The Rolling Stones famously sang,
Oh, a storm is threat’ning
My very life today
If I don’t get some shelter
Oh yeah, I’m gonna fade away.
Over in Argentina, former president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, who came to power when her husband Néstor Kirchner died suddenly of a heart condition, sees a storm is threat’ning: She has been charged with money laundering for the fourth time.
Fernandez already faces trial in a separate case for alleged financial mismanagement in office and pending charges for allegedly ordering Argentina’s central bank to illegally trade derivatives, which cost the country $5.5 billion.
And let’s not forget the fourteen houses she “never declared” to the anti-corruption or the tax authorities.
So where does a grieving widow seek shelter from the upcoming storm?
She runs for Senate in the country’s most populous province, of course!
It so happens that, if elected, the seat (emphasis added)
would give her congressional immunity from federal prosecution for alleged money laundering and racketeering during her presidency.
As I was planning this post this morning, I was looking at the list of categories under which to file it. I opted for “are you kidding me.” Why? Because she’s ahead in the polls.
After Argentinians elected Mauricio Macri president, foreign investors hoped his administration would pass reforms to undo Fernandez’s chaotic economic policies, interventionist strategies and trade restrictions. Cristina’s campaign does not bode well:
The peso currency has lost 9 percent of its value since Fernandez declared her candidacy on June 24. The central bank has sold more than $1 billion in reserves in the past two weeks to stop the currency’s slide, including a $298.2 million intervention on Thursday.
Argentina may, once again, slip back into its old storms.
Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes on U. S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog