Major events in the life of Nestor Kirchner

October 28, 2010

Yesterday, millions of people were shocked to wake up and learn that former President Nestor Kirchner had died of a cardiac arrest. Let’s know a little more than the life of this real “political animal”.

Néstor Carlos Kirchner was born on February 25, 1950, in Rio Gallegos. Descendant of Swiss (on his father’s side) and Croatian (on his mother’s) immigrants, from his youth he became interested in politics, beginning with the military in the Peronist Youth.

Nestor Kirchner in his youth

In 1986, Kirchner got enough support to take its first institutional position of relevance. He won the election for Mayor of Rio Gallegos, giving some first signs of his political capacity.

In 1991, Néstor Kirchner took a far greater challenge: He ran for the office of Governor of Santa Cruz. In the elections of that year, he managed to pull 61% of the vote and hold office until 2003.

During his rule, the province largely reduced the trade deficit (U.S. $ 1,200 million when he took over) reaching and maintaining a fiscal balance for almost 10 years. His ability as an economist was beginning to be elucidated long before his presidency.

In 1995, Kirchner final broke with the Menemism, going aside his greatest opponent, Eduardo Duhalde.

Kirchner in a meeting with Duhalde

During the political crisis in the years 2001, 2002 and 2003, Néstor Kirchner had a great political momentum. For the subsequent election for president he was selected as a candidate for President of the PJ, after the refusal of Reutemann and De la Sota (who were contacted before the Santa Cruceño).

On May 25, 2003, Kirchner assumes the presidency with the fewest votes in the history of Argentina, 22.24%, being beaten by Carlos Saul Menem, who won with 24.45% of the votes and retreated in second round.

Kirchner receives the baton from Eduardo Duhalde

His first presidential promise was that Argentina would not pay the foreign debt “at the expense of the hunger and exclusion of Argentines.”

Since the beginning of his presidency, Kirchner faced a restructuring of state policies regarding human rights. For this, in 2003, he asked Congress to conduct an impeachment of the Supreme Court, which was considered Menemist and had granted pardons to those responsible of the military dictatorship of 1976-1983.

In 2005, the reformed Supreme Court declared unconstitutional the laws of Punto Final and Due Obedience and resumed the trial of the military repressors.

Regarding economic policy, in 2003 the government opens a debt swap to 25% of the value of the bonds. In March 2005, Kirchner announced that 76% of the creditors entered into this process, the remaining holders begun legal cases against the state.

In 2006, Argentina cancels its debt to the International Monetary Fund in a lump sum of 9,500 million from budget reserves and the Central Bank.

Kirchner and Lavagna, "Duhalde's Minister"

In 2005, Kirchner breaks definitively with Eduardo Duhalde (causing the resignation of Economy Minister Roberto Lavagna) and his wife, Cristina Fernandez, achieves a landslide victory in elections for the renewal of the cameras (almost 30% in Deputies and 45% in Senators).

In 2007, shortly before the presidential election, controversy erupts due to the intervention of the National Institute of Statistics and Censuses (INDEC) and allegations of data manipulation come out.

However, in December of that year, Nestor Kirchner delivers the baton to his wife, Cristina, who just won the election with 45% of the vote, twice what he had achieved.

December 10, 2007: Nestor Kirchner delivers the baton to his wife, Cristina

Since then, the former president promises to disappear from the main scene of politics. However, his return was swift and in 2008 he returns to the podium because of the issue of agricultural export taxes.

During the presidency of his wife, the final break with the Clarin Group began and a new battle for the dominance of the media started.

Nestor Kirchner speaks for the agricultural export taxes

In 2009, Kirchner suffered a serious defeat in legislative elections. He is postulated as a candidate for the Province of Buenos Aires and is defeated by the Union Pro (De Narváez). Meanwhile, the Front for Victory gets back, achieving 31.2% of the votes and losing the majority in the House of Representatives.

In May 2010, Néstor Kirchner assumed the General Secretariat of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR). His first action is to visit Paraguay to promote the regional integration. He also participates in the resumption of diplomatic relations between Venezuela and Colombia.

Kirchner, in his role as General Secretary of the UNASUR, in a meeting with Santos and Chavez

On October 27, 2010, at 9:15 am, Néstor Kirchner suffers a cardiac arrest that causes his sudden death. The country is shocked by the news and three days of national mourning are decreed.

Cristina beside the coffin of her husband and former president, Nestor Kirchner

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