Martin Becerra

How Indalo Group Used Taxpayers’ Money to Buy More Media

A journalistic investigation unearths a raft of favors the former Argentinian government made to the group Indalo. But it also highlights an unsettling pattern of tradeoffs and favors between mighty media moguls and state institutions.
 
In their past four years in power, the Kirchner regime in Argentina allowed the businessman Cristobal Lopez to get away with accruing some US$550m (something close to ARS 8bn in local currency) in debts. The money was owed to the Federal Public Revenue Administration (AFIP), Argentina’s fiscal administrator. That debt is unlikely to be paid in the near future, according to an investigation from the Argentinian newspaper La Nacion, which analyzed a bevy of balance sheets from Indalo, the group controlled by Mr Lopez and his business partner Fabian De Sousa.
 

 
The debt consists of taxes on gasoline that Oil Combustibles, one of Indalo’s companies, failed to pay to the state. For each ARS 14 per liter of gasoline sold, Oil Combustibles was supposed to transfer some ARS 4 to AFIP. 
 
It didn’t do so. 
 

Clarin and Telefonica Beat the Law and Hold Sway in Argentina’s Media

Six years ago, the Kirchner government, at loggerheads with the powerful Clarin media group, adopted legislation to hurt dominant players in the country’s media. But not much has changed since then. An analysis from Martin Becerra.

October 2015 was the sixth anniversary of the audiovisual law that replaced a broadcasting act in Argentina, which was inherited from the country’s last military dictatorship (1976-1983). Before 2009, that law had undergone amendments during a period of 20 years. For the past 12 years, the Argentinian presidency was shared by the Kirchners, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner and her late husband, Nestor Kirchner. The Kirchner era is ending today as Argentines go to polls to elect a new president. They can’t vote Mrs Kirchner again as she is barred by law from seeking a third term.