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The Kirchners obtain control over Argentina's judiciary

By Tony Pagliaro

01.03.06 | Unfortunately for Argentina’s democracy, but as anticipated and expected, the Kirchners have now consolidated their direct personal control over Argentina’s Judiciary. They were recently successful in amending in Congress the corresponding legislation to be able to -from now on- fully control the body (“Consejo de la Magistratura”) responsible for appointing Argentina’s judges and disciplining them.

This will be done through a group of “rubber-stamp Peronist” congressmen that will run said body. This “very loyal” group of “Peronist” national legislators will in fact do whatever the Kirchners request them to do. Including, but not limited to, carefully controlling Argentina’s Judiciary. Adios, therefore, to Argentina’s judicial independence. For a long while possibly, with the corresponding adverse impact on Argentina’s “rule of law” climate.

One more open, extremely serious, and quite dramatic turn in the direction of authoritarianism by the Kirchners which really was masterfully bulldozed through Congress by the former leftist guerrilla couple over their weak political opposition. They did so by smartly “manipulating” a small group of shameful “opposition” congressmen who sold their respective souls in exchange for different promises related to the financial needs of their respective constituencies.

In another absolutely extraordinary move, the authoritarian Kirchners have now appointed Mr. Luis D’Elía, a loyal “piquetero” leader, as Argentina’s “Under-secretary of land for the Social Habitat”.

D’Elía is the same person that some months ago, leading a violent mob, took over a police station. A “sympathetic” Argentine criminal court has not considered such “temporary, but violent occupation” to be a crime, at all.

D’Elía’s salary as public officer will now be of approximately 4.500 US Dollars a month; plus 12.000 US dollars to be monthly paid to him as out-of-pocket expenses; plus a domestic traveling budget of about 38.000 US Dollars a month; and in addition a Mercosur traveling budget of 30.000 US Dollars a month. Quite an interesting remuneration “package” for a former alleged “unemployed” involving a significant change of his “life-style”. A son of D’Elía has, amazingly enough, a rather successful construction company devoted to public works now operating in the area of Washington DC. The Kirchners’ Argentina is looking -more and more- very different to the country that once was a leader in the southern cone of Latin America. It now appears to be a personal feud of the Kirchners, and not any longer a free and open country.

Bad news, but definitely not an unforeseen development. In fact, this is only more of the same by the astute Kirchners and their leftist followers.

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