One of the scandals that recently shattered the foundations of the Spanish political system is the Luis Barcenas case, involving the treasurer of the Popular Party (PP) and the hidden accountancy of the party from the local to national level. Far from being just a single embezzlement case, in the long trail of Spanish democracy, the Barcenas case could actually topple Rajoy´s Government and explode the two-party system forever.
Luis Barcenas went from rags to riches in 1982, with just the title of Economist to his name, to becoming a massively wealthy administrator on Geneva Street in Madrid. He started his professional career working as an administrator for AP. He was fired by Antonio Hernandez Mancha in 1986, but was hired again by Manuel Fraga Iribarne in 1989 becoming an assistant to the new treasurer Rosendo Naseiro. Naseiro became infamous for a scandal involving illegal financing and plus having a murky relationship with a Spanish drug trafficker. Naseiro´s dark shadow would follow the next few treasurers, Angel Sanchis and Alvaro Lapuerta. Barcenas became popularly known in the inner circles of the party as Tarzan because of his insignificancy and poor status. However, his power rose tremendously having a property portfolio worth of 3.3 million Euros, including a property in Baqueira, Marbella, and Salamanca in Madrid. Barcenas salary: 200,000 Euros – three times that of a government minister.
But in order to understand how Luis Barcenas managed to amass such an enormous wealth, we must first take a look at Angel Sanchis, one of the previous treasurers of PP. He was investigated by the UDEF, the Brigade of the Spanish Police who specialize in economic crimes. They unearthed a network of societies: Society Camosur Land, registered in Bankia, Society Rumugal, linked with the HSBC in New York, and Brixco, based in Uruguay. Furthermore, Sanchis was denounced by the Argentinian Justice Department for money laundering, whilst also possessing a lemon harvest of 30,000 hectares in the Argentinian Province of Jalta, registered under the name of the Society of La Moraleja. But this is not the worst, according to El Porteño, aeroplanes landed with cocaine on La Moraleja airfield. The construction of this airfield, was helped by the ex-Peronist Governor Juan Carlos Romero. The accusations of being linked with drug trafficking became enforced after the Interpol Office in Uruguay denounced and issued an investigation order on Barcenas for organized crime. The reports and the analysis made by the Unity of Information and Financial Analysis of Uruguay´s Central Bank, focused most of it on the Society Tesedul, enhanced Interpol´s allegations. Even worse, Luis Barcenas, during a conversation with one Capo of the Camorra, the Napolitan Mafia, said: ‘ Mafia and politics are the same.’
Papers acquired appear to suggest that Luis bribing a series of political personalities in PP; including the actual President of the Spanish Government, Mariano Rajoy Brey. One of the dossiers that can truly affect PP is the 179 page report by the UDEF, regarding transfers of 1.3 million Euros to the Basque PP in order to pay for new headquarters. The name of the entrepreneur, Emilio Alvarez Lopez, has also appeared as one of the involved personalities in the Barcenas Affair. Barcenas used the same network to launder money. Societies like Sinequanon, who are registered in Switzerland, Uruguay, Belice, and Delaware, U.S, served as a conduit to channel black money taken from commissions regarding various entrepreneurs, and construction companies (most having links with the Pujol Family). In addition to that, Mariano Rajoy , while President has had communication with Luis Barcenas when he was imprisoned: ‘Luis, be strong, we are doing all we can.’ Maria Dolores de Cospedal, secretary general of the PP ordered the break-in inside Barcenas room to take out the hard drive of his computer and destroy files; what are they hiding? Probably evidence of bribery, deviation of public funds or massive loans given by the saving banks that are controlled by politicians and are the source of corruption.
The Barcenas scandal could become the Achilles heel of PP. Why? It demonstrates the total corruption of the Spanish right wing and the utter failure of political transparency regarding the executive work of political parties. Indeed, as I mentioned before, this trail of corruption goes back to the 80s when Manuel Fraga Iribarne was the head of AP and then PP. In the book De Fraga a Fraga, written by the journalists Carlos Davila and Luis Herrero, the detail the giving of black money to the party´s Oligarchs. The state is in danaer of become a plutocracy, an oligarchy of parties. The electors, affiliated party members, don´t pick their leaders, a close circle of heavyweights do. The system feeds on corruption and Barcenas is the cashier of black money. The system must be redesigned, otherwise there will be more cases of corruption. The real Godfathers act behind the scenes and Spain is not an isolated case, we see similar cases in Italy, Greece, France, and Eastern Europe.
By Daniel Gonzalez, Junior Writer for Daily Political View.