2 Former Argentine Transportation Secretaries Jailed for Involvement in 2012 Train Crash
Two former Argentine transportation secretaries have been given prison sentences due to their ties to a 2012 train crash in which 51 people died and 789 were injured.
The Associated Press reports the Federal Criminal Court convicted Juan Pablo Schiavi to eight years on charges of defrauding the public administration as well as involuntary manslaughter. Schiavi resigned form his position after the accident in 2012. Ricardo Jaime, who resigned from his position as Secretary of Transportation in 2009, received six years for a defrauding charge.
The accident occurred when a packed morning commuter train rammed into a platform at the Once station in Buenos Aires.
The train operator and several officials who were responsible for overseeing the train line all received jail sentences that ranged from three to nine years.
The deadly accident put focus on the negligence resulting from the privatization of public services that took place in Argentina the 1990s. As a result of the tragedy, President Cristina Fernandez nationalized and revitalized the rail system.
According to the BBC, a large group of relatives of the victims and supporters stood outside the court to hear the judge's ruling. Maria Lujan Rey, the mother of one crash victims, expressed her satisfaction at the sentencing. "I think this was a historic judgment," she said.
News of the prison sentences for the two former transport officials comes at the same time that wiretapping charges against Argentina’s newly elected president, Mauricio Macri, have been dropped.
The New York Times reports that on Dec. 29, a federal judge dismissed charges that Macri participated in a wiretapping scheme, which was alleged to have occurred when he was mayor of Buenos Aires.
The right-leaning politician was indicted in 2010 by a judge who accused him of directing an operation to tap the phones of several politically-important people. Macri has all along denied the charges.
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