The prosecutor of Colonia Eliana Travers resumed this week the investigation against the former white mayor and candidate for re-election by the department, Carlos Moreira, for alleged irregularities with the internships granted during his term (2015-2020), according to judicial sources informed El Observador .
Travers summoned three councilors from the Frente Amplio for this Friday who will testify as witnesses, and two others will do the same on Wednesday 23. In those instances, they will ratify the complaint made against Moreira in February of this year – which includes renewals of internships for children of directors related to the hierarch–, and will contribute « new elements » that have not yet been evaluated by the prosecutor.
«Now they are going to start investigating internships, which ones were renewed, which ones are linked to directors or relatives of directors. The idea is that these things be investigated, aired and tested, ”the lawyer for the Broad Front, Ismael Blanco, told El Observador.
Moreira – favorite candidate in the municipal elections for this September 27 – had already been investigated by Travers last year, as a result of the viralization in October of a series of audios in which the then hierarch seems to offer an internship in exchange for sex to the mayor María José García. Almost four months later, in February, the prosecutor closed the case on understanding that there were not « sufficient objective elements » to charge Moreira with the crimes of abuse of functions, concussion and sexual abuse, which was what she then analyzed.
The decision was appealed by the attorney for the mayor García, Fernando Duro, and the Carmelo prosecutor’s office reviewed the actions taken by Travers, although they confirmed the file. However, the Frente Amplio councilors, instead of also requesting the re-examination of the file, chose to present more information that points to alleged crimes against the public administration, and Travers met with five denouncing councilors this Tuesday, who were accompanied by Blanco. There, according to the mayor Daniel Almada – coordinator of the Frente Amplio bench – they asked the prosecutor « what was the delay » in analyzing the new documentation – presented by them seven months ago – and decide whether to finally reopen the file of the cause or will maintain the closure.
Travers replied that while Carmelo’s prosecutor’s office analyzed the file, it decided to wait for the resolution because it could not know if Carmelo’s colleagues – Paola Nebot and Natalia Charquero – would continue with the investigation or confirm the file, which is what happened on 17 last July.
Now, with that obstacle cleared, the prosecutor began to « study the elements » provided by the witnesses, which will be compared with the statements that she will receive next Friday and Wednesday, and based on that she will evaluate « if there is merit or justifications to reopen the case « , told Travers close friends.
« The prosecutor was very committed to the case, and to give a neat closure to the issue with all the elements in view, something that has not happened so far, » Almada said.
Asked about that point, Travers declined to comment.
The renewals questioned and the pronouncement of the Jutep
Among the alleged irregularities that Travers has in his portfolio, is the renewal of internships through an allegedly irregular procedure for the children of the deputy director of Social Action of the commune, Julio Castrillo, and the director of Public Relations, Jorge Torres, among other cases .
According to the complaint, the children of those officials each managed to have the administration renew their scholarship seven times as interns. The internships last six months, so that means that the young people worked in the commune as interns for at least three and a half years.
In February, El Observador consulted Castrillo on the matter, but he refused to comment, and Torres, for his part, did not respond to calls and messages.
The then mayor Moreira was also consulted. First he replied that he was not going to make statements either because the issue was « in the courts, » but then he assured: « I have already answered a request for information (in reference to Jutep), so I am not going to make statements on the issue. There have been several renewals (interns) and more than one. That’s what I can tell you. » Now, he did not answer the calls either.
The Transparency and Public Ethics Board (Jutep) was issued on the matter on February 7, also at the request of the Frente Amplio. It is a report that is also part of the prosecution’s folder.
The body’s board of directors – which at that time was made up of Ricardo Gil Iribarne, Matilde Rodríguez and Daniel Borrelli – defined that the Municipality of Cologne failed to comply with the internship regulations established by the commune itself.
The body asked Moreira to explain the current regime of internships – the First Work Experience program that the hierarch created in his first administration (1995) -, as well as the number of beneficiaries from July 2015 – when the current administration began – until the date. In response, the Jutep received the information that in that period a total of 788 interns entered the Municipality of Cologne. During that period, in addition, the city government granted 43 interns extensions, some for more than six times.
The agency’s document maintains that the scheme is not in accordance with national regulations, which contradicts « the spirit of the departmental plan », and that in the renovations « there is no reference to the rating of ‘excellent’ » nor was it mentioned « that has carried out the draw before a notary public ».
In addition, he criticized that « in most cases » the « fundamentals » of the renovations were « brief and generic. »
The Jutep had also concluded in that report that the conduct of Moreira and the mayor García violated « the principles of public interest, probity, legality and impartiality », established in the civil service regulations of Decree 30/003 and in the law of the Last year’s Code of Ethics.