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ARGENTINA | 15-12-2018 09:57

Dec. 10th-16th: What We Learned This Week

Catch up with some of the stories that caught our eye over the last seven days in Argentina...

ALLEGATION SPARKS UPRISING

Unless you’ve been living under a rock these past few days, you’ll be well aware of actress Thelma Fardín’s allegations against actor Juan Juan Darthés on Tuesday, which exploded into the public sphere, sparking anger, denials, solidarity, endless hours of debate and an unheralded reaction. Fardín’s allegation that Darthés raped her in 2009, when she was 16 and he was 45, delivered an instand reaction and an instant movement, centred on a hashtag ‘#MiraComoNosPonemos.’ This story, which is far from over, is explored in greater depth inside our edition.

THIS WEEK IN CORRUPTION...

A bumper edition this week that featured complicated situations for both the president and a former vice-president. For President Macri, there was the awkward headline of seeing both his father, Franco, and his brother, Gianfranco, summoned before the courts as part of the ‘notebooks’ (cuadernos) graft probe, as was Corporación América chief Eduardo Eurnekian. Meanwhile, on the other end of the (political? judicial? take your pick...) spectrum, exVP Amado Boudou of Ciccone case fame was released from pre-trial arrest, pending a definitive conviction.

STORM TRAGEDY

The onslaught of rain, hail, thunder and lightning that slammed the capital toward the end of the week delivered tragedy too, when a 23-year-old woman was killed and a man was seriously injured after a lightning bolt struck a park in Villa Lugano.

IMF WORDS OUT OF SYNC AS POVERTY, INFLATION RISE

The government’s economic programme, including its tough budget cuts, is yielding results and stabilising financial markets, a spokesman for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) declared this week, though those words gained little traction as disappointing economic indicators continued to grab the headlines. Inflation for last month came in at 3.2 percent up on the same month the previous year, INDEC reported, indicating a slowing of runaway price increases and pushing the annual figure to 43.9 percent for the year so far (side note: who had greater than 45 percent in the sweepstake?). However, it was a report by the UCA university that really seized the attention, indicating that more than a third of Argentines are now falling below the poverty line. The highest level in at least eight years, that stat shows that 13.6 million people – an increase of almost 2.2 million individuals in relation to a year ago – are now considered poor, in the wake of this year’s brutal recession and depreciation.

TRAPITO NO MORE!

Years after it promised to do so, the City government finally outlawed trapitos and uninvited windscreen-washers from plying their trade in the capital this week. At first glance, this legislation seems a long time coming and should go a long way toward wiping out (pun intended, oh yes) a public annoyance and even some insecurity fears, but there is a serious issue here at hand. Frankly, it’s not many people’s ideal work and those involved are clearly not doing it for the love of the job, are they? Most likely, the main effects will be felt by many of the nation’s poorest – and some families will undoubtedly feel a financial hit.

JUSTICE SERVED IN HISTORIC FORD ARGENTINA TRIAL

Emotional scenes in San Martín this week as a court on Tuesday sentenced two ex-Ford Motor Co. executives to prison for helping officers serving under the last military dictatorship’s round up 24 union workers, who wereabducted and tortured. “Memory, truth and justice – that’s what we always demanded,” Pedro Troiani, one of the victims, told the press after the verdicts.

THEY THINK IT’S ALL OVER... IT IS NOW.

Finally we can retire our stupid joke about a match taking place this weekend... a match was played (in Madrid), one team won, one team lost, it was quite good and entertaining, a LOT of people celebrated and then it rained and the next morning there was a DOUBLE RAINBOW! Football eh?

NO TROUBLES UNDER THE SEA

If you’ve had any young childen in the last couple of decades, chances are you’ve heard a (for some strange reason) Jamaican-sounding cartoon crab sing a songabout the beauty of life under the sea. Now it seems Argentina’s lawmakers are in agreement: on Wednesday Congress approved the creation of the “Yaganes” and “Namuncura-Banco Burdwood II” parks in our southernmost sea, covering a combined area of 101,000 square kilometres (or 39,000 square miles in old money). The measure increasesthe protected oceans to nearly 10 percent of Argentina’s total territory, close to the country’s commitment to the 2020 goal agreed on by the UN’s Convention on Biological Diversity. It also protects habitat and feeding grounds for penguins, sea lions, sharks and other marine species. Conservationists say the Namuncura-Burdwood Bank II park has deep seabed and underwater canyons with rich diversity. The Yaganes park remains mostly unexplored but it is a feeding area for endangered seabird species and is home to sei whales, fin whales and other marine species.

FUGITIVE ITALIAN DRUGLORD NABBED

An Italian ‘drug-lord’ accused of running an international trafficking ring that had been on the run since 2010 (you know where this is going, don’t you?) was tracked down this week to Berazategui, in Buenos Aires province, and finally apprehended in a joint operation invoving local, Interpol and Italian officials. Giancarlo Massidda , 61, linked with the Italian mafia, was living under a false identity.

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