Argentine Mondays: June 26th, 2017
Welcome to Argentine Mondays, your Monday morning update on what happened in Argentina while you were otherwise engaged over the weekend. Sit back and enjoy while the morning caffeine kicks in.
The primaries take shape
The primaries, or PASO in Spanish (Primarias Abiertas Simultáneas y Obligatorias), got underway over the weekend as the deadline for parties to register their candidates expired on Saturday at midnight. It was quite a whirlwind, speculation and analysis — here are some highlights.
Former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner put us out of our misery by finally confirming that she will be a candidate for the newly formed Unión Ciudadana with her former Foreign Affairs Minister Jorge Taiana, who said that they would "put up barriers to stop" President Mauricio Macri's government.
She also held a meeting with her former Transport Minister Florencio Randazzo (Frente Justicialista) just hours before the lists closed, causing a buzz on potential negotiations. In the end, no agreement was reached and they will both be running for seats at the Senate.
Speaking of the Senate, there are three seats up for grabs for the province of Buenos Aires: competing alongside Fernández de Kirchner and Randazzo will be Sergio Massa (with the new 1País alliance) and the current Education Minister Esteban Bullrich for the government's Cambiemos. Should be fun!
Bullrich is not the only minister running in the primaries: the Defence Minister Julio Martínez is a candidate to represent La Rioja province in the Senate. Martínez will be running against 87-year-old former president Carlos S. Menem, who could face jail time if he isn't reelected due to arms trafficking charges.
From left to right, candidates for Senate to represent Buenos Aires province: Esteban Bullrich (Cambiemos), Cristina Fernández de Kirchner (Unión Ciudadana), Florencio Randazzo (Frente Justicialista), Sergio Massa (1País). Source: La Nación.
The PASO will take place on August 13th, so prepare to hear a lot more about them!
The news and social media were awash with photos and details of the death of 28-year-old Alfredo Turcumán this weekend: he was allegedly killed by his wife, Claudia Moya. Details of his attempt to report her to the police went viral after it emerged that they refused to take him seriously, calling him a "maricón," or a "wuss," and to put up with it. He died in hospital on Thursday after nine days in intensive care: a judge called for Moya to be arrested when it was found that his wounds did not coincide with her story — that he hurt himself fixing a door lock. According to Diario de Cuyo, Moya then told police that she had stabbed Turcumán "in self-defence." She has a history of domestic abuse and is currently pregnant.
San Rafael bus crash
At least 15 people have been reported dead (13 positively identified) after a bus crashed in San Rafael, in Mendoza province, on Sunday afternoon. Most of the 52 passengers were teenagers from several dance schools in the Buenos Aires neighbourhood of Malvinas Argentinas. 21 people have been hospitalised, two with "serious injuries." The mayor of San Rafael, Emir Félix, told a press conference that "This is very tough. They're very young kids, we were looking at their [identity cards] and their DNI numbers [prefixed] with 44 and 48. We're working [hard and] not stopping for a minute."
Source: La Nación
*DNI numbers have eight digits and one can usually guess someone's age based on the first two. This is, of course, an approximate guess as new citizens will receive new DNIs with a higher number that will not reflect their age.*
Boca Juniors played the final match of the tournament on Sunday against Unión, beating them 2-1. The victory was icing on the cake, because due to the point system of the tournament Boca had already been crowned champion on Wednesday. The celebrations exploded with paraphernalia and over-the-top gestures, including a drone carrying a star reading "66" (Boca has won 66 titles, international and national), which was cut from its string by the current captain Fernando Gago to the tune of Star Wars. Yes, really.
It was Lionel Messi's 30th birthday on Saturday, which he celebrated with a discreet get-together with his family and closest friends. Social media erupted with memes and videos of Messi's younger, longer-haired self to honour the superstar's trajectory.
Gluten-free on the street
The first ever gluten-free street food fair was held this weekend in plaza República de Perú in Palermo. Alongside traditional stalls selling food "sin TACC," as food suitable for celiacs is called, were 15 food trucks from around the city of Buenos Aires. There has been an increase in the supply of gluten-free restaurants and foods over the past few years, although there is still some way to go (celiac products are three times more expensive than regular food products and there is little legislation). The Expocelíaca, organised by the Argentina Association for Celiacs (ACA), will be held on the 8th and 9th of July.
Despacito fever reaches Argentina
National rockstar Fito Paez apparently couldn't resist the hit song Despacito's allure and, alongside many others, decided to do his own version. The fever surrounding this reggaeton is really contagious, but Paez did it on his own terms. Enjoy!
What to look out for this week:
Make sure you charge your SUBE because from Wednesday 28th to Friday 30th, kioscos will not be providing the service! They are protesting against a law that blocks kioscos from profiting from your top-up with an additional charge: the Chamber of United Kiosk-Owners (CKU) are asking for it to be modified because it isn't profitable.
The General Confederation of Labour (CGT) and the Worker's Central Union (CTA) are set to meet with government officials at the Labour Ministry on Tuesday in negotiations over the minimum wage. Depending on how those talks go, there may be protests during the week, so stay tuned!
Football superstar Lionel Messi is getting married this week in Rosario and the event is set to be the who's-who of Argentine farandula (celebrity society). If you're not interested in paparazzi snaps, that's fine: if you're in Rosario, make sure to avoid the area surrounding the Hotel Pullman City Center.
If knowledge is power, being informed helps you power through the morning. Or at least have a conversation or two. Happy Monday!