Home » Who is Juan Carlos Pagotto, elected president of the Bicameral Commission, which defended repressors in La Rioja

Who is Juan Carlos Pagotto, elected president of the Bicameral Commission, which defended repressors in La Rioja

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Who is Juan Carlos Pagotto, elected president of the Bicameral Commission, which defended repressors in La Rioja

After back and forth with crossed accusations regarding representativeness, the permanent bicameral commission for Legislative Procedure appointed its authorities this Thursday and, in this way, the kick-off was given for the treatment of the mega DNU 70/23 issued by the president Javier Milei last December. In this regard, it will be chaired by the Rioja senator from La Libertad Avanza, Juan Carlos Pagottoa lawyer who defended repressors who committed crimes against humanity in his native province.

The senator was elected to preside over the commission after being voted by his space, the PRO, the UCR and federal blocks, while UxP reserved the vote. The PRO deputy remained in the vice presidency, Hernan Lombardi and the radical senator Victor Zimmermann will be secretary. Out of a total of 16 members, 10 supported the charges.

Originally from La Rioja, Pagotto studied Law at the National University of Córdoba (UNC). Additionally, he served as provincial deputy between 1993 and 1997 representing Chilecito. In 2023 he was elected national senator for La Libertad Avanza with 32% of the votes.

Debate by the DNU: the libertarian Juan Carlos Pagotto was appointed president of the Bicameral Commission

The appointment of the legislator as head of the Bicameral Commission generated controversy among Human Rights organizations, who warned in a statement that Pagotto “does not meet the ethical and moral conditions required to perform a function of such institutional relevance and on which they depend in to a large extent the destinies of the Argentine people”. In that sense, they detailed that he is “a character who has gained notoriety from the role he played as defense lawyer for repressors and judicial officials who were convicted for their participation in crimes against humanity committed by state terrorism in La Rioja”.

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In this regard, among the libertarian’s clients are Vice Commodore Luis Fernando Estrella, second chief of the Chamical air base, and the former commissioner Sunday Benito Verasentenced to life imprisonment along with Luciano Benjamín Menendez, head of the III Corps of the Army, for the kidnapping and murder of the priests Carlos de Dios Murias and Gabriel Longueville. He also defended the former second lieutenant. Ángel Ricardo Pezzetta during the residual process of the case for the crime of the two religious.

In addition to this, Pagotto acted as sponsoring lawyer for the former federal judge Roberto Catalanappointed to his position by Jorge Rafael Videla in 1976 and the former police officer Roberto Ganemboth convicted of the crimes of illegitimate deprivation of liberty, torture, homicide and illicit association within the framework of the Menéndez Megacausa.

Among those who signed the press release are the Human Rights Secretariat of La Rioja, Mothers of Plaza de Mayo – Founding Line, H.I.J.O.S. CapitalSpace of Memory La Rioja, Association of Former Prisoners and Political Prisoners of La Rioja, Provincial Archive of Memory of La Rioja, SOMOS Barrios de Pie de La Rioja, CGT of the Workers of La Rioja, CTA of the Workers of La Rioja, Frente Patria Grande of La Rioja, UTEP of La Rioja and Peronist Women of La Rioja, Colectivo Memoria Militante, among others.

During the debate for the appointment of authorities, the left-wing national representative Myriam Bregman rejected the proposal to appoint the LLA senator as president of the Bicameral Commission for having been a defender of those accused of crimes against humanity. In that sense, he reported that different Human Rights organizations presented a challenge to said designation.

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