Cristina's assassination attempt

Image: Gonzalo Acuna


The attack crowned a right-wing escalation, which included all the ingredients of media-judicial coups

The assassination attempt on Cristina Kirchner is a very serious event that cannot be reduced to simple declarations of repudiation. It is necessary to register the terrible dimension of this event, in the face of all the maneuvers to minimize, trivialize or depoliticize what happened.

It wasn't a madman on the loose doing barbarities. He has already been known to sport right-wing tattoos and has made angry statements against picketers. While he may have acted alone, he walked the same path as the assassins who tried to kill Nicolas Maduro or Evo Morales. It's worth remembering that the Capitol invaders also looked like raving lunatics when they acted at the direct instigation of Donald Trump.

It is important to record the background of the assassination attempt, since much of the journalism focuses on questioning security flaws or the characteristics of the weapon. They seek to transform a traumatic political event into a mere police event.

It is not true that “the entire political spectrum is to blame” for what happened because it “deepened the split”. With this vision of the two demons, true responsibilities are diluted. The attack against Cristina Kirchner crowned a right-wing escalation, which included all the ingredients of media-legal coups. It was correctly pointed out that this operation incited hatred, created the right context for aggression and opened the floodgates for a criminal attempt.

The thwarted crime was the final straw in the escalation precipitated by an infamous trial. This show was mounted based on a forged cause, which lacks incriminating evidence against the vice president. The country was on the verge of a tragedy due to a fraudulent operation, with several elements similar to the ambush that removed Dilma Rousseff from the Brazilian government.

The misfire added drama to the torrent of violence that Larreta [Horacio Rodríguez Larreta] it boosted with its fences [reference to the perimeter imposed by the mayor of Buenos Aires around the apartment of vice president Cristina Kirchner], its spies and its water cannons. These aggressions included unbelievable insults to the parliamentarians, issued by detached policemen carrying lead bullets. This provocation was created to show the repression that would be unleashed by an eventual PRO [Republican Proposal] government. The unsuccessful homicide was also motivated by the endless campaign of lies propagated by the hegemonic media.

It is important to highlight these responsibilities at a time of repeated calls to dilute the blame, in the great diluent called national unity. With ritual messages of “repudiation of violence”, many rightists gloss over what happened to ensure that everything remains the same. They seek to preserve their blatant dominance of economic, judicial, media and police power. By maintaining this control, they will be able to reprogram other conspiracies and other attempts at overthrow. The most extreme sectors are already preparing some kind of attack, which is why Patricia Bullrich and Javier milei minimize the attack and avoid condemning it, in line with their call for free carrying of weapons. It is time to avoid this counteroffensive with drastic initiatives of simple justice.


Opportunity for achievements

The popular movement has an extraordinary opportunity to supplant the rightists, who have already faced several failures. The procurator's farce was demolished and Larreta had to remove the fences. In together for the change, division reigns and a reckoning by the boomerang, which has suddenly put the opposition coalition in a defensive position.

The right had hoped to carry out a devastating blow against Cristina Kirchner and was disconcerted by the renewed centrality of the vice president. They no longer consider their electoral triumph in 2023 guaranteed and must take into account that this conservative return would contrast with the new Latin American scenario. This adversity prevents them from repeating a lawfare which has already been demolished in Brazil. Nor can they imitate the coup provocation in the streets that failed in Venezuela, in a context of great questioning of neoliberal models in Chile, Peru and Colombia.

In recent weeks, there has been a great spontaneous backlash against the brazen power of magistrates and their media accomplices. There is a perceptible discomfort with the use of the judiciary to prosecute political opponents. The democratic response of the last fortnight illustrates the fatigue with this type of operation. A contrasting scenario began to emerge in 2015. Attorney Diego Luciani he is a clone of Alberto Nisman, who repeats the same assembly of causes, with the same support from the elite of macrist millionaires. But this kind of hoax has lost credibility and attention. The decline of the impostor Sérgio Moro extends to Argentina.

No one knows how far-reaching the democratic response that erupts from below will be. There are controversial comparisons to October 17th and the prevailing climate during the Bicentennial. But, in any scenario, there is already a tipping point, and the possibility of achieving a victory similar to “two for one” is very visible. Such success would be linked to the judgments of the coup leaders in Bolivia, the democratic advances in Chile and Colombia and the expected triumph of Lula in Brazil.

To achieve these results, concrete demands must be exposed and popularized. The punishment of all those responsible for the fences would undermine the repressive project of the Cambiemos, the annulment of the judgment of the case Road would strike the lawfare and would open the way to debug Comodoro PRO [play on words between the party founded by former president Mauricio Macri and the federal courts located on Rua Comodoro Py] or to displace courtiers. Faced with the renewed indignation generated by the misinformation of hegemonic journalism, the time has come to resume the debate on the media law.


Several fronts of the same project

The ongoing democratic battle coexists with a brutal cut in popular income, implemented by the government and monitored by the IMF. Since the arrival of Sergio Tomás Massa, this adjustment is being processed at a redoubled pace. It has already approved a cut of 128 billion pesos in the housing, education and health budget, froze state revenues, melted pensions, reduced social plans and, instead of auditing the external debt, inspected cooperatives.

Massa performs the surgery that Martín Guzmán and Silvina Batakis postponed. It implemented tariffs that are the antithesis of income redistribution, revived the speculative business of the public debt in pesos and, without defining an orderly devaluation, has already brought inflation close to three digits. There is tremendous wage loss, while the entire 2021 economic recovery has been pocketed by capitalists. The record profits of big companies contrast with the million children who have had to give up eating a meal.

It is important to denounce this dramatic social reality, validated by the same government that stalks the right. The firm denunciation of judicial persecution should not hide the adjustment subscribed by the same officials who harass the Macrismo courts. This reality must not be glossed over with appeals to subdue only (or first) Cristina's persecutors. There are two simultaneous fights that develop at the same time. There is no contradiction between rejecting the aggression suffered by the vice president and resisting the adjustment that Massa implements with the endorsement of Cristina Fernández de Kirchner.

The judgement Road should be scrapped and the agreement with the IMF annulled. In this double action, we can build bridges between critical kirchnerism and the left, which would allow us to resist the adjustment and finally the judicial abuses.

The absence of FIT [Left Front] nthe great mobilization of Friday the 2nd obstructs this convergence. It was a mistake on the part of the left sectors, who are rightly opposed to CFK's short-sighted equation with the judges. They correctly pointed out how the lack of impartiality in the trial prevents the responsibilities of corruption from being resolved, and highlighted that under the image of pompous accusations lies a vulgar persecution. The result of this outrage is not indifferent to the left, since Cristina Kirchner's punishment would constitute an anticipation of greater aggression against popular militants.

From these correct observations, the presence in mobilizations against the harassment of Cristina Kirchner is reduced, given that only in the streets will it be possible to defeat this arbitrariness. The absence in Plaza de Mayo contradicts this conclusion. It was argued that this demonstration was called by the government with Slogans fallacies of social harmony. But this appeal does not justify the absence. The content of a mobilization is never determined solely by the terms of its call.

Often the left participates in union or political rallies that are organized with inappropriate demands. It participates in them with its own columns and flags. This time, he forgot that it was a priority to repudiate the attack and demand clarification, in the only mass gathering called to carry out this rejection. Such a presence is not incompatible with the denunciation of “social peace”, which, in the current context, means bowing one's head in the face of the impoverishment generated by the subordination of officialdom to the IMF.

It is essential to fine-tune all political decisions in the new context opened up by the attack. This aggression aroused great international commotion among leaders, personalities and the media in the region and the world. Everyone was shocked by what happened. They know that a dispute of great geopolitical importance is being waged in Argentina due to the renewed importance of a country with vast natural resources. Cereals, gas and lithium are in the sights of large companies and constitute the coveted spoils of great powers.

For this reason, evaluations abound to elucidate who will govern Argentina in the coming years. Ambassador Marc Stanley has already presented the US demand for control of the gigantic businesses at stake. Accompanying his demand for a coalition government backed by Washington were pressures to maintain the shameful seizure of the Venezuelan plane. He asserted the voice of the empire, in the face of the total passivity and submission of the government.

The popular battle against political persecution and adjustment is projected on numerous fronts. Argentina is once again at the center of several storms. Acting intelligently, defining strategies and prioritizing mobilization are three essential keys to achieving victories and building an emancipatory project.

*Claudio Katz is professor of economics at Universidad Buenos Aires. Author, among other books, of Neoliberalism, neodevelopmentalism, socialism (Popular Expression).

Translation: Fernando Lima das Neves.

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