President Alberto Fernández has announced that he has chosen ex-defence minister Agustín Rossi to be the new head of Argentina’s intelligence service.
The president, who confirmed his decision in a post on Twitter, said that Rossi would take over as director of the AFI federal intelligence agency, replacing trustee Cristina Caamaño, as the agency returns to “regular operations” this week.
Caamaño, an attorney who heads the Justicia Legítima ("Legitimate Justice") group, was tasked with carrying out an audit and overhaul of the AFI and its working practices soon after the Peronist leader took office in December 2019. The government-ordered intervention was due to expire this Monday, but has been extended for another four months by presidential decree.
In his message, the president expressed his “eternal gratitude” to Caamaño for her “remarkable effort and honesty” in clearing up the “basements of democracy.”
Over the weekend, the president met with both officials to “organise the transition of the administration,” he added.
Rossi also paid tribute to his predecessor’s work, praising the “professionalisation and transparency” of the agency in its new incarnation.
"I thank the President for the trust he has placed in me to carry out this responsibility, a task that I will carry out with the same commitment and dedication as always," added Rossi.
Speaking on Monday to the Télam state news agency, Rossi said that he hoped to put all his “political experience” to task in running the AFI.
Addressing tensions in the ruling Frente de Todos coalition, he said that a “new stage” had started for the government, citing Friday’s event at Technopolis celebrating the 100th anniversary of state energy firm YPF as proof,
“The image of Friday brought a breath of fresh air into our space. I was with the president and Cristina Caamaño on Saturday, he seemed happy, very happy with what had happened on Friday," said Rossi.