The Uruguayan Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Francisco Bustillo, and of the Interior, Luis Alberto Heber, appear before the Senate this Monday for the granting of a passport to drug trafficker Sebastián Marset, a fugitive from Paraguayan Justice, in what the opposition called “a coup against the country’s reputation.
“The episode constitutes a blow to the country’s reputation,” said the senator of the Broad Front (FA, left) Mario Bergara, who, in a session that began at 3:15 p.m. (6:15 p.m. GMT), questioned both ministers about the delivery of documentation to Marset, which allowed his release from Dubai prison, where he was accused of carrying a false Paraguayan passport.
The opposition legislator, who made a 45-minute presentation, asked Bustillo and Heber if they understood that this case “erodes the credibility” of Uruguay.
The appearance of the two ministers, which is expected to last several hours, was requested by the FA, a leftist coalition that governed Uruguay between 2005 and 2020 and is today the main opposition party, and backed by the ruling party, which considered need to shed light on the matter.
Marset, a 31-year-old Uruguayan with a long criminal record in several countries and whose name appears linked as the alleged intellectual author of the murder in Colombia of the Paraguayan anti-mafia prosecutor Marcelo Pecci, received a passport from the Uruguayan authorities that allowed him to escape from the United Arab Emirates.
As reported days ago by the Uruguayan newspaper El Observador, the drug trafficker received the passport while the Ministry of the Interior collaborated with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) of the United States in an international investigation led by the Anti-Drug Secretariat of Paraguay.
The Vice Chancellor, Carolina Ache, denied last Wednesday “any participation” in the process of issuing and delivering the passport, although she acknowledged having received Alejandro Balbi, Marset’s lawyer, in her office, who asked her about “the date of sending the passport.” diplomatic bag.
Although the president of Uruguay, the center-right Luis Lacalle Pou, has remained silent these days, other members of the ruling party have justified the actions of the authorities based on decree 129/014.
This text refers to the “approval of the regulation regarding the issuance of common passports, identity and travel documents and repeal of decree 167/993” and was issued in 2014, during the mandate of the leftist José Mujica (2010-2015) .
Said regulation establishes the consultation of judicial records in Uruguay for the issuance of a passport to citizens of that nationality abroad and, according to the Executive, the cases that Marset had at some point in his country were already closed and there was no requirement or Interpol red alert.