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Argentine Mondays: September 18th, 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.

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Santiago Maldonado Update

“The hypothesis that [Santiago Maldonado] may have drowned is one of the most reasonable options to me, according to the interpretation of the evidence that I’m working on," said federal judge Guido Otranto in an interview on Sunday.

Over 50 kilometers of the Chubut river has been searched, with between four and six divers a day in its cold waters, and still no sign of Santiago Maldonado — the 28-year-old who went missing on August 1st after gendarmería evicted a protest carried out by the mapuche indigenous tribe in Cushamen.

Maldonado’s brother, Sergio, however, vehemently disagrees with judge Otranto, who is in charge of the case. “How can the judge continue to consier that my brother drowned when the Prefectura has already said it’s impossible? The river has no current and is shallow at the spot where [it all] happened and in any case, [he would have] floated. What [Otranto] says has no basis. There is no way that [Santiago] drowned there.” Sergio also said that his family was not interested in meeting President Mauricio Macri regarding his brother's disappearance: "I don't want him to call me, what I want is for him to do his job."

Source: Clarín

It was also confirmed over the weekend that second liutenant Emmanuel Echazú, who was at the river on that day, suffered from two fractures on his face during the operation. Echazú has always been a suspect in the day’s proceedings and subsequent fate of Santiago Maldonado because he wrote the day’s log and had been hit by a stone, allegedly leading proseuctors to believe that he was potentially prone to a violent reaction.

Source: Clarín

Updates on the "Rugby Player Case"

Julieta Silva, the 29-year-old who killed her rugbier boyfriend Genaro Fortunato in Mendoza province was found to have been under the influence of alcohol when she ran over him with her car outside a club — the toxicological screen is also expected to show signs of marihuana consumption. Silva allegedly ran over Fortunato twice (by making a U-turn). The importance of the tox screen results (and taking into consideration the swampy terrain), lies in the change of hypothesis from intentional murder to accident, and the possibility of facing lesser charges.

Source: Perfil

Economy and finance: tibits for Monday small-talk

  • Clarín's optimism indices, with information compiled by the private consulting firm Management&Fit, has shown a rise in political and economic optimism to post-PASO values. Political optimism is currently at 40.9 after a 2 point rise while the economic optimism is 37.6 after a 2.5 point increase.

  • According to the Argentine Social Development Institute (IDESA in Spanish), the interests on public debt paid by the Argentine state "are 50% higher tan those faced by Peru and 4.5 times more than those paid by Chile."

Some sports

  • Classic football rivals River Plate and Boca Juniors are currently leading the Superliga table after Boca clinched a 4-1 victory against Godoy Cruz 4-1 and River beat San Martín 3-1 in San Juan province.

  • ATP's tennis ranking has remained largely unchanged after the Davis Cup over the weekend: Juan Martín del Potro is currently N°24 while Diego Schwartzman is N°28 (both played in the US Open). Argentina lost to Kazakhstan just 10 months after winning the Davis Cup.

Source: La Nación

Can't we all just make peanut butter and be friends?

Córdoba has been making an effort to reduce the province's consumption of sugar, with a policy being put forward to no longer place the sweetener at café tables unless requested by a customer. The result? A somewhat petty escalation of tensions between Córdoba and Tucumán, the country's main sugar producer.

At first, there were rumors that salami from Córdoba would be banned: according to Legislative Vice President Gustavo Gassenbauer, that wouldn't happen. “The issue came up in a [radio interview] where I promised a listener as a joke that if Córdoba didn’t backtrack on the sugar ban, I would stand on the frontier [between the provinces] and not let any of [their] salamis go past me."

Source: Perfil

However, reprisals are still on the table (no pun intended), with the judicial branch getting involved and Gassenbauer going onto saying that "If the measure does go through and progresses, I’ll propose a ban on peanuts from Córdoba in bars where [they’re served] with beer. Everyone knows that peanuts have huge quantities of salt and that it has serious health consequences like arterial hypertension.”

Another day, another ridiculous example of pre-legislative election tension.

What to look out for this week

  • This is not the last time you'll read about Santiago Maldonado this week: judge Otranto has authorized a search operation through sacred mapuche land after refusing to do so on the grounds that it could spark more incidents. The search takes place today and already there is controversy: Sergio Maldonado has said that he's worried "they'll throw my brother's body anywhere."

  • Vice President Gabriela Michetti is in New York, attending the United Nation's General Assembly set to take place on September 20th. Macri is currently embroiled in the legislative campaign for Cambiemos. Michetti is set to meet with UN Secretary General António Guterres today: check out her full itinerary here.

  • Today's football: Gimnasia vs. Huracán (19:05) and Temperley vs. Rosario Central (21:05).

  • The first day of spring is this week, September 21st! Unfortunately, despite a warm start to the week, this Thursday may have showers and low temperatures. However, the usual plethora of events could take your mind off that. Keep a look out!

If knowledge is power, being informed helps you power through the day.

Or at least have a conversation or two.

Happy Monday!

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