|Name:||Cristina Fernández de Kirchner|
|Birth Day:||February 19, 1953|
|Birth Place:||La Plata, Argentina|
|Height||Weight||Hair Colour||Eye Colour||Blood Type||Tattoo(s)|
She graduated from the National University of La Plata before working as a lawyer in Santa Cruz.
Cristina Fernández was born on 19 February 1953 at Tolosa, a suburb of La Plata, capital of the Buenos Aires Province. She is the daughter of Eduardo Fernández and Ofelia Esther Wilhelm. Eduardo Fernández, a bus driver, was anti-Peronist and Wilhelm was a Peronist union leader. Wilhelm was a single mother. Fernández married her and moved into her house when Cristina was two years old. Most details about her childhood such as her elementary school are unknown. She attended high school at Popular Mercantil and Misericordia schools. Three of her grandparents were Spanish immigrants, specifically from Galicia and the other was born in Argentina in a family of German background.
She began her college studies at the National University of La Plata. She studied psychology for a year, then dropped it and studied law instead. She met fellow student Néstor Kirchner in 1973. He introduced her to political debates. There were heated political controversies at the time caused by the decline of the Argentine Revolution military government, the return of the former president Juan Perón from exile, the election of Héctor Cámpora as president of Argentina, and the early stages of the Dirty War. She became influenced by Peronism, left-wing politics, and anti-imperialism. Despite the presence of sympathizers of the Montoneros guerrillas in La Plata, the Kirchners had never been involved themselves. Cristina and Néstor married in a civil ceremony on 9 May 1975. Her mother got them administrative jobs at her union. The 1976 Argentine coup d'état took place the following year. Cristina proposed to move to Río Gallegos, Néstor's home city, but he delayed their departure until his graduation on 3 July 1976.
In 1973, during her studies at the National University of La Plata, she met her future spouse, Néstor Kirchner. They were married on 9 May 1975 and had two children: Máximo (born 1977, currently serving as National Deputy for Buenos Aires Province and the first minority leader for Frente de Todos) and Florencia (born 1990). Néstor Kirchner died on 27 October 2010 after suffering a heart attack. Following the death of her husband, she dressed in black for over three years.
Néstor established a law firm that Cristina joined in 1979. The firm worked for banks and financial groups that filed eviction lawsuits, which had a growing rate at the time because the 1050 ruling of the Central Bank had increased the interest rates for mortgage loans. The Kirchners acquired twenty-one land lots at cheap prices as they were about to be auctioned. Their law firm defended military personnel accused of committing crimes during the Dirty War. Forced disappearances were common at the time, but unlike other lawyers the Kirchners never signed a habeas corpus. Julio César Strassera, prosecutor in the 1985 Trial of the Juntas against the military, criticized the Kirchners' lack of legal actions against the military, and considered their later interest in the issue a form of hypocrisy.
Cristina had not yet graduated when they moved to Río Gallegos and completed the remaining subjects with distance education. There have been claims made that she never graduated, and that she may have worked as a lawyer without having a degree. This idea was proposed by the constitutionalist Daniel Sabsay, and fueled by the reluctance of the National University of La Plata (UNLP) to release her degree. She registered at the Tribunal Superior de Justicia of Santa Cruz in 1980, the Comodoro Rivadavia's chamber of appeals in 1985 and worked as an attorney for the Justicialist Party in 1983. There are also logs of minor cases where she acted as a lawyer. The claim has been sent to trial four times, and the judges Norberto Oyarbide, Ariel Lijo, Sergio Torres, and Claudio Bonadio all ruled that she has a degree.
The Fernández de Kirchner presidency continued the trials of military personnel involved in the Dirty War started by her husband. There have been more than 500 people sentenced, and 1,000 convicted, in a process that was unprecedented in Latin America. De facto president Jorge Rafael Videla, who was convicted and given a life sentence in 1985 and pardoned years later, received a new life sentence in 2010. General Luciano Benjamín Menéndez, who waged war against the leftist guerrillas in the northern Argentine provinces, received a life sentence as well.
Cristina Kirchner was elected deputy for the provincial legislature of Santa Cruz in 1989. The Justicialist Party (PJ), led by Carlos Menem, returned to the presidency in the 1989 general elections. She served as interim governor of Santa Cruz for a couple of days, after the impeachment of Ricardo del Val in 1990. She organized Néstor's political campaign when he was elected governor of Santa Cruz in 1991. In 1994, she was elected to the constituent assembly that amended the Constitution of Argentina.
Argentina suffered a terrorist attack in 1994, the AMIA bombing targeting a Buenos Aires Jewish center, that killed 85 people and wounded 300. The investigation remained open for years, and prosecutor Alberto Nisman was appointed to the case. He accused Iran of organizing the attack, and the Hezbollah group of carrying it out. He intended to prosecute five Iranian officials, including former Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, but Argentina signed a memorandum of understanding with Iran for a joint investigation. Nisman accused the president of signing that memorandum for oil and trade benefits, according to hundreds of hours of wiretaps. On 19 January 2015, he was found dead at his home, a day before a congressional hearing to explain his accusation, which caused a great controversy. As of 2016, both the cases of the AMIA bombing and the death of Nisman remain unresolved, and the courts declined at the time to investigate his denunciation of Kirchner.
She was elected national senator in the 1995 general elections. She opposed some bills proposed by Menem, such as a treaty with Chilean president Patricio Aylwin that benefited Chile in a dispute over the Argentina–Chile border. The Minister of Defense Oscar Camilión was questioned in Congress about the Argentine arms trafficking scandal; Kirchner told him that he had to resign, which he refused to do. As a result, she made a name for herself as a troublemaker. She was removed from the PJ bloc in the Congress in 1997 for misconduct. She resigned her senatorial seat that year and ran for national deputy in the 1997 midterm elections instead. Menem ended his term of office in 1999 and was replaced by Fernando de la Rúa. Fernández de Kirchner took part in a commission to investigate money laundering with fellow legislator Elisa Carrió, and got into conflicts with her. She ran again for senator in the 2001 midterm elections.
The Front for Victory recovered the majority in both chambers of the Congress during the 2011 presidential elections, when Cristina Kirchner was re-elected for a second term. The party had projects to amend the constitution and allow indefinite reelections, but lacked the supermajority required for it. A victory at the 2013 midterm elections would have given such majority, but the party was defeated in most provinces. Sergio Massa, a former cabinet minister of the Kirchners, won in the Buenos Aires Province by nearly 10 points with his new party, the Renewal Front. Argentina lacked a big opposition party since the collapse of the Radical Civic Union in 2001. Instead, Massa created an alternative party that also stood for Peronism. However, the party still retained a simple majority in Congress. This election was the first one where teenagers from 16 to 18 could vote. President Kirchner, who had undergone brain surgery some weeks before, was hospitalized during the election and unable to join the campaign.
In 2002, Eduardo Duhalde fixed the prices for public services such as electricity, gas and water supply. These remained fixed during the terms of Duhalde and Néstor and Cristina Kirchner, despite the crisis that motivated them having ended. As the inflation rate grew during the period, the state financed part of these prices with subsidies. Investment in these areas decreased, and the generation and distribution networks suffered. Argentina lost its self-supply of energy, and had to import it, rather than being able to export surpluses.
Néstor Kirchner was elected president in 2003, and she became the First Lady. Under these circumstances, she sought a lower profile in Congress. Her husband had a political dispute with the previous president, Eduardo Duhalde. Their dispute continued during the 2005 midterm elections. Without consensus in the PJ for a single candidate for senator of the Buenos Aires province, both leaders had their respective wives run for the office: Hilda González de Duhalde for the PJ, and Cristina Fernández de Kirchner for the Front for Victory. She won the election.
Kirchner's health first became a topic of public concern in 2005 when Noticias magazine reported that she might suffer from bipolar disorder. Journalist Franco Lindner interviewed the psychiatrist who treated her without revealing his name. Journalist Nelson Castro investigated further and discovered that the psychiatrist was Alejandro Lagomarsino, who died in 2011. Lagomarsino was the leading specialist in the treatment of bipolar disorder in Argentina.
The presidential election was held on 28 October 2007. With Kirchner leading all the pre-election polls by a wide margin, her challengers focused on forcing her into a ballotage. To win in a single round, a presidential candidate in Argentina needs either more than 45% of the vote, or 40% of the vote and a lead of more than 10 percentage points over the runner-up. However, with 13 challengers splitting the vote, Kirchner won the election decisively in the first round with just over 45% of the vote, compared to 23% for Elisa Carrió (candidate for the Civic Coalition) and 17% for former Economy Minister Roberto Lavagna. Kirchner was popular among the suburban working class and the rural poor, while Carrió and Lavagna both received more support from the urban middle class. Kirchner lost the election in the large cities of Buenos Aires and Rosario.
She began a four-year term on 10 December 2007, facing challenges including: inflation, poor public security, international credibility, a faulty energy infrastructure, and protests from the agricultural sectors over an increase of nearly 30% on export taxes. Fernández de Kirchner was the second female president of Argentina, after Isabel Martínez de Perón but, unlike Perón, was elected to the office, whereas Isabel Perón was elected Juan Perón's vice president, and automatically assumed the presidency on his death. The transition from Néstor Kirchner to Cristina Fernández de Kirchner was also the first time a democratic head of state was replaced by their spouse without the death of either. He remained highly influential during his wife's term, supervising the economy and leading the PJ. Their marriage has been compared with those of Juan and Eva Perón and Bill and Hillary Clinton. Media observers suspected that Mr. Kirchner stepped down as president to circumvent the term limit, swapping roles with his wife.
When Néstor Kirchner refused to run for re-election in 2007 and proposed his wife instead, it was rumored that they could alternate in the presidency for the next 12 years to circumvent the constitutional limit of two consecutive terms. This scenario would have had Cristina standing down in favor of Néstor in 2011, and Néstor would in turn hand the FPV candidacy back to Cristina in 2015. The death of Néstor Kirchner in 2010 derailed such a plan. She had a low positive image, below 30%. On 21 June 2011, she announced that she would run for a second term as president. A few days later, she announced that her economic minister Amado Boudou would run for vice president on her ticket. She personally chose most of the candidates for deputy in the Congress, favoring members of the Cámpora.
When she first took office, Cristina Kirchner replaced the previous minister of economy, Miguel Gustavo Peirano, who had been appointed by her husband as former president. Peirano was succeeded by Martín Lousteau in December 2007. He served as the first of several ministers of economy under her presidency. The attempt to increase taxes on agricultural exports caused a conflict with the agricultural sector and protests broke out. As a result, taxes were not increased, and Lousteau resigned by April 2008, only a few months after he had been appointed. He was replaced by Argentina's tax agency chief Carlos Rafael Fernández.
The protests were highly polarizing. The government argued that the new taxes would allow for a better redistribution of wealth, and keep down the food prices. It also claimed the farmers were staging a coup d'état against Kirchner. Farmers argued that the high taxes made cultivation unviable. The activist Luis D'Elía interrupted one of the demonstrations leading stick-wielding pro-government supporters, who attacked the participants. Minister Lousteau resigned during the crisis, and the Peronist governors opted to negotiate on their own with the farmers, ignoring Kirchner's approach. Her public image plummeted to its lowest level since the election in October 2007.
In March 2008, Kirchner introduced a new sliding-scale taxation system for agricultural exports, so that rates fluctuated with international prices. This would effectively raise levies on soybean exports from 35% to 44% at the time of the announcement. This new taxation scheme, proposed by Minister Martín Lousteau, led to a nationwide lockout by farming associations, with the aim of forcing the government to back down on new tax system. They were joined on 25 March by thousands of pot-banging demonstrators massed around the Buenos Aires Obelisk and the presidential palace. These demonstrations were followed by others at locations across the country that included road blockades and food shortages.
Several scandals took place during the Kirchner administration. The first involved the detention of Venezuelan-American businessman Antonini Wilson in an airport after being found with a suitcase filled with $800,000. This money was illegally provided by Petróleos de Venezuela, the state oil company, to be used for Kirchner's 2007 general election campaign. Details of the case were explained by businessman Carlos Kauffmann and lawyer Moisés Maiónica, who pleaded guilty. The FPV financing of the 2007 elections caused another scandal years later. Three pharmaceutical businessmen, Sebastián Forza, Damián Ferrón, and Leopoldo Bina, were found dead in 2008, a case known as the "Triple Crime". Further investigation of Forza, who contributed $200,000 to the campaign, identified him as a provider of ephedrine to the Sinaloa Cartel. In 2015, Martín Lanatta and José Luis Salerno, convicted for the killings, claimed that Aníbal Fernández was the boss of a mafia ring that ordered those killings to secure the illegal traffic of ephedrine. Fernández denied the charges, maintaining that it was a set up to undermine his chances in the 2015 general election. General illegal drug trade grew in Argentina during Kirchnerism, and saw Mexican and Colombian syndicates working with Peruvian and Bolivian smugglers. Conviction rates for money laundering were almost nonexistent. Mariano Federici, head of the Financial Information Unit, said that the "magnitude of the threat is very serious, and this would never have been possible without collaboration from government officials in this country".
Forbes magazine ranked Kirchner as thirteenth in the list of the 100 most powerful women in the world in 2008, at the start of her presidency. By 2014, she was listed 19th.
The elections took place on 23 October. She was re-elected with 54% of the vote, followed by socialist Hermes Binner, 37 points behind her. The opposition was divided between several candidates and the perceived economic prosperity prevailed over voter's concerns about corruption and cronyism. It was the largest victory percentage in national elections since 1983. The Peronist party also won eight of the nine elections for governor held that day, increased their number of senators, and obtained the majority in the chamber of deputies, including the number of legislators needed for quorum. They had lost that majority in the 2009 elections. She invited children on stage during the celebrations, and Vice President Amado Boudou played an electric guitar. As she had in 2007, she gave a conciliatory speech.
Fernández resigned after the Kirchnerite defeat in the 2009 elections, and was replaced by Amado Boudou, president of the ANSES which had worked for that nationalization. Although inflation was nearing 25% and on the rise, Boudou did not consider it a significant problem.
In an attempt to combat poverty, the government introduced in 2009 the Universal Child Allowance, a cash transfer program to parents who are unemployed or in the informal economy. It was later expanded to cover other disadvantaged groups.
The 2009 midterm elections took place a year after the crisis with the farmers. The Kirchners were highly unpopular at the time, and people rejected their policies and governing style. The growing rates of inflation and crime also eroded their public support. Seeking to reverse their declining popularity, Néstor Kirchner led the list for deputy candidates at the Buenos Aires province. He was narrowly defeated by Francisco de Narváez, who led a Peronist faction opposed to the Kirchners. The Kirchners lost the majority of Congress as a result of the election.
In January 2010, Cristina Kirchner created the bicentennial fund employing a necessity and urgency decree in order to pay debt obligations with foreign-exchange reserves. Martín Redrado, president of the Central Bank, refused to implement it, and was fired by another decree. Judge María José Sarmiento annulled both decrees on the grounds that the Central Bank was independent. Redrado resigned one month later, and was replaced by Mercedes Marcó del Pont.
Fernández de Kirchner was reelected in 2011, along with Amado Boudou as vice president and the Front for Victory regained control over both chambers of Congress. Hernán Lorenzino became the new minister of economy. The government established currency controls that limited the power to buy or sell foreign currencies, especially American dollars. Many Argentines kept their savings in dollars as a hedge against inflation. The government believed the controls were required to prevent the capital flight and tax evasion.
Kirchner was reelected in 2011. The Constitution of Argentina allows only one reelection. Many of her supporters proposed an amendment to the Constitution to allow indefinite reelections. Kirchner did not publicly support the proposal, but did not discourage or reject it either. The proposal was not taken to the Congress, as the FPV still lacked the required two-thirds majority to approve an amendment bill. It was rejected by many sectors of society. The first big demonstration (a cacerolazo) took place in September 2012. It was not called by specific politicians or social leaders, but by the public using social networks. The massive turnout was completely unexpected by both the government and the opposition. People also protested the 2012 Buenos Aires rail disaster, the conflict between Kirchnerism and the media, rising crime rates, and the tight currency controls. Kirchner dismissed the demonstration, and said that she would continue working as before. Most of the Kirchner loyalists, however, preferred simply to ignore the protest.
Another related investigation involved the fate of the children of captured pregnant guerrillas, who were given up for adoption by the military junta. An estimated 500 children were involved. The investigation became controversial during the Kirchner administration, as those involved had become adults and some of them refused to participate in DNA testing. One of those cases was the Noble siblings case, involving the adopted sons of Ernestina Herrera de Noble, owner of the Clarín newspaper. The Kirchners advanced a bill in Congress to make the genetic testing of suspected victims mandatory. Although the measure had popular support, critics considered it a breach of the right to privacy, and politically motivated because of a dispute between Kirchner and the Clarín newspaper. The Noble siblings tests in 2011 were negative, and the case was closed in January 2016, after Kirchner left the presidency. Hilario Bacca, a confirmed son of disappeared guerrillas, appealed a judicial ruling that sought to change his name, asking to keep the name he had been using.
Economic activity is described as a zero-sum game, where any wealth is the result of the exploitation of someone else, which justifies economic interventionism. Fernández de Kirchner's victory in the 2011 election was used to justify authoritarian policies, as those policies would be the general will; opposition and criticism was often described as antidemocratic or even as the plotting of a coup d'état. Laclau's vision of the people has been criticized by other writers because it left little room for opposition or criticism, and because the citizen is actually reduced to a mere spectator unable to contest government policies.
On 27 December 2011, presidential spokesman Alfredo Scoccimaro announced that Kirchner had been diagnosed with thyroid cancer on 22 December and that she would undergo surgery on 4 January 2012. The standard procedure in these operations is to expose the thyroid gland so that a pathologist can take a sample, analyze it looking for carcinogenic cells, and then decide whether it needs to be removed. In Kirchner's case, this step was omitted and the gland was removed directly. After the operation, it was revealed that she had been misdiagnosed and did not have cancer. On 5 October 2013, doctors ordered Kirchner to rest for a month after they found blood on her brain caused by a head injury she received on 8 August 2012. She was re-admitted to hospital and had successful surgery on 8 October 2013 to remove blood from under a membrane covering her brain.
Kirchner proposed a fiscal austerity program in early 2012, including the gradual removal of subsidies. The proposal turned out to be unpopular, and was not implemented. She opted instead to send a bill to Congress for the renationalization of YPF, privatized in 1993, blaming the Spanish company Repsol for the energy trade deficit. The bill was approved by the Chamber of Deputies by a 207-32 margin. It was criticized as an authoritarian move, as there was no negotiation with Repsol. As well, the Vaca Muerta oil field had been discovered by this time. However, YPF was unable to afford the costs to exploit the oil at the site, and the rights to drill at Vaca Muerta were sold to the Chevron Corporation. The costs of energy imports increased the trade deficit and the inflation rate, and power outages became frequent. Outages usually took place on the hottest days of the summer season, as the use of air conditioning increased electricity consumption to peak levels.
Amado Boudou, who served as minister of economy during Kirchner's first term and vice president during the second, was suspected of corruption in 2012 case. The Ciccone Calcografica printing company filed for bankruptcy in 2010, but this request was cancelled when businessman Alejandro Vandenbroele bought it. The company received tax breaks to pay its debts, and was selected to print banknotes of the Argentine peso. It is suspected that Vandenbroele is actually a frontman for Boudou, and that he employed his clout as minister of economy to benefit a company that actually belonged to him.
The 30th anniversary of the Falklands War wasce in 2012, and Fernández de Kirchner increased the anti-British sentiment in her rhetoric, reiterating the Argentine claims in the Falkland Islands sovereignty dispute. British Prime minister David Cameron rejected her comments. Relations were also strained by recent oil explorations in the area, and Kirchner threatened to sue Rockhopper Exploration for it. The Falkland Islands celebrated a sovereignty referendum in 2013, where 99.8% voted to remain a British territory, with only three votes against. Kirchner ignored the referendum.
Axel Kicillof was appointed minister in 2013, and served for the remainder of Kirchner's term. He arranged payment of the debt to the Paris Club, and the compensation requested by Repsol for the nationalization of YPF. One month later, negotiations with hedge funds failed, and American judge Thomas Griesa issued an order that Argentina had to pay to all creditors and not just those who had accepted a reduced payment as outlined in the Argentine debt restructuring plan. Kicillof refused to agree that the country had fallen into a sovereign default.
When Argentina devalued the peso in January 2014, Kicillof placed blame on the exchange-market speculation by Juan José Aranguren, chief of Royal Dutch Shell in Argentina; later in the year, when the peso was at its lowest ever position in relation to the dollar, he blamed “vulture funds” from the United States. At the 2014 United Nations conference, she accused the "vulture funds" of destabilizing the economy of the countries and called them "economic terrorists".
Mauricio Macri, mayor of Buenos Aires, was elected president in the 2015 presidential elections, defeating the Kirchnerite candidate Daniel Scioli in a ballotage. During the transition period, Macri reported that Fernández de Kirchner was creating obstacles and problems in an attempt to undermine his government. She changed the 2016 budget, increasing spending in several areas (even the broadcasting of soccer matches), despite the huge fiscal deficit. A number of Kirchnerite officials refused to resign their offices to allow Macri to appoint his own people. Even the handover ceremony became controversial, as Kirchner refused to attend it. It was the first time since the end of military rule in 1983 that the outgoing president did not hand over power to the incoming one.
Cristina Fernández de Kirchner faced several charges in court after leaving office. One of those concerned the sale of dollar futures at very low prices near the end of her term of office. This became a problem during Macri's presidency. The operation was carried out by the Central Bank, but judge Claudio Bonadio believes Fernández de Kirchner is the instigator. She is also being investigated for her role in "The Route of the K-Money" scandal. About US$1 million of her assets was frozen while Bonadio investigated the case. She took advantage of the hearing to organize her first political rally since leaving power. Lázaro Báez who has close ties with the Kirchners was detained in April 2016 as it was suspected that he might flee escape. José López, an official from the ministry of public works, was detained while trying to hide bags filled with millions in cash at a monastery. On 27 December 2016, Federal Judge Julián Ercolini ordered the freezing of US$633 million of Fernández de Kirchner's assets and approved charges of illicit association and fraudulent administration against her. The case presented by Nisman was finally opened for investigation in December 2016.
In December 2017, Judge Bonadio indicted her and charged her with high treason. However, as a sitting senator, she enjoyed immunity from prosecution. On 5 March 2018, Fernández de Kirchner was indicted for obstructing investigation into the 1994 AMIA Bombing which killed 85 people, with her allegedly making a deal with the Iranian government to stop investigating Iranian officials who may be involved in the attack in exchange for better prices on Iranian oil and other products. Fernández de Kirchner can still face trial despite her immunity, while legislators also have the choice to strip her of immunity. Human Rights Watch claims, based mainly on reports and testimonies made by the ex-secretary-general of Interpol Ronald Noble, that these charges have no grounds. Noble refuted the claim of cover-up made by judge Bonadio, calling the judge's report "false, misleading and incomplete".
She wrote a book called Sinceramente, which was published in 2019.
On 27 October 2019, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner was elected vice president, making her the first former head of state to assume the Argentine vice presidency. Her running mate Alberto Fernández (no relation) was elected president. She resigned from the Senate on 27 November 2019 and was replaced by her former foreign minister Jorge Taiana after assuming the vice presidency.
Currently, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner is 69 years, 9 months and 13 days old. Cristina Fernández de Kirchner will celebrate 70th birthday on a Sunday 19th of February 2023.
Find out about Cristina Fernández de Kirchner birthday activities in timeline view here.