La Cámpora in Argentina. The Rise of New Vanguard Generation and the Road to Ruin

The Rise of New Vanguard Generation and the Road to Ruin

http://www.strategycenter.net/docLib/20130513_LaC%E1mporaFINAL.pdf

Douglas Farah, Senior Fellow, International Assessment and Strategy Center

The rise and growing influence of La Cámpora, is among the least understood but most important aspects of the Fernández de Kirchner’s government, with direct ties back to the turbulent and violent “dirty war” between the Montonero Marxists guerillas and successive dictatorships in the 1970s. In acknowledgement of their absolute loyalty to her, the president fondly refers to the Camporistas as her “little soldiers.” Rather than reporting through normal cabinet chains of command, its leaders respond only to the president and Máximo, operating as a parallel power structure and severely undermining the institutional oversight of their actions.

ABSTRACT
How a group of young radical utopians has captured the Argentine state, collapsed the economy and institutionalized authoritarian rule

Introduction
Since Aerolíneas Argentinas, Argentina’s flagship carrier, was re-nationalized in 2008, its losses have grown from $1 million a day to $2 million a day. Earlier this year President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, rather than sacking the director for adding thousands of new jobs for unqualified bureaucrats and being unable to give any account of how the company’s revenue was spent, dropped by to praise the leadership for their outstanding service to the nation. The overall debt of the carrier since it returned to government hands is more than $3 billion, and it loses money with every flight.As Argentina faces a steep economic crisis –with 2013 inflation estimated to reach 30%2 — and growing social unrest, it is unlikely there will be any normal corrective action.

The engineers of the nation’s road to economic ruin are a tightly knit group of young professionals steeped in Marxist economic theory and brought together by a history of student activism and protest. Their strategies have bankrupted the nation while putting Argentina on a path of increasing confrontation with the United States and Europe, and the international financial and investment community, all while strengthening ties with Iran, Venezuela and its populist allies.

The group, known as La Cámpora, has gained unprecedented access to the president through her son, Máximo Kirchner, 36. Máximo has positioned himself as the hermetic president’s primary gatekeeper and possible heir to a political dynasty that is famous for prizing loyalty above all else. Máximo’s power increased dramatically when Néstor Kirchner, Máximo’s father and Cristina’s predecessor in the presidency, died in 2010.The group provided the shock troops when the Fernández de Kirchner government blocked the distribution of independent newspapers, and to counter marches by government opponents while building a vast social media empire aimed at countering non-government media and the broadly and vaguely defined “enemies” –those who don’t agree with the president.

The rise and growing influence of La Cámpora, is among the least understood but most important aspects of the Fernández de Kirchner’s government, with direct ties back to the turbulent and violent “dirty war” between the Montonero Marxists guerillas and successive dictatorships in the 1970s. In acknowledgement of their absolute loyalty to her, the president fondly refers to the Camporistas as her “little soldiers.” Rather than reporting through normal cabinet chains of command, its leaders respond only to the president and Máximo, operating as a parallel power structure and severely undermining the institutional oversight of their actions.
In exchange for loyalty, and trust in her 36-year-old son –who until recently was more known for his affinity for video games, being a super fan of the Racing soccer club and high living in his home province of Santa Cruz –the president asks for no accountability for the hundreds of millions of dollars in government money the Camporistas now control.

Máximo, whose long-time pejorative nickname was Mínimo (‘minimum’, a play on his name which means ‘maximum’), is the oldest child of a couple where both parents served as president in part of the most enduring political partnerships in recent Latin American history, and he is often mentioned as a successor to his mother. He was raised on Peronist literature and has long been the undisguised favorite of his mother.

The objectives of Fernández de Kirchner, Máximo and La Cámpora are to radically remake the Argentine state and to establish a permanent presence across the key nodes of government power and finance, and in social institutions such as education,long after the current administration ends. The “Project,” as they call the current radical experiment in economic and social engineering, would in effect then be permanent.

The goals of the Project are clearly stated in their literature:We should consider ourselves the privileged of history. Today we must fight the ideological battle of all time: a country for the few or for the many. We have the opportunity to continue the historic struggle for the redistribution of income and social justice.Let us retake the banners of struggle of our people throughout history: human rights, the creation of the Great Country of Latin America, industrial sovereignty, the force of organized workers and social justice. But above all else, politics as a tool of all people for social transformation.http://www.lacampora.org/

Already the group’s leaders have engineered the hiring of thousands of loyal followers into the government bureaucracy — a bureaucracy that has grown by more than 940,000 people since the Kirchner governments began in 2003, a rate of 278 people per day. The primary prerequisite to landing a stable, well-paid job in recent years has been the indispensible letter of recommendation from an important Camporista…..

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