Crime vs. elections 2023

This week has been one of the three most significant occasions on the national electoral calendar before the final voting, followed by next Saturday’s candidate definition and the August 13 PASO primary.

The uproar in Chaco over the disappearance and presumed femicide of Cecilia Strzyzowski and the 7.8% May inflation announced by INDEC statistics bureau overshadowed the Wednesday deadline for electoral alliances.

A lengthy memory and obscure reasoning might link these two events to the 1990 murder of Catamarca schoolgirl María Soledad Morales. The collapse of the Saadi feudal dynasty that ruled Catamarca nine months after public outrage over this wanton slaying by young members of leading provincial families was followed by convertibility.

Democratic politics also needs new leaders.

Apart from stretching coincidences, the two crimes and two economic circumstances 33 years apart have parallels and contrasts. In 1990, the phrase “femicide” did not exist, and the fate of this sad woman is still unknown.

Since ousting the Radicals in 2007, Chaco Governor Jorge Capitanich has ruled the province, although his political future is uncertain. The Saadi dynasty was indeed destroyed, while in Santiago del Estero, the regime of Carlos Juárez (whose five often interrupted terms spanned .

Over half a century between 1949 and 2001) was ended by a double dose of very similar femicide in 2004, only to be replaced by the Radical Gerardo Zamora, who has since proved more Kirchnerite than most Peronists, but last Sunday’s landslide was a blow to Kirchnerism.

The value of state assets today is nowhere near the privatisation potential back then, and few serious economists expect the three-digit inflation confirmed last Wednesday to spiral into the four-digit inflation of 1989-1990.

With all the information available to anyone, regardless of position, educational level, or professional training, previous notions of authority may be impossible to maintain in this digital era, but this is as likely to lead to anarchy as to true democracy, making leadership a dangerous experiment for any society.

Chaco may teach us to replace the Capitaniches and Emerenciano Sena picket leaders rather than to scream against all politicians. The new digital unicorns or Lionel Scalioni’s World Cup success are examples to follow beyond a discredited political elite. Democratic politics also needs new leaders.

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