The General War Council investigated the responsibility of eight officers of the Argentine Navy in the sinking of the submarine ARA San Juan, which occurred on November 15, 2017, Several of the accused will be convicted on MondayAccording to military sources. The final sentence for some It will be the separationThat is, the loss of their academic degree, salary, or pension rights.
And the military prosecutor blamed it ‘Serious mistakes’ For those accused of killing 44 heroes who made up his crew. The basis for his accusation is that the captain of San Juan, Captain Pedro Fernandez, had it “frozen” His ability to lead a ship Offer has expired And therefore , “was not” Seaworthy, within the listing “Neglecting”.
It will be the final chapter An unprecedented truth To use the new military laws enacted during Christina Kirchner’s presidency. The last of that organization’s actions against the army was against the Carpentados, who rose up under the government of Carlos Menem.
The assignment of the council was made up of a general, brigadier general and surveyor – not a single diver – Criticized by defenses of the accused and the sectors of the Navy.
The council is composed of the Minister of Strategy and Military Affairs, Surveyor Sergio Rossi (cousin of Defense Minister Augustin Rossi), the Chairman and Deputy Chief of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the Armed Forces, General Juan Martin Paleo and Brigadier General Pedro. Girardi.
The investigating audit officer (who would be like the prosecutor) is the attorney and Brigadier General Ricardo Mendes. Before the Council, he placed a bill to shoot down an aircraft.
According to military advisory sources ClarionThere is “annoyance” in the Navy, because there are no sailors and less submarines on the War Council and because of General Paleo’s position to speed up the process.
Also, because the sentence will be executed Without any experience To explain the reasons for the shipwreck. 67 thousand pictures of the Ocean Infinity ship that found San Juan 800 meters deep and 500 kilometers from Comodoro Rivadavia in 2018 after a year of searching, They haven’t finished their evaluation yet.
Council heard About 50 witnesses. Among them are the sailor, Figueroa, Marco, Velti, Zuluaga, Pisa, Gomez, Bergalo, Acuña, Blanco, Silla. , Attan, Chalolio, Kraser, Olivero, Viana, Picardo, Andersen, Frank, Enrique Balbi (the famous Armada spokesperson during the shipwreck), Flamini, Peral, Phelan, Zavala and Guardia. no one Verify the validity of the auditor’s accusation.
The Board is investigating the alleged responsibility for dumping former Force Commander Marcelo Sorour; The former head of the Puerto Belgrano Naval Base, Admiral Luis Lopez Mazzio; Former Head of Maintenance and Arsenals Eduardo Malchudi The former Chief Operating Officer, Captain Carlos Ferraro, is retired.
The former commander of the submarine force, Captain Claudio Villamide, and officers Hector Alonso, Hugo Correa and Jorge Solia are also being investigated, all of whom are active. According to the sources, “At least two will be removed” Others will have fewer penalties.
Law 26394 that currently regulates this council It provides penalties for minor, serious, and extremely serious crimes, ranging from warning to dismissal. This last metric is The height of shame For the army.
The council started trading Last November 25 In the Libertador Building based on summaries made by former Macri Defense Minister, Oscar Aguad, after nearly three years of administrative procedures in the Navy. Agwad dropped the case in a ‘Legal quagmire’ From uncertainty, according to sources.
San Juan submarine bow after the ship sank at a depth of 800 meters.
The current Minister of Defense, Augustin Rossi, Accelerated start-up board He said it was “the most important since the return of democracy” in 1983, forgetting the Malvinas war, among other things. Kirchnerism seeks that this investigation sprinkles Macri and Agwad, despite San Juan reforming during the previous administration of Rousey and his predecessor Nilda Gary.
The San Juan, which was sailing from Ushuaia to Bahia Blanca after undertaking a mission, sank after reporting the start of a fire in bow batteries that it took for granted and in the midst of a strong storm with waves ranging from six to seven meters.
The command to sail from Ushuaia had been issued by the captain, not his captains, on the ground, after an inspection by him.
The last contact with the submarine, led by Captain Pedro Fernandez, with its base in Mar del Plata took place on November 15, 2017. He said so. He was going diving For the crew to rest from the tremendous effort of sailing to the surface in the midst of a storm with the deafening noise of diesel engines.
One of the points of discussion at the trial was whether the San Juan had expired, which was the structure’s maintenance work. A witness explained that San Juan’s gift has expired.two months ago Although I can keep sailing for another twenty-four months. “
Military sources commented on this criterion, The icebreaker Erezar was not able to do the Antarctic campaign this year. Nor can other Navy ships with an expired gift “such as Corvette Rosales (7 years), Corvette Robson (5 years) and Destroyer Sarandi (6 years)”, among others.
On his exit, Lopez Matzio complained about the reason He was never tried by naval peersBut a surveyor, general and dean.
In a democracy, the former head of the Puerto Belgrano base said who, because of his qualifications, was to be the successor to Sorour, the military judiciary would transfer responsibilities on the basis of “Established facts and the conduct attributed to it”Not based on guesswork.
Lopez Matzio said that the auditor accused him of “very serious errors that would have continued to lose the submarine, and made it clear that he had nothing to reproach Captain Fernandez and his crew,” according to military sources.
But, in fact, the conclusions he confirms “state in secret that the ship ARA San Juan was destroyed by the captain,” said Lopez Matzio.
A San Juan submarine fan in one of the photos taken by the Ocean Infinity robots.
As for the former head of the Belgrano Port Base, “the condition of his ship and its ability to carry out the mission it had ordered was incorrectly assessed.”
In the assessment made by Captain Fernandez, a few months before the tragedy, he rated the San Juan “4.25 out of 5 points, then the ship stayed for 30 days in repair, which improved the said rating.”
It provoked the trial march Interests In the Navy.
On the other hand, three retired admirals (one is 90 years old) posted letters from newspaper readers complaining about them. This court martial of sailors without sailors. One of them was the former head of Naval Aviation, Admiral Basilio Bertini.
The captain of the Navy, Admiral José Phelan, had to warn via an internal radiogram that active or retired sailors who had publicly indicated the sensitive issue would be punished. He has already started briefs for three retirees.
For its part, the Naval Center, headed by Admiral (right) Julio Alberto Covarropias, said in a statement that “sometimes The sea shows us its merciless powerSometimes unforeseen damage is added to the sea, sometimes at the worst moment, sometimes in the worst place. “
Sometimes it all happens together, and that’s what happened to San Juan on November 15th, three years ago. But there were sailors on the ship, there was a captain, and they were a team with their ship, and they all trusted everyone and gave their best. Nobody can judge what that leader did, He is always the best in position and eligibility to make the decision, which is why he is the leaderThat is why no one can allow himself, from the edge of a breakwater, to tell him, his ship and his men what to do, “the entity memo added.
The Naval Center “awaits the War Council in its decision Preserve these principles, values, and vowsOtherwise, the essence of the sailor’s profession will change The ancient character of the captain at sea“.
“This concept is what the Naval Center seeks to protect and protect, so that the result of the actions allows the commander, Captain Fernandez, his ship and his crew Keep your guards out in peace“, The marine entity concluded.
A military source said, in short, that the trial is under discussion “How do you practice the will?” On a ship in a storm, an aircraft at a speed of 1,000 kilometers per hour, or an army patrol on top of a mountain.
Sailors who authorized the War Council on Monday They may appeal to justice in administrative litigation.
Historical photos of the San Juan submarine and its 44 heroes.
However, in military sources, estimates indicate the convictions They will finally head over to the criminal case that Calita Olivia’s judge, Marta Yanez, is looking into.
In February 2020, the investigating judge Eight mariners handled About a crimeExacerbate damage blame To the outcome of death in the perfect competition. “
This is what he attributed to Jorge Solia, former head of logistics for the Submarine Force Command (COFS); Hugo Correa, Former Head of COFS Operations; Hector Alonso, former Chief of Staff of COFS; Luis Lopez Matzio, Head of Training and Recruiting Command; Claudio Villamide, Submarine Force Commander. And Eduardo Luis Malcudi, former head of Maintenance and Shipyards.
Also He accused them of not complying with the duties of the public official and neglecting the duties of the position, Bans ranging from 2 million to 3.5 million pesos were banned.
However, the family sector complained led by attorney Luis Tagliapetra He demanded that the sailors be tried for more serious crimes. A request for the removal of a judge was also submitted before the Judicial Council.
Last November, the Federal Chamber of Comodoro Rivadavia confirmed the prosecution of Judge W. He ordered him to investigate whether there were responsibilities for Macri and Agwad in the wreck.
On the other hand, Buenos Aires federal judge Ariel Lego commissioned another investigation to Prosecutor Federico Delgado. It is because of a series of anonymous statements that reached the court about alleged irregularities in the Navy SEO investigation that led to the creation of the War Council. What he foretold A long judicial process to get to the truth in this tragedy.