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Kirchner's ethics exposed at opening of new congress

By Tony Pagliaro

06.12.05 | This morning the recently elected members of Argentina’s Lower House (“Cámara de Diputados”) were sworn in. There were a few big surprises.

The first one was that the former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Rafael Bielsa, a former member of guerrilla groups of the 70’s, who actively campaigned to become a Member of the House without ever leaving his position as Minister of Foreign Affairs (to take advantage of the visibility such position carries), was not sworn in. Bielsa had made to the House notwithstanding having suffered a humiliating defeat and arriving only in a sour third position. But this morning announced, out of the blue, that he had accepted to become Argentina’s Ambassador to France. An obscure journalist -who was a remote alternate jn Bielsa’s party’s list- replaced him. The voters were clearly fooled. On June 17, 2005 Bielsa was quoted as having said: “I am going to become a Member of the House. I am not a trickster”. He is.

The second surprise is that the obvious challenge which was filed on clear ethical grounds against a Medical Doctor, Ricardo Lorenzo (known as “Borocotó”), was defeated by the votes of Kirchner´s representatives, plus the hard left. Borocotó -after been elected as a prominent candidate of the center- unexpectedly (the morning after) switched allegiances, joining Kirchner’s party ranks. Some suggest that he was bribed to act in such a manner. This case has infuriated Argentina’s press and public opinion, to no avail however.

The third shock is that a Kirchner’s close collaborator (who stood by Hugo Chávez and Maradona in a football stadium during the recent regional “Summit” in Mar del Plata, insulting President Bush) who was former leader of the Marxist terrorist groups of the 70’s, and who now is a Member of the House, Mr. Miguel Bonasso, successfully led the challenge to the admission into the House of a recently elected former police officer, Mr. Luis Patti, by requesting a prior full investigation of his personal record while a police officer. Nobody suggested that it is Mr. Bonasso’s own personal record that should be investigated to determine whether he was in fact involved in crimes against humanity while a terrorist, during the 70’s when many innocent civilians were killed by the guerrilla.

Ethical behaviour is obviously not very strong among Kirchner’s unusual constituency.

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