The former head of the UOCRA of La Plata Juan Pablo “Pata” Medina and his son Cristian “Puly” Medina must return to house arrest for violating the prohibition of union activities, as ordered today by a federal judge in the Buenos Aires capital.
Last Monday, both carried out a massive act in La Plata, for which Medina had to appear and give explanations before the magistrate in charge of the Federal Oral Court No. 2 of that city, Alejandro Esmoris, who ordered his return to prison this Friday. domiciliary of the “Pata” and his son.
Both are accused of illicit association, repeated extortion and aggravated coercion, and several restrictions had been imposed on them to regain their freedom of movement, including a ban on carrying out union activities.
This Thursday, the former secretary general of the La Plata sectional Union Obrera de la Construcción de la República Argentina (UOCRA) tried to justify to Esmoris his participation in the act that he led last Monday in front of the former headquarters of the union, on Avenida 44 .
In this context, Medina denied that it was a trade union activity in the midst of the bid for control of the UOCRA: “The act was carried out in the exercise of three autonomous rights of trade union exercise, with respect to which it does not govern or could govern limitation, “said the” Pata “.
He also stated that he had made use of the “right of assembly, freedom of participation in public and political activities and freedom of expression”, while indicating that the call for Monday’s act had been made through the “Peronist Group January 22 “.
In any case, after the virtual hearing the day before, the magistrate ruled this Friday that both Medina Sr. and his son “Puly” failed to comply with provisions V and VI included in the judicial resolution that determined the release under oath of both, in February last.
The “Pata” regained his freedom – he was released from prison – because he spent three years without a conviction, but he is still being processed pending the oral trial, which still has no starting date. Medina, along with others implicated in the case, is accused of extorting businessmen in the construction sector of La Plata, Ensenada and Berazategui, to demand illegal and undue contributions from them under threat of paralyzing the works.
Also part of the accusation is forcing companies to hire the services of “Abril Catering”, which is close to the unionist under investigation. In the last hours, Medina even dissociated himself from the men who, through a video, threatened the judicial officials in charge of the case against the union member with weapons in their hands.
In the video, which was circulated before the hearing to define the judicial situation in Medina, nine men with covered faces, armed and wearing police insignia and vests, expressed their support for the union leader: “We are going to kill the judge, the prosecutor, to the judge’s son and whoever comes “.
The “Pata” had been detained in September 2017 at his home in Punta Lara, by order of the federal judge of Quilmes, Luis Armella, after staying entrenched for several hours at the headquarters of the UOCRA section of La Plata, where he was ” armored “by a dense concentration of militants. The case brought by Armella was raised to oral proceedings and is in the hands of the Federal Oral Court No. 2 of La Plata. (NA)