The maneuvers of chaining firms that are bought and sold as a way to hide the true owners and the source of their capital, getting loans from public banks and never paying them, using debt waivers or transfers to the State, and filing lawsuits against the State to obstruct investigations (something like a thief shouting “stop, thief”), are typical tricks used by which business groups of the so-called “contractor homeland” to grow at the expense of the public treasury, and get rich without risking more than a minimal portion of their capital (if any). The Iurcoviches are no exception, but almost an minor player compared with the Macri group, which made constant use of this modus operandi1 and made Marcelo Iurcovich look like its apprentice.
These kinds of maneuvers, not coincidentally, are the backstory to several businesses later recovered by their workers, with the BANADE (and the workers who were cheated and left unemployed) playing the role of the figurehead on the prow of the State’s ship of fools. The stories of the recovered businesses usually run together through bonds of solidarity established between workers at the various businesses during recovery. But long before, back when they worked under orders from their bosses, many of the pre-existing businesses, unknown to their employees, already shared certain elements that shaped the economic and financial flows in this stage of the recent economic history of the country. Bauen workers recovered the hotel after hearing the story of Chilavert, a recovered print shop, in a meeting convened by the printers and held in their shop, but the names of both businesses were already in the files of the National Bank of Development, where the loans granted to the owners who exploited them were held.
A document from 2001 updated the amounts owed in pesos (peso-dollars of convertibility) to the year 2000. The 1,325 debtor companies—quite a crowd—include the following data among the businesses that workers occupied and recovered, or at least tried:
- Bauen SACIC (File 46,414), with a total debt of $85,476,895 and in situation 52
- Viniplast SAIC (File 49,170), with a total debt of $4,383,493 and in situation 5
- Hilanderías M.G. SA (File 49,365), with a total debt of $2,818,226 and in situation 5
- Cerámica Zanon SACIM (File 45,959), with a total debt of $125,739 and in situation 5
- Cerámica Stefani Cutral-có SACIFA (File 46,555), with a total debt of $924,690 and in situation 5
- Gaglianone Est. Printing SACI (File 42,082), with a total debt of $13,669
- Sasetru SACIFIAE (File 28.128), with a total debt of $26.144.239 and situation 6
- Elecrodomésticos Aurora SA (File 33,210), with a total debt of $3,819,984 and in situation 6
- Frigorífico Minguillón SA (File 37,879), with a total debt of $59,733,947 and in situation 6
- Frigorífico Yaguané SACIFA (File 43,104), with a total debt of $42,246,746 and in situation 6.
- As demonstrated, for example, by the case of debt forgiveness by the Argentine Mail carried out by Mauricio Macri towards his own family as soon as he reached power, and which exploded in February of 2017.↩
- Situation 5 corresponds to adjudicated debts, and 6 to those still in dispute in bankruptcy proceedings.↩