Argentina's feared Commerce Secretary Moreno quits

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Associated Press

Posted on November 19, 2013 at 8:36 PM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 19 at 10:03 PM

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Argentina's feared commerce secretary has quit.

Guillermo Moreno was a pit-bull for President Cristina Fernandez. He tried to jail economists for publishing independent inflation numbers, and broke up board meetings of the opposition Grupo Clarin. Executives have accused him of blocking their imports, freezing their prices and making their corporate lives miserable until they agreed to support the government's economic policies.

Presidential spokesman Alfredo Scoccimarro says Fernandez accepted the resignation Tuesday and named Moreno an economic attache at the Argentine Embassy in Italy.

The surprise announcement came a day after a Cabinet shuffle that installed the much younger Axel Kiciloff as economy minister.

Moreno remains under investigation for allegations of abuse of power. One of his alleged victims, deputy-elect Graciela Ocana, says Moreno should not be allowed to leave Argentina.

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