And, what’s more, why did judge Hualde herself, having noted the mismatch of the dates of the transactions, decide to ignore it, ruling that the cooperative had to be evicted from the hotel and crediting ownership to Mercoteles?
Of course, none of this was a surprise to the workers. Marcelo Iurcovich never stopped presenting himself to them as the boss, the real boss, as he did on the day of the occupation of the hotel in March of 2003.
All this makes one think, with a fair degree of plausibility, that the manuever of stripping the hotel Bauen included the sale to Solari, and also Solari’s bankruptcy with the unpaid sale, which let Marcelo Iurcovich come back into ownership and sell it to himself as Mercoteles, for which he did not even judge it necessary to wait for the property to be returned to him judicially, as, in fact, happened. But this last sale also had the advantage of freeing himself of the employees, who were creditors in the bankruptcy case of a company (Solari SA) that was not either of the two in this transaction (Bauen SA and Mercoteles SA). Also, as Gallardo notes, he also got out from under the mortgage that weighed on the property. Gallardo says:
In the writ, it was established that it was sold as free from mortgage liens, a writ added in this case to fs. 6431/6453. Subsequently, can be seen in the records of the Registry of Real Estate which we include, that on August 28, 2001, a record was registered that annuls the prior record of expiration of mortgages, which is why such liens became operational again, once the writ of transferrence of dominion in favor of Mercoteles took effect.
In other words, the mortgage that weighed on Bauen SACIC because of the debt with the BANADE disappeared in the sale to Mercoteles, which ends up with a hotel without debts. The mortgage then reappeared as belonging to the old Bauen enterprise, which no longer has any property. This was disputed judicially, and Room C of the Civil Chamber, on September 12th, 2002, ruled that this operation was not valid, and also questioned Mercoteles’ attitude. As adjunct attorney general Roberto Gallardo put it:
“It is not an act of good faith for one, availing himself of information provided by the Registry, (expiration of the records where mortgages are documented), to acquire the functional units as if they were free from mortgage liens.”
To be clearer: the key to the manuever is making the step to properties without debts—with the mortgage in the hands of a company that no longer has any property—and without workers, since they were expelled by the closure of the hotel when it was bankrupted by Solari.
This manuever is characteristic of the clever ways the Argentine bourgeoisie make money out of nothing, and would be technically perfect, except for one small detail. In Argentina, in 2001, workers had learned to defend their jobs by occupying businesses.