The national board of the Justicialist Party (PJ) huddled Thursday morning, declaring itself in a state of "alert and mobilisation" and analysing dates and formats to take to the streets in support of Cristina Fernández de Kirchner after prosecutor Diego Luciani called for the vice-president’s conviction in the ‘Vialidad’ public works trial.
The meeting was headed by President Alberto Fernández, Interior Minister Eduardo ‘Wado’ de Pedro and AFI intelligence trustee Agustín Rossi (all via Zoom) with Foreign Minister Santiago Cafiero, Cristina Álvarez Rodríguez, ex-governors José Luis Gioja and Lucía Corpaci, among others, in direct attendance. The Buenos Aires provincial branch of the Justicialist Party under Máximo Kirchner met later the same day.
Several leaders have already manifested their support for the vice-president with President Fernández professing her innocence in the Vialidad case with the words: "I see the decadence of judicial system and have been saying so since 2016," in reference to his predecessor Mauricio Macri.
Vía Zoom, the president defined the first steps in the organisation of action in support of his vice-president, proposing a date which is "not only Peronist" (thus ruling out October 17) in order to reach a wider audience.
Although without official confirmation, September 16 appears a viable day for calling people onto the streets because it not only commemorates ‘La Noche de Los Lápices’ massacre of schoolchildren by the 1976-1983 military dictatorship but also a new anniversary of the so-called ‘Revolución Libertadora’ toppling the Juan Domingo Perón presidency in 1955.
According to Noticas Argentinas news agency, during the meeting the President pointed out that over and above any differences he might have with his vice-president, he "was absolutely on her side" in the face of the trial against her, affirming that even in the tensest moments of their relationship, he always came out in her defence.
The Justicialist Party(PJ) later ratified its solidarity with the vice-president, repudiating “forcefully the political persecution instrumented by the powers that be via the Judiciary,” according to the communiqué issued after the meeting.
“We call on all Peronist comrades throughout our motherland, in all grass-root units and party offices to stay united, organised and mobilised, on permanent alert, to defend true democracy and acquired rights without the persecution of the most important leader of the Argentine people,” proposed the text without offering any specific date for the march.
In this sense, the PJ continued with its discourse of “lawfare” as the mechanism used against other Latin American leaders like Lula Da Silva in Brasil, Rafael Correa in Ecuador and Evo Morales in Bolivia, thus assuring that this strategy “uses the judicial machinery with every appearance of legality to remove the legitimacy from the political processes of sovereignty and the defence of the peoples of the Greater Fatherland.”