Cristina Fernández de Kirchner
Néstor Kirchner did not run for reelection. Instead, his wife was the candidate for the Front for Victory
alliance, becoming president in the 2007 presidential election
. Her first term of office started with a conflict with the agricultural sector
, and her proposed taxation system was rejected. After this she nationalised private pension funds, and fired
the president of the Central Bank
. The price of public services remained subsidised, the country lost its self-supply of energy, and she renationalized energy firm YPF
as a result. The country had good relations with other South American nations, and severed relations with the western bloc
, a local movement known as pink tide
. She also continued her husband's human rights policies, and had a rocky relationship
with the press. Néstor Kirchner died
in 2010, and she was later reelected in 2011. She established currency controls
during her second term, and the country fell into sovereign default
During her two terms as president, several corruption scandals took place and subsequently her government faced several demonstrations against her rule. She was charged for fraudulent low price sales of dollar futures
and was indicted for obstructing the investigation into the 1994 AMIA Bombing
In 2017, an arrest warrant
was issued for Fernández de Kirchner charging her for treason
after further evidence surfaced showing that the pact signed between her government and Iran
secretly included the impunity of the Iranians
involved in the terrorist attack.
Because of her parliamentary immunity
, she did not go to prison.
In 2018, she was also indicted for corruption on charges alleging that her administration had accepted bribes in exchange for public works contracts.
On 30 September 2020, the federal criminal cassation court confirmed the corruption trials of Kirchner, ruling the former president’s objections to be inadmissible.
Early life and education
Cristina Kirchner during her youth
Cristina Fernández was born on 19 February 1953 at Tolosa, a suburb of La Plata
, capital of the Buenos Aires Province
She is the daughter of Eduardo Fernández and Ofelia Esther Wilhelm. Eduardo Fernández, a bus driver and an anti-Peronist and Wilhelm was a Peronist union leader and a single mother. Fernández married her and moved into her house when Cristina was two years old. Most details about her childhood such as her elementary school are unknown.
She attended high school at Popular Mercantil and Misericordia schools.
Three of her grandparents were Spanish immigrants, specifically from Galicia
and the other was born in Argentina in a family of German background.
Cristina had not yet graduated when they moved to Río Gallegos and completed the remaining subjects with distance education
. There have been claims made that she never graduated, and that she may have worked as a lawyer without having a degree. This idea was proposed by the constitutionalist Daniel Sabsay
, and fueled by the reluctance of the National University of La Plata
(UNLP) to release her degree.
She registered at the Tribunal Superior de Justicia of Santa Cruz in 1980, the Comodoro Rivadavia's chamber of appeals in 1985 and worked as an attorney for the Justicialist Party in 1983. There are also logs of minor cases where she acted as a lawyer.
The claim has been sent to trial four times, and the judges Norberto Oyarbide, Ariel Lijo, Sergio Torres, and Claudio Bonadio
all ruled that she has a degree.
Néstor established a law firm
that Cristina joined in 1979.
The firm worked for banks and financial groups that filed eviction
lawsuits, which had a growing rate at the time because the 1050 ruling of the Central Bank
had increased the interest rates for mortgage loans
The Kirchners acquired twenty-one land lots at cheap prices as they were about to be auctioned.
Their law firm defended military personnel accused of committing crimes during the Dirty War. Forced disappearances
were common at the time, but unlike other lawyers the Kirchners never signed a habeas corpus
. Julio César Strassera
, prosecutor in the 1985 Trial of the Juntas
against the military, criticized the Kirchners' lack of legal actions against the military, and considered their later interest in the issue a form of hypocrisy.
Néstor Kirchner was elected president in 2003, and she became the First Lady
. Under these circumstances, she sought a lower profile in Congress.
Her husband had a political dispute with the previous president, Eduardo Duhalde
. Their dispute continued during the 2005 midterm elections
. Without consensus in the PJ for a single candidate for senator of the Buenos Aires province, both leaders had their respective wives run for the office: Hilda González de Duhalde
for the PJ, and Cristina Fernández de Kirchner for the Front for Victory
She won the election.
2007 presidential campaign
First Lady Cristina Fernández de Kirchner (right) campaigning alongside with her husband, Néstor Kirchner in 2007.
The presidential election was held on 28 October 2007.
With Kirchner leading all the pre-election polls by a wide margin, her challengers focused on forcing her into a ballotage
. To win in a single round, a presidential candidate in Argentina needs either more than 45% of the vote, or 40% of the vote and a lead of more than 10 percentage points over the runner-up. However, with 13 challengers splitting the vote, Kirchner won the election decisively in the first round with just over 45% of the vote, compared to 23% for Elisa Carrió
(candidate for the Civic Coalition
) and 17% for former Economy Minister Roberto Lavagna
Kirchner was popular among the suburban working class and the rural poor, while Carrió and Lavagna both received more support from the urban middle class.
Kirchner lost the election in the large cities of Buenos Aires
On 14 November, the president-elect announced the names of her new cabinet, which was sworn in on 10 December. Of the twelve ministers appointed, seven had been ministers in Néstor Kirchner's government, while the other five took office for the first time. The selections anticipated the continuation of the policies implemented by Néstor Kirchner.
She began a four-year term on 10 December 2007, facing challenges including: inflation, poor public security, international credibility, a faulty energy infrastructure, and protests from the agricultural sectors over an increase of nearly 30% on export taxes.
Fernández de Kirchner was the second female president of Argentina, after Isabel Martínez de Perón
but, unlike Perón, was elected to the office, whereas Isabel Perón was elected Juan Perón
's vice president, and automatically assumed the presidency on his death.
The transition from Néstor Kirchner to Cristina Fernández de Kirchner was also the first time a democratic head of state was replaced by their spouse without the death of either. He remained highly influential during his wife's term,
supervising the economy and leading the PJ.
Their marriage has been compared with those of Juan and Eva Perón
and Hillary Clinton
Media observers suspected that Mr. Kirchner stepped down as president to circumvent the term limit, swapping roles with his wife.
2011 presidential campaign
When Néstor Kirchner refused to run for re-election in 2007 and proposed his wife instead, it was rumored that they could alternate in the presidency for the next 12 years to circumvent the constitutional limit of two consecutive terms. This scenario would have had Cristina standing down in favor of Néstor in 2011, and Néstor would in turn hand the FPV
candidacy back to Cristina in 2015. The death of Néstor Kirchner in 2010 derailed such a plan.
She had a low positive image, below 30%.
On 21 June 2011, she announced that she would run for a second term as president. A few days later, she announced that her economic minister Amado Boudou
would run for vice president on her ticket. She personally chose most of the candidates for deputy in the Congress, favoring members of the Cámpora.
took place on 23 October. She was re-elected with 54% of the vote, followed by socialist Hermes Binner
, 37 points behind her. The opposition was divided between several candidates and the perceived economic prosperity prevailed over voter's concerns about corruption and cronyism.
It was the largest victory percentage in national elections since 1983.
The Peronist party also won eight of the nine elections for governor held that day, increased their number of senators, and obtained the majority in the chamber of deputies, including the number of legislators needed for quorum
. They had lost that majority in the 2009 elections. She invited children on stage during the celebrations, and Vice President Amado Boudou played an electric guitar. As she had in 2007, she gave a conciliatory speech.
When she first took office, Cristina Kirchner replaced the previous minister of economy, Miguel Gustavo Peirano
, who had been appointed by her husband as former president. Peirano was succeeded by Martín Lousteau
in December 2007. He served as the first of several ministers of economy under her presidency. The attempt to increase taxes on agricultural exports caused a conflict
with the agricultural sector and protests broke out
. As a result, taxes were not increased, and Lousteau resigned by April 2008, only a few months after he had been appointed.
He was replaced by Argentina's tax agency chief Carlos Rafael Fernández
As an alternative to increasing taxes, and facing debt payments the following year, the government nationalized private pension funds
, known as "Las Administradoras de Fondos de Jubilaciones y Pensiones
" (AFJP). The amount of money involved in this operation was nearly 30 billion dollars, and debt obligations were nearly 24 billion dollars.
The nationalization was justified by the president as government protectionism during the crisis, and compared with the bank bailouts in Europe and the United States. It was criticized as a threat to property rights and the rule of law.
Fernández resigned after the Kirchnerist defeat in the 2009 elections, and was replaced by Amado Boudou
, president of the ANSES
which had worked for that nationalization. Although inflation was nearing 25% and on the rise, Boudou did not consider it a significant problem.
The extent to which Kirchner's policies have lowered poverty is controversial, with the government's reported poverty rate being questioned by some experts.
According to a 2017 UNICEF
report, the cash transfers reduced extreme poverty by 30.8% and general poverty by 5.6%.
Fernández de Kirchner was reelected in 2011, along with Amado Boudou
as vice president and the Front for Victory
regained control over both chambers of Congress. Hernán Lorenzino
became the new minister of economy. The government established currency controls
that limited the power to buy or sell foreign currencies, especially American dollars. Many Argentines kept their savings in dollars as a hedge
against inflation. The government believed the controls were required to prevent the capital flight
and tax evasion.
In 2002, Eduardo Duhalde fixed
the prices for public services such as electricity, gas and water supply. These remained fixed during the terms of Duhalde and Néstor and Cristina Kirchner, despite the crisis that motivated them having ended. As the inflation rate grew during the period, the state financed part of these prices with subsidies
. Investment in these areas decreased, and the generation and distribution networks suffered. Argentina lost its self-supply of energy, and had to import it, rather than being able to export surpluses.
Kirchner proposed a fiscal austerity program
in early 2012, including the gradual removal of subsidies.
The proposal turned out to be unpopular, and was not implemented. She opted instead to send a bill to Congress for the renationalization of YPF
, privatized in 1993, blaming the Spanish company Repsol
for the energy trade deficit. The bill was approved by the Chamber of Deputies by a 207-32 margin. It was criticized as an authoritarian move, as there was no negotiation with Repsol.
As well, the Vaca Muerta
oil field had been discovered by this time. However, YPF was unable to afford the costs to exploit the oil at the site, and the rights to drill at Vaca Muerta were sold to the Chevron Corporation
The costs of energy imports increased the trade deficit and the inflation rate, and power outages
became frequent. Outages usually took place on the hottest days of the summer season, as the use of air conditioning increased electricity consumption to peak levels.
Conflict with the agricultural sector
In March 2008, Kirchner introduced a new sliding-scale taxation system for agricultural exports, so that rates fluctuated with international prices. This would effectively raise levies on soybean
exports from 35% to 44% at the time of the announcement. This new taxation scheme, proposed by Minister Martín Lousteau
, led to a nationwide lockout by farming associations
, with the aim of forcing the government to back down on new tax system. They were joined on 25 March by thousands of pot-banging demonstrators
massed around the Buenos Aires Obelisk
and the presidential palace
. These demonstrations were followed by others at locations across the country that included road blockades
and food shortages.
The protests were highly polarizing. The government argued that the new taxes would allow for a better redistribution of wealth
, and keep down the food prices. It also claimed the farmers were staging a coup d'état
Farmers argued that the high taxes made cultivation unviable.
The activist Luis D'Elía
interrupted one of the demonstrations leading stick-wielding pro-government supporters, who attacked the participants.
Minister Lousteau resigned during the crisis, and the Peronist governors opted to negotiate on their own with the farmers, ignoring Kirchner's approach. Her public image plummeted to its lowest level since the election in October 2007.
After four months of conflict and having the majority in both houses of the Argentine Congress
, the president introduced the new taxation bill. However, many legislators gave priority to the local agendas of their provinces as their economies depended heavily on agriculture. Many FPV legislators, such as Rubén Marín
, opposed the bill. Marín argued: "For us, agriculture is the economy".
There were two demonstrations the day of the vote: one against the bill, attended by 235,000 people, and the other in support of the bill, attended by 100,000 people.
Farmers had announced that they would continue their demonstrations if the bill was approved without amendments.
Senator Emilio Rached
from Santiago del Estero cast the vote that resulted in a 36–36 tie. In the case of a tie, the vice president, who also serves as president of the Senate but without the right to vote, is required to cast the tie-breaking vote. Julio Cobos voted against the bill, which was then rejected, saying that: "My vote is not in favor, my vote is against".
Despite the chilly relations between Cobos and Cristina Kirchner since that event, he completed his term as vice president.
200,000 people took part in a cacerolazo
Kirchner was reelected in 2011. The Constitution of Argentina allows only one reelection. Many of her supporters proposed an amendment to the Constitution to allow indefinite reelections. Kirchner did not publicly support the proposal, but did not discourage or reject it either. The proposal was not taken to the Congress, as the FPV still lacked the required two-thirds majority
to approve an amendment bill. It was rejected by many sectors of society. The first big demonstration (a cacerolazo
) took place in September 2012
. It was not called by specific politicians or social leaders, but by the public using social networks
. The massive turnout was completely unexpected by both the government and the opposition.
People also protested the 2012 Buenos Aires rail disaster
, the conflict between Kirchnerism and the media
, rising crime rates, and the tight currency controls
. Kirchner dismissed the demonstration, and said that she would continue working as before.
Most of the Kirchner loyalists, however, preferred simply to ignore the protest.
A larger demonstration, the 8N
, took place two months later. It was attended by nearly half a million people.
They protested a variety of issues such as those of the previous demonstration, as well as the growing rate of inflation and the corruption scandals. Kirchner promised to keep her policies unchanged, and Senator Aníbal Fernández
dismissed the significance of the demonstrations.
Journalist Jorge Lanata
explained the polarization was because the government and its supporters thought they were engaged in a revolution, and this justified being against freedom of the press and other public rights. Cabinet Chief Juan Manuel Abal Medina said the demonstrators belonged to a class that was against social justice, and compared the demonstrations to a coup d'état
A similar view was held by Kirchner's loyalists.
Buenos Aires and La Plata
in April, resulting in more than 70 deaths. Mayor Mauricio Macri
pointed out that the national government had prevented the city from taking out international loans, which would have been used for infrastructure improvements.
A week later, Kirchner announced a proposed amendment of the Argentine judiciary. Three bills were controversial: the first proposed to limit injunctions
against the state; the second would include people selected in national elections on the body that appoints or removes judges; the third would create a new court that would limit the number of cases heard by the Supreme Court. The opposition considered the bills an attempt to control the judiciary.
The 2013 season of the investigative journalism program Periodismo para todos
revealed an ongoing case of political corruption involving Nestor Kirchner, called "The Route of the K-Money
", which generated a huge political controversy.
This led to a new cacerolazo
on 18 April, known as the 18A
Prosecutor Alberto Nisman
, who worked on the investigation of the 1994 Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina (Argentine- Israeli Mutual Association) AMIA bombing
, accused Kirchner of engaging in a criminal, cover-up conspiracy to cover up the attack. He was found dead in his home the day before he was to explain his denunciation in Congress. Argentine law enforcement concluded that Nisman's death was a homicide.
The unsolved case was highly controversial. The 18F demonstration took place a month after his death. It was organized as a silent demonstration, as an homage to Alberto Nisman, and was devoid of political flags or banners. The rule was followed, with occasional exceptions, by waves of spontaneous clapping or people singing the Argentine national anthem. The city police estimated that the demonstration was attended by 400,000 people.
Several scandals took place during the Kirchner administration. The first involved the detention of Venezuelan-American businessman Antonini Wilson in an airport after being found with a suitcase filled with $800,000.
This money was illegally provided by Petróleos de Venezuela, the state oil company, to be used for Kirchner's 2007 general election campaign. Details of the case were explained by businessman Carlos Kauffmann and lawyer Moisés Maiónica, who pleaded guilty.
The FPV financing of the 2007 elections caused another scandal years later. Three pharmaceutical businessmen, Sebastián Forza, Damián Ferrón, and Leopoldo Bina, were found dead in 2008, a case known as the "Triple Crime"
. Further investigation of Forza, who contributed $200,000 to the campaign, identified him as a provider of ephedrine
to the Sinaloa Cartel
In 2015, Martín Lanatta and José Luis Salerno, convicted for the killings, claimed that Aníbal Fernández was the boss of a mafia ring that ordered those killings to secure the illegal traffic of ephedrine.
Fernández denied the charges, maintaining that it was a set up to undermine his chances in the 2015 general election.
General illegal drug trade
grew in Argentina during Kirchnerism, and saw Mexican and Colombian syndicates working with Peruvian and Bolivian smugglers. Conviction rates for money laundering were almost nonexistent. Mariano Federici, head of the Financial Information Unit, said that the "magnitude of the threat is very serious, and this would never have been possible without collaboration from government officials in this country".
Amado Boudou, who served as minister of economy during Kirchner's first term and vice president during the second, was suspected of corruption
in 2012 case.
The Ciccone Calcografica printing company filed for bankruptcy in 2010, but this request was cancelled when businessman Alejandro Vandenbroele bought it. The company received tax breaks to pay its debts, and was selected to print banknotes of the Argentine peso
. It is suspected that Vandenbroele is actually a frontman for Boudou, and that he employed his clout as minister of economy to benefit a company that actually belonged to him.
The TV program Periodismo para todos
broadcast information about The Route of the K-Money
scandal. Businessman Leonardo Fariña
said in an interview that he helped businessman Lázaro Báez
to divert money from public works, and take it to a financial firm located in the Madero Center
luxury hotel. This firm, informally known as "La Rosadita", would have sent the money abroad to tax havens, using shell companies. Given the amounts of money involved, the money was weighed instead of counted to determine the value. Federico Elaskar, owner of the firm, confirmed Fariña's claims in another interview. Both of them retracted their statements after the program was aired, but prosecutor José María Campagnoli
confirmed their links with Báez. Báez denied any wrongdoing. Campagnoli was suspended as a prosecutor, accused of leaking information, and abusing his authority.
Báez is also linked with the Kirchners to the Hotesur scandal
, a suspected case of money laundering. According to a criminal complaint by opposition deputy Margarita Stolbizer
, his company Valle Mitre S.A. has rented 1,100 rooms per month, for years, at the Hotesur and Alto Calafate hotels, but without occupying them. These hotels, located in the city of El Calafate
, belong to the Kirchners.
Human rights policy
The Fernández de Kirchner presidency continued the trials of military personnel involved in the Dirty War
started by her husband.
There have been more than 500 people sentenced, and 1,000 convicted, in a process that was unprecedented in Latin America.
De facto president Jorge Rafael Videla
, who was convicted and given a life sentence in 1985 and pardoned years later, received a new life sentence in 2010. General Luciano Benjamín Menéndez
, who waged war against the leftist guerrillas in the northern Argentine provinces, received a life sentence as well.
Another related investigation involved the fate of the children of captured pregnant guerrillas, who were given up for adoption by the military junta. An estimated 500 children were involved.
The investigation became controversial during the Kirchner administration, as those involved had become adults and some of them refused to participate in DNA testing
. One of those cases was the Noble siblings case
, involving the adopted sons of Ernestina Herrera de Noble
, owner of the Clarín
newspaper. The Kirchners advanced a bill in Congress to make the genetic testing of suspected victims mandatory. Although the measure had popular support, critics considered it a breach of the right to privacy
, and politically motivated because of a dispute between Kirchner and the Clarín
The Noble siblings tests in 2011 were negative,
and the case was closed in January 2016, after Kirchner left the presidency.
Hilario Bacca, a confirmed son of disappeared guerrillas, appealed a judicial ruling that sought to change his name, asking to keep the name he had been using.
Relationship with the media
broadcasting was nationalized on the program Fútbol para todos
and then filled with pro-government advertisements.
On the other hand, the country's largest selling newspaper Clarín
, published by the Clarín Group
, is not aligned with the government.
The Kirchner government launched an illegal campaign against Clarín Group, which included over 450 legal and administrative acts of harassment, as reported by the Global Editors Network
. One of those actions was a selective use of state advertising, to benefit the media aligned with the government.
The government tried to enforce a controversial media law that would see Clarín Group lose licenses and be forced to sell most of its assets. The law was initially sanctioned as a competition law
for the media, but critics pointed out that it was only being used to further the campaign against Clarín Group.
The government had little interest in enforcing measures of the law that were not related to Clarín Group.
Clarín Group launched a constitutional challenge against some articles of the law with the judiciary. The government released an anti-Clarín advertisement claiming it refused to obey the law and may be subverting democracy.
The conflict led to disputes with the judiciary. Minister Julio Alak said that extending an injunction that allowed Clarín Group to keep its assets during the trial would be an insurrection, and it was rumored that judges who did not rule as the government wished might face impeachment. The court extended the inunction.
Cristina Kirchner claims that journalistic objectivity
does not exist, and that all journalists act on behalf of certain interests.
She also justified the lack of press conferences
, arguing that it is not important for her administration.
Anthony Mills, deputy director of the International Press Institute
, compared the harassment against the press in Argentina with cases in Venezuela and Ecuador. He considered it unfortunate that the president disparaged journalism, and pointed that the freedom of the press
may be declining in Argentina.
The 2009 midterm elections
took place a year after the crisis with the farmers. The Kirchners were highly unpopular at the time, and people rejected their policies and governing style. The growing rates of inflation and crime also eroded their public support. Seeking to reverse their declining popularity, Néstor Kirchner led the list for deputy candidates at the Buenos Aires province. He was narrowly defeated by Francisco de Narváez
, who led a Peronist faction opposed to the Kirchners. The Kirchners lost the majority of Congress as a result of the election.
The Front for Victory recovered the majority in both chambers of the Congress during the 2011 presidential elections, when Cristina Kirchner was re-elected for a second term. The party had projects to amend the constitution and allow indefinite reelections, but lacked the supermajority required for it. A victory at the 2013 midterm elections
would have given such majority, but the party was defeated in most provinces. Sergio Massa
, a former cabinet minister of the Kirchners, won in the Buenos Aires Province by nearly 10 points with his new party, the Renewal Front
. Argentina lacked a big opposition party since the collapse of the Radical Civic Union
in 2001. Instead, Massa created an alternative party that also stood for Peronism.
However, the party still retained a simple majority in Congress. This election was the first one where teenagers from 16 to 18 could vote. President Kirchner, who had undergone brain surgery some weeks before, was hospitalized during the election and unable to join the campaign.
Fernández de Kirchner was part of the "pink tide
", a group of populist, left-wing presidents who ruled several Latin American countries in the 2000s. This group included, among others, Néstor
and Cristina Kirchner in Argentina, Hugo Chávez
and Nicolás Maduro
in Venezuela, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva
and Dilma Rousseff
in Brazil, Evo Morales
in Bolivia and Rafael Correa
She has been an unconditional supporter of Chávez and Maduro. As Paraguay rejected the incorporation of Venezuela into the Mercosur
trade bloc, she took advantage of the impeachment of Fernando Lugo
to claim that Paraguay had suffered a coup d'état and proposed to temporarily remove the country from the bloc. With the support of the other presidents, Paraguay was removed for a time, and Venezuela was incorporated into the Mercosur.
She maintained her support of Venezuela even during the large 2014 Venezuela protests
and the imprisonment of its leader, Leopoldo López
She had a rocky relationship with the United States. Several items from a US Air Force plane, such as drugs and GPS devices, were seized by Argentine officials, which caused a diplomatic crisis
. US State Department spokesman Philip J. Crowley said that they were standard tools used in counter-terrorism
tactics which were being taught to the Argentine police during the joint operation, and asked for the return of the seized materials.
She blamed the whole country for the 2014 default, ruled by US judge Thomas P. Griesa
. She said in a cadena nacional
("national network") address that the US may be trying to oust her from power, or even assassinate her. She said this a few days after accusing the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
of similar assassination plans against her. The idea was rejected by opposition leader Elisa Carrió
as a mere conspiracy theory
When Archbishop Jorge Bergoglio was elected as Pope Francis
, the initial reactions were mixed. Most of Argentine society cheered it, but the pro-government newspaper Página/12
published renewed allegations about the Dirty War, and the president of the National Library
described a global conspiracy theory. The president took more than an hour to congratulate him, and only did so in a passing reference within a routine speech. However, due to the Pope's popularity in Argentina, Fernández de Kirchner made what the political analyst Claudio Fantini called a "Copernican shift
" in her relations with him and fully embraced the Francis phenomenon.
On the day before his inauguration as pope, Bergoglio, now Francis, had a private meeting with Fernández de Kirchner. They exchanged gifts and lunched together. This was the new pope's first meeting with a head of state, and there was speculation that the two were mending their relations. Página/12 removed
their controversial articles about Bergoglio, written by Horacio Verbitsky
, from their web page, as a result of this change.
Argentina suffered a terrorist attack in 1994, the AMIA bombing targeting a Buenos Aires Jewish center, that killed 85 people and wounded 300. The investigation remained open for years, and prosecutor Alberto Nisman
was appointed to the case. He accused Iran of organizing the attack, and the Hezbollah
group of carrying it out. He intended to prosecute five Iranian officials, including former Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani
, but Argentina signed a memorandum of understanding
with Iran for a joint investigation. Nisman accused the president of signing that memorandum for oil and trade benefits, according to hundreds of hours of wiretaps. On 19 January 2015, he was found dead
at his home, a day before a congressional hearing to explain his accusation, which caused a great controversy. As of 2016, both the cases of the AMIA bombing and the death of Nisman remain unresolved, and the courts declined at the time to investigate his denunciation of Fernández de Kirchner.
Fernández de Kirchner maintained her positions during several speeches at the United Nations General Assembly
(UNGA) during its yearly meetings of September and had a rocky relationship with Iran's Ahmadinejad. In 2009, Fernández de Kirchner personally asked Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
to cooperate with the Argentine justice to help bring closure to the AMIA bombing. She pointed the belief of both mandataries in God and condemned Ahmadinejad's denial of the Holocaust
as well as other "Western tragedies"
In the September 2009 UNGA, she clashed with Ahmadinejad and ordered the Argentine delegation to walk out on Ahmadinejad's speech, denouncing his rhetoric.
In return, Iran responded that Argentina's accusations were "unfounded and irresponsible" and denounced the "inept Argentine judicial system and its vulnerabiities to internal and foreign pressures."
Fernández de Kirchner with then-Buenos Aires Mayor and now successor Mauricio Macri
, mayor of Buenos Aires, was elected president in the 2015 presidential elections
, defeating the Kirchnerist candidate Daniel Scioli
in a ballotage
. During the transition period, Macri reported that Fernández de Kirchner was creating obstacles and problems in an attempt to undermine his government. She changed the 2016 budget, increasing spending in several areas (even the broadcasting of soccer matches), despite the huge fiscal deficit. A number of Kirchnerist officials refused to resign their offices to allow Macri to appoint his own people.
Even the handover ceremony
became controversial, as she refused to attend it. It was the first time since the end of military rule in 1983 that the outgoing president did not hand over power to the incoming one.
She wrote a book called Sinceramente
, which was published in 2019.
Cristina Fernández de Kirchner faced several charges in court after leaving office. One of those concerned the sale of dollar futures
at very low prices near the end of her term of office. This became a problem during Macri's presidency. The operation was carried out by the Central Bank, but judge Claudio Bonadio
believes Fernández de Kirchner is the instigator. She is also being investigated for her role in "The Route of the K-Money" scandal. About US$1 million of her assets was frozen while Bonadio investigated the case. She took advantage of the hearing to organize her first political rally since leaving power.
Lázaro Báez who has close ties with the Kirchners was detained in April 2016 as it was suspected that he might flee escape.
José López, an official from the ministry of public works, was detained
while trying to hide bags filled with millions in cash at a monastery.
On 27 December 2016, Federal Judge Julián Ercolini
ordered the freezing of US$633 million of Fernández de Kirchner's assets and approved charges of illicit association and fraudulent administration against her.
The case presented by Nisman was finally opened for investigation in December 2016.
In December 2017, Judge Bonadio indicted her and charged her with high treason
. However, as a sitting senator, she enjoyed immunity from prosecution.
On 5 March 2018, Fernández de Kirchner was indicted for obstructing investigation into the 1994 AMIA Bombing
which killed 85 people, with her allegedly making a deal with the Iranian government
to stop investigating Iranian officials who may have been involved in the attack in exchange for better prices on Iranian oil and other products.
She can still face trial despite her immunity, while legislators also have the choice to strip her of immunity. Human Rights Watch
claims, based mainly on reports and testimonies made by the ex-secretary-general of Interpol Ronald Noble
, that these charges have no grounds.
Noble refuted the claim of cover-up made by judge Bonadio, calling the judge's report "false, misleading and incomplete".
Both Fernández de Kirchner and her former interior minister Florencio Randazzo
wanted to run for senator for the Buenos Aires Province at the 2017 midterm elections
. Refusing to run in primary elections
, she asked for a shared ticket as a condition to run for senator. Randazzo did not accept the proposal. As both candidates enlisted to run in the general election, the FPV broke apart with the Justicialist Party of Buenos Aires Province backing Randazzo and the rest of the FPV parties backing Fernández de Kirchner; the remaining parties formed the Citizen's Unity
) coalition. Esteban Bullrich
was the candidate of Cambiemos
Fernández de Kirchner won the mandatory primary elections by a slim margin of 0,08%,
but lost in the general election 36% to 42%.
However, she still took office according to Argentine Senate
election procedure where the balloting results in two of the three senate seats being claimed by the party winning the largest vote share, with the second-place finisher claiming the third senate seat.
Elected vice president
Vice President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner alongside President Alberto Fernández
On 27 October 2019, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner was elected vice president
, making her the first former head of state to assume the Argentine vice presidency. She was the running mate of Alberto Fernández
(no relation), who was elected president
. She resigned from the Senate on 27 November 2019 after assuming the vice presidency, and was replaced by her former foreign minister Jorge Taiana
She has been accused of building a system of propaganda, referred to by critics as the Relato K
To Kaiser, this system divides the political world into two halves: the people and those against the people, with the Kirchners described as the saviors of the people, interpreting their collective will beyond the boundaries of parliaments and parties. This division is used to justify the rejection of those described as being against the people, and to polarize the population.
He claims that Fernández de Kirchner's election in 2011 was used to justify authoritarian policies
in the name of the general will
, criticism being described as antidemocratic
or as the plotting of a coup.
According to Richard Bourke
, political theorist and Kirchner supporter Ernesto Laclau
considered this the perfect form of democracy,
a vision of that has been criticized by other writers as leaving little room for opposition, reducing the citizen to a spectator unable to contest government policies.
President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner posing with her children, Máximo and Florencia in 2011
Néstor Kirchner died on 27 October 2010 after suffering a heart attack.
Following the death of her husband, she dressed in black for over three years.
Fernández de Kirchner's health first became a topic of public concern in 2005 when Noticias
magazine reported that she might suffer from bipolar disorder
. Journalist Franco Lindner interviewed the psychiatrist who treated her without revealing his name. Journalist Nelson Castro
investigated further and discovered that the psychiatrist was Alejandro Lagomarsino, who died in 2011.
Lagomarsino was the leading specialist in the treatment of bipolar disorder in Argentina.
Castro's investigation revealed that Fernández de Kirchner was treated by Lagomarsino for a short period. He could not determine the length of her treatment or the medicine she received, or whether another psychiatrist continued treating her or not.
Castro considers that some of her outlandish phrases or projects, and her frequent periods of hiding from public view, may be explained by the disorder's periods of mania and depression, as well as being a regular political strategy. Eduardo Duhalde
said that Néstor Kirchner once confided in him that she had a bipolar disorder, while she was having a violent outburst.
During the United States diplomatic cables leak
it was revealed that Hillary Clinton questioned Fernández de Kirchner's mental health and asked the US embassy whether she was receiving treatment or not;
she later apologized to Fernández de Kirchner for those leaks.
She said in her book La Presidenta
that it was all a misunderstanding; it is her sister who suffers from bipolar disorder.
On 27 December 2011, presidential spokesman Alfredo Scoccimaro announced that Fernández de Kirchner had been diagnosed with thyroid cancer
on 22 December and that she would undergo surgery on 4 January 2012. The standard procedure in these operations is to expose the thyroid
gland so that a pathologist can take a sample, analyze it looking for carcinogenic cells, and then decide whether it needs to be removed. In her case, this step was omitted and the gland was removed directly.
After the operation, it was revealed that she had been misdiagnosed and did not have cancer.
On 5 October 2013, doctors ordered Fernández de Kirchner to rest for a month after they found blood on her brain caused by a head injury she received on 8 August 2012.
She was re-admitted to hospital and had successful surgery on 8 October 2013 to remove blood from under a membrane covering her brain
Ancestors of Cristina Fernández de Kirchner
8. Francisco Fernández de O Campo
9. Isabel Gómez Díaz
7. María Vicenta Pulido Plaza
She is variously known as Cristina Fernández,
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Last edited on 11 May 2021, at 22:15
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