Fernandez de Kirchner to Stand Trial for Corruption
Former President of Argentina Cristina Fernández de Kirchner was ordered to stand trial for the first of a number of corruption and fraud caseson March 23. Investigators accuse her of ordering the country’s central bank to artificially sell futures at low prices, costing Argentina billions.
Fourteen other people are named as defendants in the case, including the former Economy Minister, Axel Kicillof, and the former Chief of the Central Bank, Alejandro Vanoli. The alleged fraud occurred shortly before the 2015 Presidential Elections and was supposedly an attempt to support Fernáandez’s preferred successor Daniel Scioli, who lost against right-wing candidate Mauricio Macri.
Judge Claudio Bonadio, who ordered the trial, has been an outspoken critic of the former president and her socialist government, especially sinceshe attempted to have him removed from the bench. He is also investigating Fernández and her children on corruption charges regarding their real estate holdings.
Fernández maintains that the cases against her amount to nothing more than political attacks by the Macri government. Previously, when Fernández was being investigated for illicit association, she publicly announced that charges of that kind were used “by all the dictatorships to persecute opposition leaders.” Her frequent court appearances have given her a semi-regular platform from which to denounce President Macri, who is currently facing his own scandals linked to offshore holdings revealed in the Panama Papers and conflict of interest dealings with his family’s business.
Regardless of the outcome of the trial, it is clear that the political tension between Macri’s conservative Republican Proposal and Fernández’s Peronist Front for Victory will remain high throughout Argentina.