The questioning of ministers Heber and Bustillo for the Marset case began after 3:00 p.m. on Monday, August 22, and ended at 2:48 a.m. on Tuesday, August 23.
After almost eleven hours of debate, around the dawn of this Wednesday, the questioning member, Senator from the Broad Front Mario Bergara, read a motion through which he stated that due to the “delivery of a common passport to the recognized drug trafficker Sebastián Marset, with a profuse judicial record, who was investigated and imprisoned for carrying a false passport in the United Arab Emirates and having listened to Ministers Heber and Bustillo, the Senate declares that said explanations are absolutely unsatisfactory and unacceptable.”
Bergara said that “given the evidence presented in the Chamber, it is unjustifiable that the ministers declare that no one knew who the passport applicant was until March 2022, the date on which the international requisition was seen, despite being investigated by the Police ” .
In the motion that the legislator read, but that did not prosper due to not having enough votes, it is indicated that “the contacts that existed during November 2021 between the undersecretaries of both portfolios (Guillermo Maciel and Carolina Ache), as well as the meeting between Undersecretary Carolina Ache and Dr. Alejando Balbi, representative of Marset, which was recognized in the Chamber”.
“Likewise, Minister Heber acknowledged the existence of an official email urging to speed up the process, that the argument put forward in relation to Decree No. 129/014 is inadmissible since in no way did it force the issuance of this passport,” Bergara remarked in the motion. of the Broad Front and that was finally a minority.
He also stated that in no case, neither with the 1993 decree nor with the 2014 amendments should Marset’s passport be issued, “because both decrees gave the authorities room to deny it.”
The interpretation of the legislation carried out by the ministerial authorities “led to a shameful result, that the convened authorities had to assume their political responsibility instead of wielding administrative and bureaucratic arguments.”
“It represents an additional concern, not understanding the impact that this unfortunate episode represents for the international reputation of Uruguay, and for the citizen’s credibility in our institutions,” Bergara read.
Throughout the course of the interpellation, the authorities “did not take responsibility for the accumulation of errors committed.”
Based on this, the Broad Front understands that “these ministers do not have the trust of the Body, for which it is appropriate that they step aside.”
However, it was approved, with the votes of the ruling party (National Party, Colorado Party and Cabildo Abierto) a motion in which it is stated that after the questioning of Ministers Heber and Bustillo, the Senate of the Republic declares that they are “absolutely The explanations of both hierarchs were satisfactory, given that they acted in accordance with the law, respecting current regulations and following the established guidelines.
The ministers “have answered the questions posed, demonstrating that at no time was an irregularity found and that the situation that was experienced was the result of these regulations.”
“The government carries out a strong policy against drug trafficking and organized crime and a change in the regulations must be implemented, to avoid similar cases,” the approved motion states.
The pro-government legislators reiterated their willingness to “work on state policies in the fight against drug trafficking, backing what has been done so far by the coalition government.”