation would be close to confirming the conviction for money laundering in which two of the three judges of the Court, maintained that these funds came from the alleged irregularities of public road works.
Fully and almost obsessively involved in his causes, he asks his lawyers to explain everything, including how they are going to defend him, “participate, always think about the strategy,” explained someone who knows Báez’s daily life closely.
Something that disturbs him these days is the discussion about the division of assets with his ex-wife, Norma Calismonte, the mother of his four children. Last Friday, the family judge of Río Gallegos, who is carrying out the process, requested authorization to analyze all the assets included in the case of the Money Route K.
The biggest concern is how that discussion is going to be resolved. “Norma must be given what she deserves,” she repeats and maintains that her anger is with the lawyer who does not advise her in the best way. already signed an agreement for more than 1,600 million pesos for the division of 85 properties and the shareholding of 21 companies.
Part of that wealth is what justice puts into question and a portion of it always leads Lázaro Báez to the business concluded with Cristina Kirchner with whom he shares the highest sentence request in the Highway case that will live its final hours on Tuesday from 5:00 p.m.