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BAUEN, day 14

The Bauen and the dictatorship

When talking about business complicity with the dictatorship, it is well worth taking the Bauen hotel as an example, as one of many negotiated in the crude complicity of those years. This relationship meant not only the support of the business community for those who committed genocide, but the repayment of that connivance with businesses and specific benefits. Marcelo Iurcovich was one of these beneficiaries. The building was constructed in record time with public money, provided by the former National Bank of Development (BANADE), to be able to meet the demand for hospitality during the 1978 World Cup. Although the publicists for the business alleging to own the building (Mercoteles, S.A., chaired by the younger Iurcovich) asserts that this loan was paid off and that this was legally recognized, because Bauen SACIC even filed a lawsuit against the nation-State for non-payment, no legal files or files at the Ministry of Economy establish any evidence of such payments. Quite the opposite: in the file of residual debts left after the liquidation of BANADE, under Menem, the Bauen debt appears together with dozens of other businesses in the same situation, showing this to be a normal practice in corporate business deals with the State, which only increased when their friends in the dictatorship governed the country.

This information was investigated by the workers themselves. In 2012, a criminal complaint was even filed against the Iurcoviches for this scam and their complicity with the dictatorship. After a year and a half of lying in a judicial box somewhere, the report was permanently archived by Judge Casanello without any sort of investigation. The long arm of economic power meets little resistance in the courts, which is a constant theme in the Bauen cause. That long arm tries to block recognition that the Hotel Bauen deserves to be managed by the workers who rebuilt it from the disastrous condition it was in after the fraudulent bankruptcy of the business in the late ’90s and early ’00s. What is referred to as “a lot of money” is really what the Argentine State needs to recover from the old debt that was never “honored” (as governments like to say to justify the payment of predatory and parasitical foreign debts). It could not be any other way, after all, in the context of a government whose almost exclusive purpose is to put public funds in the pockets of far fewer people than work at the Bauen hotel.


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