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Inicio arrow Análisis arrow Argentine Political Outlook (Mar-09-21)

Argentine Political Outlook (Mar-09-21) PDF Imprimir E-Mail
Mar-09-21, by Rosendo Fraga

1. The crisis of the Executive Branch with the Judiciary is escalating from the political to the institutional level. The speech of President Alberto Fernández at the opening of the ordinary sessions of the Congress on March 1 and the statement of Vice President Cristina Kirchner, made three days later, on Thursday, March 4, in relation to the trial for "the future dollar" showed a seamless coincidence. The questioning against the Court was straightforward, the President said that it was the institution with the least social prestige and the Vice President accused it of being an instrument of "lawfare".On Friday, March 5, the President affirmed that "everything she said is true" referring to the harsh allegation against the Judiciary made by the Vice President. A year ago, in the President's first speech under similar circumstances, she expressed herself very differently. She referred to the judicial system in terms of reforming it for modernization. A year later, her intention seems to be the change of the current judicial officials. A confrontational Cristina with the Judiciary, a moderate Alberto against her, have given way to identifying the two, with the President joining the position of the Vice President.The possibility that the Minister of Justice, Marcela Losardo, steps down, implies a significant setback for the President. Of all the ministers of the executive branch, she is the closest to him in personal and political terms. From the beginning of the government, she was criticized for her low level of confrontation with justice. Two "K" militants are mentioned in the media to replace her: Juan Martín Mena, who seconds her in the Ministry of Justice, and the congressman Martín Soria. 

2. Explicitly, the President, by joining the Lawfare theory, assumes the position of the Vice-President that the allegations against her are the consequence of "political persecution".The Executive seems to have concluded that as long as it does not align the Supreme Court with its political line, it will not gain control of justice and will continue to be subject to contradictory rulings. At the same time, a "K"militant, Diego Molea, assumed weeks ago the presidency of the Council of the Magistracy that proposes the appointment and removal of the judges.Regarding Cristina's allegation in the lawsuits against her, she said that there was a "political persecution" against the Vice President and that the "presumption of innocence in her favor" should be maintained. To fill the vacancies in federal court 6 and 11 that were occupied by judges Claudio Bonadío and Sergio Torres, candidates taking the exam will have to answer questions about the "Lawfare theory".The Court has remained silent, without any of its members responding. It should be noted that one of them, Juan Carlos Maqueda, was appointed by Duhalde in 2002; two others, Ricardo Lorenzetti and Elena Highton de Nolasco, by Nestor Kirchner; and the remaining two, Carlos Rosenkrantz and HoracioRosatti, by Mauricio Macri. It should be noted that the latter was also Macri's justice minister. All 5 were appointed by a qualified majority of two-thirds of the senators present. In other words, it is an independent court due to its origin. In addition, the two speeches depicted a "political enemy" made up of justice, the media and concentrated economic groups. 

3. The "VIP vaccination" scandal in the third week of February, plus the ruling in the case of LázaroBáez and his family and the Judiciary crisis in the first week of March, have led government to its most difficult political moment. The polls show that Alberto Fernández' approval has lost up to 8 points in public opinion and more than half are pessimistic about the economy of this year. One in four of those who voted for the ruling party, 12% of the total electorate, questions the government. In this context, the crisis unleashed in the province of Formosa led the government to maintain on March 5 that the violent repression registered in the provincial capital against the return to phase 1 of confinement was "a campaign against GildoInsfrán."This was expressed by the Secretary of Human Rights, HoracioPietragallaCorti, when the President received the first signs of the case from UN Human Rights and the Inter-American Convention on Human Rights (IACHR), and said that the government was concerned about "institutional violence." That day he repealed a Macri-driven decree that restricted the entry of foreigners with criminal records and allowed the expulsion of foreigners who had committed crimes in Argentina. This is another measure that coincides with the ideological position of La Cámpora.But the Minister of Security, Sergio Berni-close to the presidency - questioned the presidential decisionin an article directly signed by him. 

4. This situation has had consequences on the political forces when Argentina's foreign policy has just assumed a position favorable to the NicolásMaduro regime. In the opposition, they believe they have found the opportunity to polarize and unify as expressed by Patricia Bullrich. But former president Mauricio Macri believes that it is his opportunity to re-polarize with Cristina Kirchner and will take his first step on March 18. That day he will present his new book, entitled "Primer Tiempo", in a face-to-face event with 800 guests. At this time, the ruling party seems to promote the corruption scandals against him and in particular that of the "Post".The City Mayor,Horacio Rodríguez Larreta, also opened the sessions of the legislature on March 1 with a moderate and digital speech, but the criticism against his own party forced him to join the criticism and attacks against the government. In Peronism, the federal judge of La Plata, Alejo Ramos Padilla, admitted his alignment with Cristina Kirchner by rejecting the injunction raised by the Mayor of Esteban Echeverría district, Fernando Gray, against the call of Buenos Aires Peronism to hold primary elections for Máximo Kirchner to be elected head of the party. At the same time, the former Minister of Interior and Transportation, Florencio Randazzo, publicly criticized the "family political project" of the Vice President, for which he was summoned by the president of the national party, José Luis Gioja. The "contact group" - a group of Western European countries and some from Latin America that seek to mediate in the Venezuelan conflict - condemned the expulsion of the European Union ambassador in Caracas, with Argentina refusing to sign the statement. The announcement in the speech, that a criminal complaint will be initiated against former President Macri and his officials who signed the agreement for the IMF loan for 57 billion dollars, anticipates that the Vice President's strategy of postponing negotiations with the international financial body until after the election.


1.     To conclude: 

a. The President's speech on March 1 and the Vice President's statement on March 4 are taking the conflict between the Executive and Judicial branches from the political to the institutional level by affecting the division of powers. 

b. The President's statement that "she has told the whole truth" and that she is a politically persecuted person implies that the President has subordinated himself to the Vice President, which would confirm the departure of the Minister of Justice. 


c. The crisis of the "VIP vaccination", the effects of the conviction of Báez and his family, and the escalation of the conflict with justice put the government facing its most difficult political moment. 


d. At the political level, Macri seeks to regain prominence; there is disagreement in the Buenos Aires PJ, solidarity with the Venezuelan regime and the trial against Macri for the agreement with the IMF remains.

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