The streets of Buenos Aires are full of revolting Argentinians this evening as they protest President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner’s (CFdK) plans to ‘increase’ state control of the court system. CFdK’s proposal looks to limit the judicial system’s ability to bring actions against the state, as Bloomberg reports, leaving citizens and companies unprotected against state actions affecting their finance or assets (i.e. mass nationalization or confiscation). As the images below show, the people are angry, exclaiming “No to impunity.” CFdK’s actions follow previous attempts to take action against companies have failed or taken too long; but acting behind a facade of “increasing democracy and transparency,” it appears her intent is clear as the bankrupt nation struggles on. “The reform will do great damage,” warned one business leader, adding that limiting these injunctions, “undermines individual’s rights and freedom.”
Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner’s proposals that would increase state control over courts are set to be approved by Congress as lawmakers ignore protests planned for later today.
Fernandez, 60, sent a bill to Congress on April 8 to limit injunctions against the state, which would only be applied in case of risk to someone’s life or health and would have a limit of six months. That would leave people and companies unprotected in attempts to seek an injunction against state actions if a law affects their finances or assets, said Gregorio Badeni, a professor of Constitutional Law at University of Buenos Aires.
… “This means a step back of 70 years.”
Fernandez’s proposal also seeks to expand the council of magistrates, a body that selects, monitors and evaluates the nation’s judges, to 19 from 13. The planned changes to the justice system come four months after the government failed to impose a deadline for Grupo Clarin SA, the country’s largest media group, to sell assets that exceed limits set in a 2009 media law. The opposition will protest in the streets of major cities today, the third nationwide protest against Fernandez’s government in eight months, to voice disapproval over the changes and what they see as the government’s increasing state control.
“The reform is a serious threat to constitutional guarantees,” said the Argentine Business Association in a in an e-mailed statement. “It would do great damage to Argentina’s investment environment and the creation of new jobs.”
Anti-Government demonstrations begin around the country
Hundreds of people were gathering at the intersection of the Callao and Santa Fe avenues to protest against the National Government, in a demonstration that is expected to end in Plaza de Mayo.
Joined by opposition leaders, demonstrators are gathering in different areas of the city and await for more to join them while carrying a giant Argentine flag that reads “Country First”.
At the same time, people are gathering at the same time on the corners of Acoyte and Rivadavia, Cabildo and Juramento and Corrientes and Pueyrredon. They will later march towards the Plaza de Mayo and protest in front of the Government House.
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