BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA — The Daily News’ is reporting exclusively from Buenos Aires today on assignment covering the collapse of the Argentinan economy. As the country heads into yet another Presidential election (which has one familiar face and also highly controversial one running for VP) residents far-and-wide are part calm and part freaking out.
This report has been published with the assistance of Sultan Khane II who is currently stateside. I am one of two special correspondents in Buenos Aires this week covering the country’s turmoil.
Let’s start by reiterating the fact that Argentina has seen this very crisis so many times before. Part of those crises can be traced back to the very rocky Presidential rule that even the likes of Cristina Kirchner couldn’t quite escape. But despite her corruption-riddled past, many locals say that they feel like Kirchner is “part of Argentina today”.
Many were first taken aback when they had initially discovered that the scandal-plagued former President was headed back to the national political stage. Alike much of South America right now, Argentina and its middle-class population are joining the ranks of those across the continent that are fed up with corruption and power-hungry politicians.
Argentina is only the latest government on the continent to see itself enter a practical constitutional crisis. Rising debt; poverty levels, inequality, wealth gaps, these are all eerily similar issues we’ve seen plague governments around the world in recent weeks. Ecuador; Chile, Brazil, at one point France, and even Peru — they are all knee-deep in some of the most violent protests mankind has ever seen.
In some of these places (and Argentina isn’t quite far behind) some candidates are so scandal-plagued, uh, they likely will spend the future of their campaigns campaigning from behind bars.
But for those who see well beyond the embroiled political spoon, Argentina has seen in recent years, some are very much aware just how badly their futures depend on pushing out corruption in the country. In De Kirchner ‘s case alone, she currently has more than a dozen court cases against her in relation to her time in office. But as a sitting senator, she enjoys full and complete immunity.
With the corrupt-combinations of politicians like De Kirchner and President Macri, Argentina stood no real chance. De Kirchner ‘s economy was already knee-deep in debt; forgery accusations, misuse of pension funds, doling out social handouts and taking bribes from foreign countries (i.e Venezuela and Hugo Chavez.). She was formally removed from office in 2015 in favour of Macri, however, if the current state of affairs is any evident nothing truly has changed in the once gorgeous South American country.
We’ll be updating this report with election results as they come in over the next several hours.