The resolution taken by the Legal Department of the National Institute of Colonization (INC) in a field in the north of the country will be decisive in elucidating the contractual situation of Guido Manini Ríos with that body. The conclusions, for whose date there is no deadline, will also have their political and legal consequences if they are negative for the interests of the leader of Cabildo Abierto.
According to the weekly Busca, Manini and his wife Irene Moreira, together with Roque Moreira, father of the Housing Minister and father-in-law of the senator, exploit 4,350 hectares of land in the department of Artigas. Part of this extension, some 2,856 hectares, corresponds to building 511 of the INC and is subject to the Colonization Law. They do it through a limited company, Palomar, headed by Moreira and his father.
Those were the conclusions of a report by the General Inspection Division of the institute, that it also determined that all those involved have the status of settlers, and that they break the law by not residing there or directly carrying out any production work.
The agency’s authorities decided that this report is not conclusive and that it must be legally analyzed. It was for three votes against one, in which Andrés Berterreche was in the minority against the directors of the ruling party. consulted by The Observer, the representative of the Broad Front in the organization said that the situation is clear. “I have no doubt: in padrón 511 there are a series of irregularities that must be regularized”, he explained.
As he recalled, several decades ago there were many field transactions in which it was not required to certify that the lands that changed hands belonged or not to the institute. A situation that, he pointed out, led to a great disorder. In 2011, he indicated, during the government of José Mujica, a “clean slate”: settlers had to present themselves to regularize their situation. And most did.
It was from some “comments” that, he said, he began to investigate the situation of the property in question. Thus, after a “detailed work” was that he gave way to the inspection whose analysis by the management, for different reasons, was extended. “This is not Berterreche against anyone, it is a subject of the institute”, the director pointed out. “The inspection was not done to so-and-so or to someone, it was done to building 511 of the National Colonization Institute.”
“They are taking it to a personal field, but what I want is for the regulations to be complied with. What corresponds to me is to see the irregularities that may exist in the managed fields”, he expressed.
For the director, that Manini says that the inspection was “tailor-made” and that there was pressure on the officials represents a grievance. Berterreche referred to the senator’s comments. . “For me, being called a settler would be an honor.”
Yet another lie!
Roque Moreira bought the property more than 51 years ago and was never a settler…
The report was ordered to be “made to measure” by the director of the MPP of the INC to dirty the field before the referendum…
Hitman journalism is still active and it seems that the constituents pay well! pic.twitter.com/MByfg1HuUL
— Gen. Guido Manini (@GuidoManiniRios) March 18, 2022
The eventual condition of settler of the leader of Cabildo Abierto implies, among other aspects, that he cannot sell that fraction of the field without authorization from the institute.
Consulted, Berterreche defended his actions. He said that he has had the information for six months, and for two he has known the result of the inspection. “If I had wanted a show, I would have disclosed it before”, said.
He also maintained that he always worked with institutional respect: nobody in the Broad Front knew about the issue. “You can ask,” he insisted. “I spoke rjust when the results were on the table of the directory”, thus discarding the indications about a political intentionality of the disclosure of these data.
This Monday the Broad Front bench, which is mostly dedicated to the campaign towards the referendum for the Urgent Consideration Law (LUC), will begin to analyze the issue. As a first input, the senators will take the results of the technical inspection. However, in the opposition, it is understood that the definition will come only with the final pronouncement of the INC board.
Above all, from the conclusion on whether or not the field is affected by the Colonization Law. “The roads fork there,” he told The Observer Senator Enrique Rubio.
If Manini turns out to be a settler, he incurred clear irregularities. One of them was have voted in 2020 the articles 357 and 358 of the LUC. One disaffected from the INC’s orbit the fields coming from the Banco Hipotecario neighborhoods. The other made the conditions that a settler must meet more flexible, in terms of working directly on the property or residing there. These are changes that, eventually, would have benefited him directly.
If the leader of the Open Cabildo is subject to the obligations of the Colonization Law, for Rubio he incurred a “serious fault” for, first of all, having violated the Senate regulations, which prevent legislators from participating in matters in which have interests, unless expressly authorized by the chamber.
Rubio remarked that this could have other derivations. He recalled there that the same accusation was made at the time to the Frente Amplio deputy Daniel Placeres (MPP), who ended up prosecuted without prison for a combination of personal and public interest. One of the elements that he played for this ruling was that the then legislator promoted and participated in parliamentary actions to benefit Envidrio, the cooperative that he directed.
But the FA analyzes another of the edges of the case: the conditions in which, presumably, the workers who lived in the inspected property lived. According to the results of the inspection, a foreman and a cook lived in building 511 in a “staff house” and another five employees in another. “Very modest construction, consisting of a bedroom and a kitchen-dining room.”
Manini’s only public expression on the matter was made on Friday via Twitter, shortly after Search released the information. “Another lie,” said the leader of Cabildo Abierto. According to his version, that fraction of the field was acquired by his father-in-law, Roque Moreira “more than 51 years ago and he was never a settler.” Manini maintained that the inspection “was ordered to be made to measure” by director Berterreche in order to “dirty the field before the referendum.”
In Cabildo Abierto, what was expressed by its leader is subscribed. “It’s an old topic,” he recalled in dialogue with The Observer Senator Guillermo Domenech. ‘He always said that Moreira had bought that field many years ago, at an auction to the INC, and that it was not affected by the colony regime.”
Domenech said he believes that it is a property “with many problems”, with a significant area of mountain and low productivity. The senator defended Manini’s performance in the Senate during the LUC discussion.
“He voted convinced that he has no relationship with Colonization and that he is not subject to his regime.” Domenech also pointed out that “in 50 years there was never an inspection to see what was being done there.” In his opinion, this tacitly demonstrates that the INC always understood that the field in question was never affected by the Colonization Law.
The president of the INC, Julio Cardozo, had specified on Friday to The Observer that the key is the interpretation that the legal advice determines about the law that created Colonization, which, he recalled, has had many modifications and many other legal interpretations over time.
Above all, if when the property under discussion was purchased it was affected by the scope of the law. That is what Manini and his wife, Irene Moreira, argue.
When consulted, Cardozo indicated that only with the results of the inspection “it cannot be affirmed that Manini and Moreira are settlers.”
Search had recorded last year that Minister Moreira has been the director of Palomar SA since 2008. The weekly reported at the time that the property under discussion was purchased in 1970 by Colonization and then made a public call, in which Roque Moreira acquired it. .
In 1974, the father-in-law of the leader of Cabildo Abierto was ordered to reside in the field and exploit it directly, according to the law. Moreira then requested a “change in the contract conditions” under article 127 of the same law.
Between 1981 and 1982 Moreira, according to what was consigned, bought the rest of the fractions of the property and created Palomar SA. In 1977, according to the information, Manini Ríos becomes the owner of fraction 2.