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Recent events raise more concern on Argentina's future

By Tony Pagliaro

28.12.05 | A couple of very serious institutional events that have occurred close to Christmas now show that the Kirchner’s Argentina is -rapidly- moving in the direction of authoritarianism. On the one hand Congress has shamefully “delegated” to President Néstor Kirchner “all necessary powers” to run the economy, thus betraying its constituency and amazingly waiving its constitutional prerogatives, rights and responsibilities.

On the other hand, the more and more arrogant Argentine “first lady”, Mrs Cristina Kirchner, is moving to take -herself- control over (i) the process of appointing Argentine judges and (ii) closely controlling their behavior while in office. She clearly wants all judges to be “functional” to Kirchner’s ruling. No more independence of the judiciary, therefore, since it is obviously too dangerous for the Kirchner’s to live with it.

In the meantime, Argentina is filled with a wave of violence that has made everyone feel less secure at home and on the streets, while the mushrooming of many inner city “ghettos” -home to poverty, crime, violence and drugs- is in assault on the traditional values which, up to now, have sustained Argentine society.

With the dramatic “malfunctioning” of their political institutions, and without “checks and balances”, the well-being of Argentines is now in extreme danger, the moral health of its society is rapidly deteriorating, and, all of a sudden, the greatness of a nation is dramatically at stake. Democracy, in Argentina, does not serve any longer the interests of the entire society. Only of those who are close to the Kirchners. Argentine institutions have become a travesty. In a nutshell, in Argentina democracy is not -any longer- the government of, by, and for the people. Wealth and control over wealth are vested in a few hands always close to the Kirchners.

This undemocratic concentration will inevitably, over time, convey with it the power to manipulate and pervert the whole process of democratic rule. Argentina’s general welfare has been dramatically damaged by a profane and unusual combination of (i) the interests of those close to the Kirchners and (ii) public authority, that has now corrupted the entire system upon which freedom, opportunity and the quality of life depend.

The interest of the people is betrayed by constant intimidation; intrigue; and growing corruption. But also by the Kirchner’s growing anxiety to retain, for as long as possible, the powers and privileges of office, and the incapacity of most other officials to take into account the interests of the people.

Only one thing is not debatable in Argentina, the urgency of the need for action to save the Republican institutions.

History instructs that when these abuses require a movement for change, such movement begins with the people. From the button up, therefore. Out of anger and protest; out of the forthcoming demands of an aroused people; out of action, grievances and marches; and an abundance of voices summoning the aggrieved, leaders will have to emerge. This moment seems to be approaching, not suspecting that probably history has marked already a place for them.

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