May 22, 2022 7:14 am

FF. AA.: A general resigned because the Government finances Ministry of Defense projects with funds from retired soldiers

A strong repercussion in the military sphere had the resignation of the Army representative in the body that collects funds to contribute to the payment of salaries of retired soldiers. The background of the conflict is the decision of grant loans to the Ministry of Defense to finance government projects, Like the US$2.5 million agreed for the construction of a military training aircraft.

With an energetic tone, something unusual in the formalities of resignation texts, the retired brigadier general Gustavo Fernando Booth addressed the minister Jorge Taiana and made public his discrepancy with the president of the Financial Aid Institute for the payment of Military Retirement and Pensions (IAF), lawyer Agustin Colombo Sierra, put into office by Taiana last October and a long-standing friendship with the minister.

“Foundation the same [la renuncia] in discrepancies of form and substance with the new president of the Institute. I consider that does not meet the only condition that cites the National Constitution in its Article 16 to hold a certain public office, be suitable for the same”, says General Booth in his farewell, in a letter sent to the minister on December 21 last.

Booth sent a copy of his resignation to the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the Armed Forces, Lieutenant General Juan Martin Paleo, and the head of the Army, major general Guillermo Olegario Pereda.

The resignation of General Gustavo F. Booth from the IAF

The answer came through resolution 43/2022, signed by Taiana in the last few hours. There he accepts the resignation and He strongly rejects the terms expressed by the soldier in his note, considering them “inappropriate.”

The Minister of Defense maintains that these terms are “inappropriate for an official of his position and hierarchy, and it is baseless and injurious referring in those terms to the President of the Institute of Financial Aid for the payment of Military Retirements and Pensions, Dr. Agustín Colombo Sierra, whose career in the academic, professional and labor fields in the private sector and in the National Public Administration have been prominent and recognized for its quality and contribution”.

The IAF was created in 1946 by Juan Domingo Peron as a complementary contribution box for military personnel to contribute to the salary payments to retirees. One of its purposes is to finance the granting of personal and mortgage loans at more accessible rates than in the market, with the intention of facilitating access to housing.

All military, active and retired, contribute 11% of their income to hold this pension fund. They keep the contributions when they retire and, even once they die, their widows make contributions.

Beyond the contributions of military personnel, the organization has assigned a own budget, which is around $47,000 million.

Discomfort over the IAF’s policies began to manifest itself in the management of the former minister Agustin Rossi, when in August 2020 he ordered that the agency’s resources finance a loan of US$2.5 million to the State for the construction of a military aircraft at the Argentine Aircraft Factory (Fadea), based in Córdoba.

62 years old, General Booth belongs to the Cavalry and joined the promotion 111 of the Military College of the Nation, From where he graduated in November 1980. Recognized and respected in the force, he was Commander of the 2nd Paraná Armored Brigade and General Director of Army Logistics. He went into retirement in 2018.

Agustín Colombo Sierra, Jorge Taiana and Guillermo Carmona
Agustín Colombo Sierra, Jorge Taiana and Guillermo CarmonaMinDef

Appointed to represent the Army on the IAF board, it is unknown what attitudes the delegates from the other forces will take: the Vice Admiral Jorge Roberto Gonzalez, by the Navy, and Major Briadier Alejandro Gabriel Amorós, by the Air Force. The directory is completed by Mabel Nora Martin, from the Ministry of Economy, and Dr. César Justo Blasco, from the Ministry of Labor.

The current president of the IAF succeeded three months ago to William Carmona, current secretary of Malvinas and strongly aligned with Kirchnerism. Colombo Sierra accompanied Taiana during his tenure as chancellor. He was Chief of Staff of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and, later, Undersecretary for Latin American Affairs.

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