The fight was not limited to Parliament or the judiciary. In contrast to other former owners of recovered businesses, the Iurcoviches, now characterized as Mercoteles, had an active communication policy. Internet portals and some important media outlets produced articles every so often that were no more than veiled propaganda in favor of the return of the bosses and attacks on the workers. On June 28, 2005, Mercoteles even published an editorial in the newspaper La Nación directed at the Legislature, entitled “Hotel Bauen: to the legislators of the city and public opinion in general.” The arguments were the same as always, and were later used as the basis of the “Morando Law.” It ended up affirming: Legislators: there is no public utility in this bill, which tries to legalize an illegal occupation and which affects the following: the right to legitimately acquired property; the rights of taxpayers affected by the use of public funds; workers’ rights to social security; the right of creditors in bankruptcy; and the right to security of the lives of the occupants and guests of the hotel.”
However, what was most interesting wasn’t the arguments, which were widely known, but, in light of later events, the signers of the editorial. It was the agents of both signatures. The agent of Bauen SACIC was Gerardo Mario Palomero, DNI 13.404.076, who later we will find making declarations in the newspaper Clarín as …an agent of Mercoteles.1 The agent of Mercoteles, for her part, was Susana Beatriz Espósito, DNI 10.121.348. Currently, Espósito is a legislator for the PRO elected in 2011 and, according to her CV, is a lawyer, scribe, and has a degree in Security. In reality, according to the Official Bulletin n.º 31.544 of December 2, 2008, Mrs. Espósito is the owner of a company that, among other things, is dedicated to the “marketing, distribution, import, and export of raw materials and written products for industry and accessories specific to security forces.” She is also the wife of Ricardo Pedace, a police official who would later be one of the subcommanders of the Buenos Aires Police created by Macri, the Metropolitan, and under his successor, Horacio Rodríguez Larreta, boss of the Agency Governmental of Control.2
We will encounter her again in this story, much later, with an inconvenient closeness to the judge who ordered the BAUEN to be evicted (in favor of the firm represented by Espósito), Paula Hualde. Of course, Mrs. Espósito would not be the only connection between Mercoteles and the PRO.
In another editorial published shortly thereafter, July 7th, it was argued that “the hotel has become a booty of war of greedy businesspeople, union opportunists, and reckless adventurers; and it now runs the risk of also becoming a victim of demagogic authoritarianism.” Espósito’s name also appears there.
- See declarations of Palomero in “Conflict grows in the BAUEN and the owners ask for eviction,” Clarín, 16 June 2014. Recovered from https://www.clarin.com/ciudades/crece-conflicto-bauen-duenos-desalojo_0_rkjFzQh5DQx.html↩
- Ricardo Ragendorfer, “March to Bauen for the PRO,” Nuestras Voces, 12 March 2017. Recovered from http://www.nuestrasvoces.com.ar/investigaciones/bauen-para-el-pro/↩