Buenos Aires Times

argentina VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

Sex abuse allegations rattle Kirchner youth movement La Cámpora

Jorge Romero was elected provincial senator for the Citizens United, the party which former president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner led on a national level during last year's mid-term elections.

Tuesday 18 December, 2018
Buenos Aires provincial senator Jorge Romero.
Buenos Aires provincial senator Jorge Romero. Foto:Buenos Aires Senate

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A Buenos Aires provincial senator has quit his post after a former employee made allegations of sexual assault against him.

Senator Jorge Romero confirmed his resignation on Facebook post, writing: "I can see now that I had misogynist attitudes which at the time seemed natural".

"I have decided to step aside from my political responsibility to undergo the processes of protocol that my (party) organisation has determined for this type of case", Romero added.

"I am a man who was raised in a patriarcal society. [However,] I am also a political activist who has responsibilities", he wrote.

Former adviser Stephanie Solange Calo lodged a criminal complaint against Romero on Monday, alleging that he exposed his penis to her and tried to force her to practice oral sex on him during a party in which Romero allegedly locked her in a bathroom.

"Romero grabs me, locks me inside the bathroom with him, he stops me from leaving. He pulls down his pants, takes out his member and starts to ask me to practice oral sex on him", she said in a statement.

Calo explained that she felt "desperate" during the alleged attack.

"I refused several times and I demanded that he let me out. I even had to promise him that we would do it the next day so he would let me out. I banged on the door and walls so someone would let me out. Nobody helped me", she added.

In 2017, Romero was elected provincial senator for the Citizens United, the party which former president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner led on a national level during last year's mid-term elections. He is a former Florencio Varela city councillor.

LA CAMPORA

The case has rocked the La Cámpora, the youth movement led by Fernández de Kirchner's son Máximo Kirchner, to which Romero belongs.

"La Cámpora covered it up, it continues to cover it up and it will continue covering up these abusers until we start speaking up", Calo said.

Leading members of the movement were laying low on Monday, opting instead to release a joint statement.

"To our female members, you are believed and accompanied. We want to make the personal the political, to shed light on injustices and to build a better organisation that gives answers to new social demands", the organisation said in an official statement.

"We will no longer tolerate the many barriers in place to measure the behavior of our colleagues. It does not matter how important they are or what their responsibilities are", it added.

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