More news -and correction- on Salta riots (was Re: More dead in Argentina due to repression)

Julio Fernández Baraibar julfb at
Sat May 13 13:49:04 MDT 2000

Nestor has sent us a wonderful and intelligent inform about Salta' riots,
which I agree totally.
We are living very important political moments.
>From the end of the Menem's period I have sustained that the new goverment
in Argentina, whoever won the elections, would be a weak government, and
that this was good. The most difficult of the ten years of Menem was the
origine of his power (the votes of the deepest layers of the argentinian
workers and people and the movement that until then had represented them).
Menem's government was a strong one. The peronist party was hardly
disciplined after Menem's rules. No different point of view was accepted and
each man or woman who tried to discuss them was mutely (or not so mutely, as
in the case of Pino Solanas in the beginning of the period) repressed. Menem
exhibited very important leader's conditions (for good or for bad): he was
cunning, unscrupulous, tricky, surprising, nerveless, cold bloody, and he
had a luxurious taste for power; a kind of oriental sheik (I hope that
comrade Abu Nasr doen't take this as a kind of christian prejudgment about
muslims). His cirkel of collaborators was called as "tent", and, BTW, there
were  the "big tent" and the "little tent" (this was formed by his most
closed accomplices). This characteristics were fundamental in order to
impose the evil transformations he made in the country. Whoever suceeded him
would not have this diabolic conditions and the result would be a weak
And this has been the case. De la Rua, a conservative, catholic Process
Right professor (BYW, I have just remember that Niceto Alcala Zamora, the
first president of the spanish republic was also an specialist in Process
Right) is a weak president. He has not the confidence of the Radical Party.
Yet more, he hates the political web of little parochial leaders who manage
some votes in their neighborhood and then try to negotiate them with the
president of Republic. And the web of these leaders hate him, because they
have stayed out of game. He doesn't like the power in the open, scandalous,
obscen way of Menem. He is mistrustful, slow, timorous. I could afirm he
never in all his life has been in an street demonstration confrontig with
the police. He belongs to an old argentinian family from Santiago del Estero
Province -he is related to, for instance, Los Hermanos Abalos (Brother
Abalos), one of the oldest and purest groups of folk music from that
And it is this man who have to confront with the terminal crisis of
Argentina. The inmediate consequence for him, after the election of the last
year, when he already was the elected president, was an strange lung
congestion (called neumotorax in spanish) that impeded him to breathe. It
happened when he took knowledge about the real situation of the country and
the pressures from IMF. And he decided to take the way that IMF impossed
After six months De la Rua seems six years older.
In this days, he may have remembered the verses of Jorge Luis Borges in
Poema Conjetural, about Narciso Laprida, the lawyer who read our
Independence Declaration in 1816 and was killed by the "montonera" of priest
Aldao in 1829:

"Yo que anhelé ser otro, ser un hombre
de sentencias, de libros, de dictámenes
a cielo abierto yaceré entre ciénagas"

"Me, who longed to be somebodyelse, to be a man
of sentences, of books, of judgments,
in the open skies I shall lie among swamps."

(Excuse my surely poor translation)

The indian and furious faces of the people in Salta are, all in all, the
same faces of the gauchos that lanced Laprida.

Julio FB

> Please pay attention to this: this is the first _independent_
> political move by De la Rúa to stop a fire. Up to now, all he has
> been doing is to acquiesce by the orders emanating from the IMF,
> under pressure of a "currency shock". And this move is to send a
> national delegation to carry on conversations with a tiny group of
> rebels in a forlorn area of a province devastated by the very
> measures that De la Rúa himself has been backing, at least in his
> immobility, since he took power.
> This first independent move has some interest. The negotiators (all
> of them of the first level at the National Administration, Drs.
> Becerra, Cevallos and Viqueyra) have just reached some basic
> agreements, all of them accepting the claims by the piqueteros.
> Troops are being demobilized, intervention of the corrupt local
> municipalities will be fostered by the National Government (these
> interventions must be made by Provincial powers, Argentina is a
> federal country), and redress will be sent for people who have not
> been receiving a single coin since De la Rúa took power.
> The political consequence of this was resumed by Becerra: "Now, we
> know, we shall have to receive the same complaints from every corner
> in the country".
> What next? This has been a kind of partial victory of the piqueteros,
> at least up to this moment. But the crude fact is that the model does
> not allow for any concession. Whether De la Rúa is decided to slowly
> take the reins and begin to establish some kind of independence from
> the IMF -tnanks to the opposition from the popular masses- or he will
> finally decide to lead a four year administration of increasingly
> bloody confrontation, remains to be seen.
> In the meantime, people starve and the foreign debt payments are duly
> met, Argentinian firms bust and foreign concerns get fat on their
> exactions. And the old mole is still working.
> Néstor Miguel Gorojovsky
> gorojovsky at

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