Fact Check: Argentina

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Lázaro Báez has 427,000 acres in Santa Cruz


Tuesday, April 14, 2015
By Lucia Salinas

Lazaro Baez knew how to expand his businesses during the Kirchner decade and this included the acquisition of over 400,000 acres of land in Santa Cruz. Added to the 25 ranches already reported by Clarín, the ARI-CC denounced that there was a purchase of fields in recent years that allowed the K businessman to total 30 of them.

After the field of construction, Baez entered the agricultural business, and for that he set up two companies also dedicated to sheep breeding, Valler Hermoso SRL and Austral Agro SA, but also decided to use Austral Construcciones for buying ranches in the south.

On Thursday, in court, Mariana Zuvic (ARI-CC Santa Cruz) expanded the charges against Lázaro Báez for money laundering, which included an initial list of ranches under the assumption that the compulsive purchases of fields can be a framework for the crime of “money laundering”. “We are now talking about 30 raches exceeding 427,000 acres, because he acquired ranches with both winter and summer fields,” said opposition leader to Clarin. From the farms near Rio Turbio to more fields in the north of the province and ranches divided into winter and summer fields. “With all his fields, the whole Pampa Alta is owned by Lazaro (Baez),” explained another official source.

A large set of ranches – some 12– are located near the town of El Calafate, where Baez not only restored the fences, but built new main houses for each ranch, without inhabitants. These add up to 200,000 acres, which were acquired in cash for 28 million dollars. Another group is found along National Route 40 and the Andes range, a beautiful area with many lakes.

He also acquired more than eight farms in an area with mineral riches known as Macizo del Deseado, where the largest number of gold and silver mines in Santa Cruz is found. Further south, near Rio Gallegos, another group of fields owned by Baez.

“The most recent purchases were made on unproductive fields and practically without cattle, which is what increases the value of the fields. But they are very extensive,” said a person close to the negotiations of several fields for Baez. Among others, Zuvic denounced as participants in the operations “the accountant Fernando Butti, Leandro Baez and Andrea Cantín”.

View Original Article: Lázaro Báez tiene 427 mil hectáreas en Santa Cruz