Uruguay: “the mayor of a thousand gauchadas” resigned after failing to avoid impeachment over corruption cases

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Alfredo Sánchez, known in Uruguay as “the mayor of a thousand gauchadas” due to the multiple cases of corruption detected during his tenure, he had to resign from his post after the Uruguayan Supreme Court of Justice rejected the appeals of unconstitutionality it had raised to avoid impeachment.

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The defendant was until now mayor of Florencio Sánchez, a small municipality in the department of Colonia. At the end of September last year He was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment for the crimes of conspiracy in actual repetition, concussion and fraud in relation to conduct directly related to its management. His son, daughter and daughter-in-law will also face trial for the same reason.

In this situation, Sánchez had filed an appeal for unconstitutionality before the Supreme Court, which was finally rejected last week. Faced with this situation, he was exposed to the impeachment process that the Senate was about to start and that he had been paralyzed for several months.

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According to the newspaper The observerIn his resignation letter, Sánchez states that “conditions are not given appropriate to continue to be mayor” after the rejection of the Court.

In September 2021, Sánchez, along with five family members, was sentenced to two years in effective prison and one year of probation, with a two-year ban from public office. for having been found guilty of several crimes against the public administrationsuch as fraud, conspiracy, synthesis, concealment and ideological falsification.

What was the mayor of the “thousand gauchadas” accused of?

The investigation began following a complaint filed in December 2018, when it was noted that the Municipality had delivered to people who had not paid the related fines, motorcycles that had been seized by a policeman. One of the witnesses testified before the police that the mayor he returned the motorcycle “in exchange for me getting him votes”.

It has also been confirmed that Sánchez used public resources to finance electoral campaigns. In addition, he has delivered food baskets, bus tickets and building materials, among other things, to members of his party.

After spending 14 months behind bars, Sánchez He was released from prison in early December 2022. He was the only one of the six convicted in the case who remained in prison.

The impeachment inquiry against him began in October 2021 in the Chamber of Senators, at the request of the Departmental Council of Cologne, which sought to prevent Sánchez from holding office in that municipality of Cologne at the end of 2023.

However, in June 2022, the former mayor filed an unconstitutionality action against article 18 of law 19.272 on decentralization and citizen participation, which is precisely what allows departmental councils to impose on the Senate to carry out political processes against members of a municipality.

Just this Wednesday the justice of Uruguay rejected the request of unconstitutionality and unblocked the process. Without this latter instance, the mayor of the “thousand gauchadas” was left without resources or favors to avoid justice.

Source: Clarin

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