Argentina’s colorful former president Menem is dead


Carlos Menem got the credit for the economic boom in Argentina in the 1990s, but also blamed for the following problems.

Former Argentine President Carlos Menem has died at the age of 90. That confirms the country’s current president, Alberto Fernández, in a tweet Sunday.

Menem had had health problems for a long time, Fernández writes according to the news agency Reuters.

Carlos Menem was President of Argentina from 1989 to 1999.

He was credited with bringing Argentina out of a severe economic crisis and making the country one of the best developed in South America. Argentina’s economy grew under his leadership by 35 percent from 1990 to 1994.

But since then, he has also been blamed for high unemployment, corruption and a state over-consumption that gradually ate up the profits that had come out of his economic policies.

Menem was a charismatic speaker with a taste for silk and canvas suits. He saw himself as the heir to his political mentor, Argentina’s former leader Juan Perón.

Menem put Argentina on the international map by sending troops to the Gulf War and the war in Bosnia.

At home, he lived like a rock star with a penchant for fast cars, golf and glamor. He held big parties and, among other things, hosted the rock band Rolling Stones, who visited his residence.

But after his two presidential terms, the sunbeam stories were replaced with scandals and corruption allegations.

Menem was criticized for pardoning nine former members of Argentina’s military government who had previously been convicted of human rights abuses.

In parallel, Menem’s economic policies also began to show a downside, and accusations of corruption began to spread.

Menem lost government power in an election in 1999. Two years later, he was arrested and charged with selling 6,500 tonnes of illegal weapons to Croatia and Ecuador.

After a 10-year trial, he ended up being acquitted.

However, that was not the only controversy.

In 2008, he settled a case in which he was accused of receiving two million dollars from German Siemens. In return, he should have equipped the group with Argentine ID cards and passports.

In 2009, the former president’s legacy once again got over his neck when he was accused of obstructing the 1994 bombing in Buenos Aires, in which 85 people lost their lives.

He lived for a period in self-elected exile in Chile, but returned home to Argentina when an arrest warrant against him was annulled by a judge.

In 2005, he was re-elected to the Senate – a post he held until his death on Sunday.

/ ritzau / Reuters


Source: Kristeligt-dagblad.dk – Nyheder – Alle artikler by www.kristeligt-dagblad.dk.

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