CRISTINA ELISABET FERNáNDEZ DE KIRCHNER (Spanish pronunciation: (
listen ); born 19 February 1953), sometimes referred to by her
initials CFK, is an Argentine lawyer and politician, who served as
President of Argentina from 2007 to 2015. She was the second woman to
serve as President of Argentina, the first directly elected female
president , and the first woman re-elected to the office.
Ideologically a Peronist and social democrat , she was a member of the
Justicialist Party , with her political approach being characterised
La Plata ,
Buenos Aires Province , she studied law at the
La Plata , and moved to Patagonia with her husband
Néstor Kirchner upon graduation. She was elected to the provincial
legislature; her husband was elected mayor of
Río Gallegos . She was
elected national senator in 1995, and had a controversial tenure,
while her husband was elected governor of Santa Cruz Province . In
1994, she was also elected to the constituent assembly that amended
the Constitution of
Argentina . She was the
First Lady from 2003 to
Néstor Kirchner was elected president.
Néstor Kirchner did not run for reelection. Instead, Cristina
Kirchner was the candidate for the
Front for Victory
Front for Victory party, 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 nationalized
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 fell into sovereign default in 2014. The country
had good relations with other South American nations, and a rocky one
with the United States and the United Kingdom. She also continued her
husband's human rights policies, and had a rocky relationship with the
Néstor Kirchner died in 2010, and Cristina Kirchner was
reelected in 2011. She established currency controls during her second
term. Several corruption scandals took place, and she faced several
demonstrations against her rule. In the 2013 midterm elections the
Front for Victory
Front for Victory failed to achieve the two-thirds majority necessary
to amend the constitution to allow the president to run for a third
Daniel Scioli was appointed as the candidate for the
2015 presidential elections . Scioli was defeated by Mayor Mauricio
Macri in a ballotage .
* 1 Early life and education
* 2 Political career
* 3 Presidential campaigns
* 3.1 2007 presidential campaign
* 3.2 2011 presidential campaign
* 4 Presidency (2007–2015)
* 4.1 Domestic policy
* 4.1.1 Economic policy
* 4.1.2 Energy policy
* 4.1.3 Conflict with the agricultural sector
* 4.1.4 Other protests
* 4.1.5 Corruption scandals
* 4.1.6 Human rights policy
* 4.1.7 Relationship with the media
* 4.1.8 Midterm elections
* 4.2 Foreign policy
* 5 Post-presidency
* 6 Public image
* 7 Personal life
* 7.1 Health
* 8 Ancestry
* 9 Honours
* 9.1 Foreign honours
* 10 Notes
* 11 References
* 11.1 Bibliography
* 12 External links
EARLY LIFE AND EDUCATION
Cristina Fernández during her youth
Cristina Fernández was born on 19 February 1953, at Tolosa, a suburb
La Plata , capital of the
Buenos Aires Province . She is the
daughter of Eduardo Fernández and Ofelia Esther Wilhelm. Eduardo
Fernández, a bus driver, was anti-Peronist, and Wilhelm was a
Peronist union leader. Wilhelm was 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
She began her college studies at the University of
La Plata . She
studied psychology for a year, then dropped it and studied law
instead. She met fellow student
Néstor Kirchner in 1973. He
introduced her to political debates. There were heated political
controversies at the time caused by: the decline of the Argentine
Revolution military government, the return of the former president
Juan Perón from exile, the election of
Héctor Cámpora as president
of Argentina, and the early stages of the
Dirty War . She became
Peronism , left-wing politics , and anti-imperialism .
Despite the presence of sympathizers of the
Montoneros guerrillas in
La Plata, the Kirchners had never been involved themselves. Cristina
and Néstor married in a civil ceremony on 9 May 1975. Her mother got
them administrative jobs at her union. The 1976 Argentine coup
d\'état took place the following year. Cristina proposed to go to
Río Gallegos , Néstor's home city, but he delayed their departure
until his graduation on 3 July 1976.
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
Julio César Strassera ,
prosecutor in the 1985
Trial of the Juntas against the military,
critizised the Kirchners' lack of legal actions against the military,
and considered their later interest in the issue a form of hipocrisy.
Cristina Kirchner was elected deputy for the provincial legislature
of Santa Cruz in 1989. The
Justicialist Party (PJ), led by Carlos
Menem , returned to the presidency in the 1989 general elections . She
served as interim governor of Santa Cruz for a couple of days, after
the impeachment of
Ricardo del Val in 1990. She organized Néstor's
political campaign when he was elected governor of Santa Cruz in 1991.
In 1994, she was elected to the constituent assembly that amended the
She was elected national senator in the 1995 general elections . She
opposed most bills proposed by Menem, such as a treaty with Chilean
Patricio Aylwin that benefited Chile in a dispute over the
Argentina–Chile border . The Minister of Defense Oscar Camilión
was questioned in Congress about the Argentine arms trafficking
scandal ; Kirchner told him that he had to resign, which he refused to
do. As a result, she made a name for herself as a troublemaker. She
was removed from the PJ bloc in the Congress in 1997 for misconduct.
She resigned her senatorial seat that year and ran for national deputy
in the 1997 midterm elections instead. Menem ended his term of office
in 1999 and was replaced by
Fernando de la Rúa
Fernando de la Rúa . Kirchner took part
in a commission to investigate money laundering with fellow legislator
Elisa Carrió , and got into conflicts with her. She ran again for
senator in the 2001 midterm elections .
Néstor Kirchner was elected president in 2003, and Cristina became
First Lady . Under these circumstances, she sought a lower profile
Néstor Kirchner had a political dispute with the
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 Kirchner for the Front for Victory. Cristina
Kirchner won the election.
2007 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN
Argentine general election, 2007 Campaigning with her
Néstor Kirchner (outgoing), and their
respective running mates,
Daniel Scioli and
Julio Cobos .
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, followed by 23% for Elisa
Carrió (candidate for the
Civic Coalition ) and 17% for former
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 and Rosario .
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
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. 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
Cristina Fernández de Kirchner
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 Bill 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
Argentine general election, 2011
Argentine general election, 2011 Kirchner on election
Néstor Kirchner refused to run for re-election in 2007 and
proposed Cristina Kirchner instead, it was rumored that the couple
might attempt to run for the presidency in alternate elections, to
circumvent the constitutional limit of a single re-election. The death
Néstor Kirchner in 2010 derailed such a plan. She had a low
positive image, below 30%. On 21 June 2011, Cristina Kirchner
announced 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. This selection was an unexpected
one, as Boudou usually acted like a rock star instead of a politician.
She personally chose most of the candidates for deputy in the
Congress, favoring members of the Cámpora.
The elections 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 . The Kirchners
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
Presidency of Cristina Fernández de Kirchner
Presidency of Cristina Fernández de Kirchner
Cristina Fernández de Kirchner
Cristina Fernández de Kirchner with the minister of economy
Axel Kicillof .
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 of 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 Kirchnerite 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. In January 2010, Cristina Kirchner created the bicentennial
fund employing a necessity and urgency decree in order to pay debt
obligations with foreign-exchange reserves .
Martín Redrado ,
president of the Central Bank , refused to implement it, and was fired
by another decree. Judge
María José Sarmiento annulled both decrees
on the grounds that the Central Bank was independent. Redrado resigned
one month later, and was replaced by
Mercedes Marcó del Pont .
Kirchner was reelected in 2011, along with
Amado Boudou as vice
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.
Axel Kicillof was appointed minister
in 2013, and served for the remainder of Kirchner's term. He arranged
payment of the debt to the
Paris Club , and the compensation requested
Repsol for the nationalization of YPF. One month later,
negotiations with hedge funds failed, and American judge Thomas Griesa
issued an order that
Argentina had to pay to all creditors and not
just those who had accepted a reduced payment as outlined in the
Argentine debt restructuring plan. Kicillof refused to agree that the
country had fallen into a sovereign default .
In 2009, in an attempt to combat poverty, the government introduced
the Universal Child Allowance , a cash transfer program to parents who
are unemployed or in the informal economy . It was later expanded to
cover other disadvantaged groups.
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 reduce extreme poverty by 30.8% and general poverty by
Cristina Fernández de Kirchner
Cristina Fernández de Kirchner announces the bill to
renationalize YPF .
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
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
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
Main article: 2008 Argentine government conflict with the
agricultural sector Road blockade during the 2008 Argentine
government conflict with the agricultural sector in Villa María,
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 against Kirchner. 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
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
200,000 people took part in a cacerolazo against Kirchner.
Kirchner was reelected in 2011. The Constitution of
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.
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 suffered floods 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
Periodismo para todos revealed an
ongoing case of political corruption involving Nestor Kirchner, called
The Route of the K-Money
The Route of the K-Money ", which generated a huge political
controversy. This led to a new cacerolazo on 18 April, known as the
Alberto Nisman , who worked on the investigation of the
1994 Asociación Mutual Israelita
Argentina (Argentine- Israeli Mutual
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 Misman'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.
A financial firm located at the
Madero Center hotel sparked The
Route of the K-Money scandal.
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
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
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
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
Cristina Kirchner with the Mothers and Grandmothers of the Plaza
de Mayo .
The administration of Cristina Kirchner 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
Jorge Rafael Videla
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 newspaper. 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
Relationship With The Media
See also: Relation of
Kirchnerism with the press Kirchner
holding a Clarín newspaper
Soccer 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 a campaign against the 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 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 is only being used to further the
campaign against Clarín. The government had little interest in
enforcing measures of the law that were not related to Clarín.
Clarín 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
Julio Alak said that extending an injunction that
allowed Clarín 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
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.
President Kirchner after the defeat at the 2009 midterm
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
Francisco de Narváez
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.
Front for Victory
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.
Cristina Kirchner among the presidents of the Union of South
American Nations .
Kirchner was part of the "pink tide ", a group of populist 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
Dilma Rousseff in Brazil,
Evo Morales in Bolivia, and Rafael
Correa in Ecuador. Kirchner 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
Kirchner 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. Kirchner 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
The 30th anniversary of the
Falklands War took place in 2012, and
Kirchner increased the anti-British sentiment in her rhetoric,
reiterating the Argentine claims in the Falkland Islands sovereignty
dispute . British Prime minister
David Cameron rejected her comments.
Relations were also strained by recent oil explorations in the area,
and Kirchner threatened to sue
Rockhopper Exploration for it. The
Falkland Islands celebrated a sovereignty referendum in 2013, where
99.8% voted to remain a British territory, with only three votes
against. Kirchner ignored the referendum.
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, 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 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
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
Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani
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 Kirchner.
Mauricio Macri , mayor of Buenos Aires, was elected president in the
2015 presidential elections , defeating the Kirchnerite candidate
Daniel Scioli in a ballotage . During the transition period, Macri
reported that 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 Kirchnerite
officials refused to resign their offices to allow Macri to appoint
his own people. Even the handover ceremony became controversial, as
Kirchner 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.
Cristina 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 Kirchner is the
instigator. Kirchner is also being investigated for her role in "The
Route of the K-Money" scandal. A million dollars of her assets is
frozen while Bonadio investigates 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$633m of 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
It was suggested that she would run for senator for the Buenos Aires
Province at the 2017 midterm elections , but her former minister
Florencio Randazzo wanted to run for those elections as well. Refusing
to run in primary elections , Kirchner asked for a shared ticket as a
condition to run for senator. Randazzo did not accept the proposal.
The FPV was renamed as the Citizen\'s Unity Party at the province and
registered as a coalition of minor parties only, leaving the PJ out of
it. As a result, both parties would run to the elections as unrelated
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Public image of Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and
Cristina Kirchner is considered to be a populist leader and, like
other contemporary populists in Latin America, built a system of
propaganda to legitimize her actions: the
Relato K . This propaganda
works around a number of usual themes: the glorification of the state
to the detriment of the individual rights; use of conspiracy theories
to explain mistakes as attacks from others; blaming neoliberalism for
the poverty; and glorifying democracy in speeches while maintaining
only the appearance of it (procedural democracy ). The political
world is divided in two halves, the people and those against the
people, with the Kirchners described as the saviors of the people.
Under this vision, the people are treated like a homogeneous group,
with a unified collective will, that the leader interprets beyond the
boundaries of parliaments and parties. Argentine political theorist
Ernesto Laclau considered this the perfect form of democracy. This
division is used to justify the rejection of those described as being
against the people, and to polarize the population. The problems
caused by her policies, such as inflation, are always explained as the
result of class conflict and imperialism . Economic activity is
described as a zero-sum game , where any wealth is the result of the
exploitation of someone else, which justifies economic interventionism
. Kirchner's victory in the 2011 election was used to justify
authoritarian policies, as those policies would be the general will ;
opposition and criticism was often described as antidemocratic or even
as the plotting of a coup d'état. Laclau's vision of the people has
been criticized by other writers because it left little room for
opposition or criticism, and because the citizen is actually reduced
to a mere spectator unable to contest government policies.
Forbes magazine ranked her as thirteenth in the list of the 100 most
powerful women in the world in 2008, at the start of her presidency.
By 2014, she was listed 19th.
In 1973, during her studies at the National University of La Plata,
she met her future spouse, Néstor Kirchner. They were married on 9
May 1975 and had two children: Máximo (1977) and Florencia (1990).
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.
Secretary Alfredo Scoccimarro announces that Kirchner was
diagnosed with thyroid cancer .
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 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 Kirchner's mental health and asked the US embassy
whether she was receiving treatment or not; she later apologized to
Kirchner for those leaks. Kirchner said in her book La Presidenta
that it was all a misunderstanding; it is her sister who suffers from
On 27 December 2011, presidential spokesman Alfredo Scoccimaro
announced that 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
Kirchner's 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 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
4. Pascasio Fernández Gómez
b. 27 Feb 1862
A Fonsagrada ,
9. Isabel Gómez Díaz
2. Eduardo Fernández
5. Amparo Fernández
1. CRISTINA FERNáNDEZ DE KIRCHNER
b. 19 Feb 1953 La Plata,
Buenos Aires ,
6. Carlos Wilhelm
3. Ofelia Esther Wilhelm
b. circa 1930
7. María Vicenta Pulido Plaza
* Honorary Doctorate from the National University of
La Plata .
* Honorary Doctorate from the
National University of Quilmes .
Brazil : Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of the Southern
Ecuador : Manuela Sánchez Award from the National Assembly of
* Palestine : Star of Palestine
Peru : Grand Cross with Diamonds of the Order of the Sun of
Spain : Knight Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of Isabella
* ^ She is variously known as Cristina Fernández, Cristina K,
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* ^ "
Hillary Clinton rings Cristina Fernandez and apologizes for
the cables". Merco Press. 3 December 2010. Retrieved 17 October 2016.
* ^ Castro, p. 39
* ^ Castro, p. 61
* ^ Bronstein, Hugh; Rizzi, Maximiliano (7 January 2012).
"Argentina\'s Fernandez sent home, never had cancer". Reuters.
Archived from the original on 22 December 2012. Retrieved 22 December
* ^ Warren, Michael (5 October 2013). "Blood on brain, rest ordered
for Argentine leader". Associated Press. Archived from the original on
28 June 2014.
* ^ "
Cristina Fernández de Kirchner
Cristina Fernández de Kirchner to have surgery following head
injury". The Guardian. 7 October 2013. Retrieved 26 September 2016.
* ^ A B C El origen gallego de C.F.K. The Galician origin of C.F.K.
* ^ Cristina Kirchner dijo sentir envidia de la Furia Roja "España
no es un país cualquiera: TRES DE MIS CUATRO ABUELOS SON ESPAñOLES y
para todos los argentinos hay un lazo especial". THREE OF MY
GRANDPARENTS ARE SPANISH
* ^ "Ofelia Wilhelm, la madre de Cristina, de empleada estatal a
jubilada VIP". Perfil.com.
* ^ "
Néstor Kirchner fue distinguido post mortem como Doctor
"Honoris Causa"" (in Spanish). Perfil. Retrieved 20 October 2016.
* ^ "
Cristina Fernández de Kirchner
Cristina Fernández de Kirchner recibirá el Doctorado Honoris
Causa" (in Spanish). University of Quilmes. 12 October 2016.
Retrieved 20 October 2016.
* ^ "
Dilma Rousseff se emocionó al condecorar a Cristina con la
"Orden del Sur de Brasil"" (in Spanish). Los Andes. 17 July 2015.
Retrieved 20 October 2016.
* ^ "Condecoraron a Cristina Kirchner en Ecuador" . La Nación (in
Spanish). 29 September 2016. Retrieved 20 October 2016.
* ^ "Cristina encabezará un acto en el que recibirá la
condecoración de Palestina" (in Spanish). Minuto Uno. 12 August
2015. Retrieved 20 October 2016.
* ^ "President García awards the Order of the Sun to Argentinean
head of state". Peruvian Times. 22 March 2010. Retrieved 26 September
* ^ Edith Pardo San Martín (11 February 2009). "Las gaffes
protocolares de la gira" . La Nación (in Spanish). Retrieved 20
* Biography portal
* Politics portal
* Skard, Torild (2014). "Cristina Fernández de Kirchner". Women of
Power: Half a Century of Female Presidents and Prime Ministers
Policy Press . ISBN 978-1-4473-1578-0 .
* Bourke, Richard (2016). Popular Sovereignty in Historical
Perspective. United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press. ISBN
* Di Marco, Laura (2012). La Cámpora. Buenos Aires: Sudamericana.
ISBN 978-950-07-3798-2 .
* Gelb, Joyce; Lief Palley, Marian (2009). Women & Politics around
the world. United States: ABC Clio, Inc. ISBN 978-1-85109-988-7 .
* Ibarra, Vilma (2015). Cristina vs. Cristina. Argentina: Planeta.
ISBN 978-950-49-4613-7 .
* Kaiser, Axel (2016). El engaño populista (in Spanish). Colombia:
Ariel. ISBN 978-987-38-0439-7 .
* Majul, Luis (2009). El Dueño (PDF) (in Spanish). Argentina:
Planeta. ISBN 978-950-49-2157-8 .
* Mendelevich, Pablo (2013). El Relato Kirchnerista en 200
expresiones (in Spanish). Argentina: Ediciones B. ISBN
* McCloskey, Erin (September 2011). Argentina. England: The Globe
Pequot Press. ISBN 978-1-84162-351-1 .
* Castro, Nelson (2015). Secreto de estado. Argentina: Sudamericana.
ISBN 978-950-07-5356-2 .
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* (in Spanish) Official site of Cristina Fernández de Kirchner