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ARGENTINA | 29-07-2021 12:07

Ex-model’s repeated visits to presidential residence prompts legal complaint

President Alberto Fernández in hot water after leaked documents show former model Sofía Pacchi visited Olivos presidential residence more than 60 times during Covid-19 pandemic, including times when country was under strict lockdown.

The visit of notable names to the presidential residence was already an issue creating legal complications for Argentina's former president Mauricio Macri – now his successor, Alberto Fernández, is also suffering from revelations about the ins and outs of Olivos.

New leaked documents this week shone a light on some of the visitors to Olivos during the first 18 months of the Alberto Fernández presidency, with a number of names going viral on social networks in recent days – most notably that of Sofía Pacchi, a 31-year-old former model and actress who has entered the residence more than than 60 times since the Peronist leader took office.

News of the visits – some of which may have contravened Covid-19 quarantine measures that were in place at the time – have now prompted a legal complaint from rival politicians.

 

'Olivosgate'

The 'Olviosgate' leak (as it has already been dubbed online) also revealed visits from senior officials such as Cabinet Chief Santiago Cafiero, Economy Minister Martín Guzmán or former health minister Ginés González García, among others, with their details duly documented.

For example, on June 13 this year President Fernández received the visit of his Economy minister and a national deputy, followed the next day by Health Minister Carla Vizzotti, presidential advisor Cecilia Nicolini and Cafiero. On June 15, it was then the turn of doctors and nurses along with garden and cleaning staff.

Part of this information had been aired on television on Monday before the complete documentation (apparently obtained via a request for the legally mandated access to public information) leaked on social networks, revealing visits from all spheres and of all types.

The most striking visits were undoubtedly from Pacchi. According to the documents, the former model and actress visited the presidential residence over 60 times, this year and last, including during the peak periods of strict quarantine during the Covid-19 pandemic.

For example, according to the documents, Pacchi entered Olivos on April 2 last year at 10pm, leaving just after midnight (00.11) during the first and strictest fortnight of the quarantine against coronavirus, also entering Olivos three months later on July 14 at 9.46pm, departing at 1.44am. The respective dates were the birthdays of President Fernández and First Lady Fabiola Yañez. 

Consulted by Perfil, the Casa Rosada on Wednesday confirmed the validity of the documents cicrculating online. Sources also told the newspaper that Pacchi is an administrative assistant of the first lady.

Pacchi is not a particularly well-known figure. A former model and actress, she has worked for Revista Hombre and is represented by Agencia Brunelli belonging to Jorge Brunelli, who is described as having "over 30 years of experience in entertainment and communication media."

Six years ago, Pacchi participated in a segment called "Préstico" from the TV programme Duro de Domar, and she has since appeared in various sketches while being employed at Olivos presidential residence, where the ex-model reportedly performed duties in protocol and as a personal secretary.

 

Legal hot water?

Following the revelations, malfeasance charges against the head of state were presented in court on Wednesday by lawyer Juan Martín Fazio on behalf of Republicanos Unidos militants Abril Fernández Soto and Marcos Longoni (Republicanos Unidos is the party of ex-minister and parliamentary hopeful Ricardo López Murphy).

The charges enumerating some of Pacchi’s visits to Olivos during peak quarantine periods denounced that the actress and model was appointed as an official under the presidential chief-of-staff.

The libertarian accusers and their lawyer called for Fernández and Pacchi to be investigated for "deliberate, intentional and criminal violation of the measures adopted by the competent authorities to prevent the introduction or spread of an epidemic."

 

 

– TIMES/PERFIL

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