A federal court in Argentina sentenced Vice President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner to six years in prison for the crime of “fraudulent administration” in a case regarding the direction of road works in the province of Santa Cruz during her tenure as president (2007 -2015) and during that of former president Néstor Kirchner (2003-2007), her late husband.
The Federal Criminal Oral Court No. 2 of Buenos Aires ruled “to sentence Cristina Elizabeth Fernández de Kirchner to six years in prison, perpetual special disqualification to run for public office … for considering her criminally responsible for the crime of fraudulent administration to the detriment of the public administration,” read Judge Rodrigo Giménez Uriburu during the hearing.
From the beginning of the case, the former president showed that the case against her was politically motivated by the opposition and what she calls the “Judicial Party’s” aim to exclude her from national politics. “It is a firing squad,” said Fernández de Kirchner, referring to the judicial process.
Prosecutors Luciani and Mola had requested 12 years in prison for Fernández de Kirchner and special disqualification from holding public office.
The sentence against Vice President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner will not be the end of the process against her, since she can appeal and avoid prison. The disqualification from public office requested by Luciani only begins to take effect when the sentence is final; that is, when the opportunities to appeal have been exhausted.
In her first public statements after the judicial decision was announced, Fernández de Kirchner said that “it is not a conviction by the laws of the Constitution and administrative system, but rather it has its origin in a system that, very naively, on December 2, 2019, I called ‘lawfare.’ I also spoke of the idea of a judicial party… It is much simpler: it is not a party. It is a parallel state and a mafia, a judicial mafia.”
The Argentine vice president also announced that she will not run for any public office in the general elections that the country will hold next year, after learning of the sentence: “I am not going to be a candidate for anything, neither for president, nor for senator. My name will not be on any ballot. I will finish on December 10 and return to my home.”
Last August, before the assasination attempt against Fernández de Kirchner, former president of Ecuador Rafael Correa expressed his support for the Argentinian leader, and considered the request for a 12-year sentence as part of a coordinated attack on progressive leaders in the region using the subterfuge of the legal system.
“They are robbing our peoples and their democracy with these tricks,” Correa said in an interview with Radio 10. He considered that there is a “legal war” against Fernández de Kirchner and other progressive leaders for having carried out “sovereign projects” and “heterodox policies” in Latin America. “Enough is enough, defeat her at the polls, but not with these tricks,” said Correa.
It’s a coordinated thing to try to go after progressive leaders. This is lawfare,” Correa said.
For Argentinian researcher Silvina Romano, lawfare is defined as the following:
A war through judicial-media channels against leaders and political sectors of Latin America and the Caribbean who question the idea and practice of the state and democracy, claiming sovereignty and social justice values. It is a war with economic, political, and geopolitical interests hidden from public opinion. It incorporates judges, media corporations, journalists and opinion leaders, police, embassies, and intelligence agents (local and foreign). It is characterized by the abuse of preventive prisons, rewarded denunciations, and verdicts before due judicial process, through harassment and demoralization through the media. It includes searches of political premises and homes of activists, persecution and threats to relatives, exile and political refuge, manipulation and promotion of fear among political supporters, persecution and threats against relatives (“lawfear”). In recent years, these tactics have been used against several dozen leaders or former government officials and activists in Argentina, Ecuador, Brazil, Bolivia, El Salvador, and Venezuela, linked to governments, programs, or projects that question, to a greater or lesser extent, the neoliberal orthodoxy.
(Sputnik) with Orinoco Tribune content
Translation: Orinoco Tribune
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