Interpol on Wednesday issued a “red alert” notice for Fabián 'Pepín' Rodríguez Simón, the fugitive former official from the 2015-2019 Mauricio Macri government and alleged "judicial operator,” according to reports.
Sources from the Federal Police service consulted by the Noticias Argentinas news agency said that “today the red alert was issued,” despite Rodríguez Simón’s details not yet appearing on the Interpol website.
Such notices require member countries to arrest or detain a fugitive, wanted by another member country, if he is detected in their respective jurisdictions.
The issuing of the alert will be a blow for Rodríguez Simón, who has already appeared before the Uruguayan courts and won a temporary suspension against extradition proceedings from Argentina on the basis that a decision on whether to accept him as a refugee has not been made.
This latest development could complicate those efforts, however, given the importance normally given to international arrest warrants and force the Uruguayan government to make a formal decision on the case.
Federal judge María Servini summoned Rodríguez Simón to give testimony on June 17 earlier this year, as part of an investigation into allegations against him of "extortion and illicit association." The case is related to alleged government pressures on the Grupo Indalo business group. Executives from the media group were imprisoned during the Macri administration's time in office.
Servini declared Rodríguez Simón in absentia, ordered the lifting of the accused's banking secrecy protections, as well as the freezing of the Parlasur deputy's assets and bank accounts. The judge also ordered Argentina's Security Ministry to notify the security forces of the measure and file his details with Interpol.
The Parlasur deputy requested political asylum in Uruguay in May, after revealing that he has been in that country since December 8. Describing himself as a "persecuted person," he said he would not return to Argentina due to fears for his safety and imprisonment. He said he would not appear before the judge, and offered to speak via videoconference, a proposal the judge would not accept.
Rodríguez Simón stands accused, along with other former government officials, of pressuring the directors of Grupo Indalo, Cristóbal López and Fabián De Sousa, with the ultimate aim of taking control of the duo's companies by conspiracy.
The powerful business group, which includes divisions in media, oil and construction companies, commands the C5N news channel (which was fiercely critical of the Macri government), a number of radio stations, websites and newspapers, including Ámbito Financiero and the now-shuttered Buenos Aires Herald.
Rodríguez Simón has been accused of pressuring C5N in particular and attempting to squeeze the station's finances.