The controversy continues in Uruguay over the delivery of the passport to the drug lord Sebastián Marset and the resignation of the vice chancellor
The former vice minister of Foreign Relations belongs to the Colorado Party, a key partner in the coalition that brought President Luis Lacalle Pou to the head of government
Sebastián Marset is designated as the leader of the First Uruguayan Cartel, in charge of large shipments of cocaine from Paraguay.
Controversies continue in Uruguay over the case of the passport handed over to the drug trafficker Sebastián Marset. The case had the political cost of the resignation of the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carolina Ache Batlle, a member of the Colorado Party, the main partner of the coalition government of President Luis Lacalle Pou.
>, former senator and Colorado Party leader Pedro Bordaberry. Now out of official party politics, but very present in public discussion.
The former Uruguayan senator said that the current Minister of Foreign Relations, belonging to the National Party, lied during his visit to Parliament. The former political leader once again defended former Vice Chancellor Carolina Ache, and questioned Colorado leaders who “quietly look the other way.”
“Few seem to care that the Chancellor knew that Marset was a drug trafficker. Neither did he lie in the interpellation in the Senate when he said that not only he but also that no one in the Foreign Ministry knew about it. When he knew it! ”, Bordaberry pointed out in his column published this Sunday.
Carolina Ache Batlle presented the President Luis Lacalle Pou his resignation from the position of Undersecretary of Foreign Relations, for granting the passport to the drug trafficker Sebastián Marset.
Bordaberry also stated that “they subjected Ache to public ridicule” and that “they replaced her in record time.” “With their bodies still warm, they pounced on the charge. It is not a thing that someone beat them to the punch. After fifteen minutes they announced her replacement. I have nothing against him who is an excellent professional. What speed does reveal that the decision had already been made and they were willing to appoint him even before the incumbent resigned (or not), “he said.
The resignation of the deputy minister
The former vice chancellor's resignation occurred at the end of last year, and it was after knowing a WhatsApp message that he received. The Undersecretary of the Interior, Guillermo Maciel, was the one who communicated and warned the ex-hierarch about Marset as “a very dangerous and heavy drug trafficker.” The drug trafficker was held in Dubai and was seeking access to the Uruguayan passport. The warning was made at the beginning of November 2021, while the conversation was broadcast on December 12, 2022 by El Observador.
The problem arose because, in presence in Parliament, the former vice minister said she had no knowledge of the drug trafficker's case. But the leaked WhatsApp messages exposed it.
The former leader of the Colorado Party, Pedro Bordaberry, reaffirmed his criticism of Foreign Minister Francisco Bustillo, whom he pointed out for “lying” in Parliament.
In a previous column in El País, published two weeks ago, Bordaberry had already defended Ache and questioned Bustillo. There he warned that at least three “officials knew that Marset was a drug trafficker a month and a half before the Ministry of the Interior told the undersecretary about it.”
“The foreign minister himself was also informed of this. The director of Consular Affairs communicated it by email to her Secretariat, ”said Bordaberry. “The undersecretary was blamed for not informing her superior. She was held responsible for not communicating something that the minister and the directors already knew!” the former senator added on that occasion.
Uruguay handed over a passport to a drug trafficker
Sebastián Marset is designated as leader of the First Uruguayan Cartel, in charge of large shipments of cocaine from Paraguay. He is 31 years old, but many marks that leave him in criminal plots.
Justice and Interpol define him as the head of a criminal organization whose objective was the operation “A Ultranza Py” , the biggest blow to organized crime and money laundering in Paraguay, of which the prosecutor Marcelo Pecci was in charge, murdered on their honeymoon, in Colombia. In that operation alone, assets for more than 100 million dollars were seized.
Within the Ciudadanos sector of the Colorado Party, Carolina Ache did not have the full support of the sector after her chats with the Undersecretary of the Ministry of the Interior Guillermo Maciel where they talked about the drug trafficker went viral.
Less than one year he was arrested in Dubai (United Arab Emirates) for falsifying a Paraguayan passport. From there, in September 2021, he asked the Uruguayan government to grant him a passport when he had not yet been sought by the Paraguayan authorities, something that in that country was seen as a reflection of the level of organized logistics that Marset manages.
The judicial record he had in Uruguay had expired –dating from 2012 and 2013 for illicit drug trafficking, drug possession and homicide– and the legislation guaranteed that he be given the document . And so it happened.
It was not the first time that she asked for the Uruguayan passport. In 2019, according to the Broad Front legislators, she had also requested it and it had been denied .