Aníbal Fernández

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Aníbal Fernández
Anibal Fernandez03.jpg
Senator
for Buenos Aires
Incumbent
Assumed office
10 December 2011
Chief of the Cabinet of Ministers of Argentina
In office
8 July 2009 – 10 December 2011
President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner
Preceded by Sergio Massa
Succeeded by Juan Manuel Abal Medina
Minister of Justice
In office
10 December 2007 – 8 July 2009
President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner
Preceded by Alberto Iribarne
Succeeded by Julio Alak
Minister of the Interior
In office
25 May 2003 – 10 December 2007
President Néstor Kirchner
Preceded by Jorge Matzkin
Succeeded by Florencio Randazzo
Minister of Production
In office
2 October 2002 – 25 May 2003
President Eduardo Duhalde
Preceded by José Ignacio de Mendiguren
Succeeded by None. Office abolished.
Débora Giorgi (Since 2008)
Personal details
Born (1957-01-09) 9 January 1957 (age 57)
Quilmes, Argentina
Political party Front for Victory
Justicialist Party
Alma mater National University of Lomas de Zamora

Aníbal Domingo Fernández (born January 9, 1957) is an Argentine Justicialist Party politician, lawyer, and certified public accountant who has been a close ally and loyal champion of both the late President Néstor Kirchner and the current President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. He has held several cabinet positions under three presidents, serving in these offices for a total of over nine years. He served as Minister of Production under Eduardo Duhalde, as Interior Minister under Néstor Kirchner, as Minister of Justice under Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, and as the President's Cabinet Chief from 2009 to 2011.


Early life and education[edit]

Born in Quilmes, Buenos Aires Province, Fernández received his CPA on 6 March 1982 from the Universidad Nacional de Lomas de Zamora and his law degree on 19 December 2001 from the same institution.

Career[edit]

Early political career[edit]

He entered public service, working for the municipalities of Quilmes Partido and Florencio Varela Partido from 1983 as an advisor to the Budget Committee of the Senate of the province of Buenos Aires. He worked from 1985 to 1991 in an administrative capacity for the Peronist caucus in the Senate of the Province of Buenos Aires. Between 1985 and 1987, he was secretary of the administrative bloc of the Peronist Movement of the Senate, and worked in the administrative secretariat between 1987 and 1991. He advised the City Council of Quilmes, between 1983 and 1989, and Florencio Varela, between 1983 and 1988.

In 1991, Fernández was elected Mayor of Quilmes, a position that was tainted by scandal and corruption charges.

He was elected to the Constitutional Convention of the province of Buenos Aires in 1994 and served as chairman of the Committee on the Electoral System of the Constitutional Convention. He wrote the Eighth Section of the Reformed Constitution of the Province of Buenos Aires.

In 1995 he became a provincial senator and chaired the Public Health committee. He won the award for best senator in 1996. In June 1997 he was appointed to assist the province's Minister of Government and Justice, Dr. José María Díaz Bancalari. In 1999, he was elected president of the party in Quilmes. In December 1999, Governor Carlos Ruckauf named him Secretary of Labour, promoting him to be the province's first Minister of Labour in 2001.

Fugitive[edit]

In 1994, Correctional and Criminal Judge Ariel González Elicabe charged Fernández with misappropriating funds and ordered his arrest. The charge stemmed from Fernández’s alleged fraudulent hiring of a law firm to negotiate a municipal debt. According to the daily La Nación, he "was a fugitive for 48 hours, from 26 to 28 October."[1] On October 27, 1994, his picture appeared on the front page of La Prensa alongside the headline: "Arrest warrant for mayor of Quilmes." Fernández, who ended up being charged with the falsification of a public document, insisted many years later: “I was not a fugitive, ever.”[1][2]

National politics[edit]

In January 2002, then-President of Argentina Eduardo Duhalde appointed Fernández as General Secretary of the Presidency in the national cabinet, and named him Minister of Production in October 2002. In 2003 he was elected to parliament, but resigned when Kirchner appointed him Interior Minister later that year.

Following the infant malnutrition scandal in Tucumán in November 2002, Fernández famously stated that this was caused by "a sick society and a ruling class that are sons of bitches, all of them."[3]

He was believed to be planning to run for Governor of Buenos Aires Province in the 2007 elections, but his party (Front for Victory) chose Daniel Scioli instead. Newly elected President Cristina Kirchner appointed him to her cabinet as Minister of Justice, Security and Human Rights following her inauguration in December 2007. La Nación, in an editorial entitled “Justice: A Bad Start,” opined that the selection of Fernández as Minister of Justice “cannot enthuse those who hope for progress” in Argentinian justice. La Nación recalled Fernández’s fugitive episode and the fact that he had been charged with falsifying a document; also noted that the pressure Fernández had reportedly exerted on the judge who investigated the corruption case involving the Swedish firm Skanska.[1]

Following the ruling Front for Victory's defeat in the June 28, 2009, mid-term elections, Fernández was tapped to replace Cabinet Chief Sergio Massa, who tendered his resignation to the President, effective July 7.[4] Fernández held this position from July 8, 2009, until December 10, 2011.[5][6]

In national elections on October 23, 2011, he was elected National Senator for the Province of Buenos Aires by 4,600,000 votes.

He left the Cabinet on December 10, 2011, on the same day began representing the province of Buenos Aires in the national senate. As of November 6, 2001, he had “served nine years and 62 consecutive days at the head of a ministry.”[7] In January 2014, Fernández said that he might be interested in succeeding Cristina Fernández de Kirchner as president of Argentina. He praised the president, describing her as “absolutely attuned to the national situation.”[8]

Government programs[edit]

The "Victims against Violence" program was implemented during Fernández’s tenure in the Ministry of Interior. In 2007, after Fernández became Minister of Justice, Security and Human Rights, the program was moved from the Interior to the Justice ministry. In the latter position, Fernández promoted actions and policies to combat human trafficking. In 2008 he created the Office for Rescue and Support of Victims of the Crime of Trafficking.

Other controversies[edit]

In December 2008, after Fernández blamed acts of railroad vandalism on the Labor Party, he was sued by the Labour Party for "slander, libel, moral damage and impact on the party's image."[9]

Fernández called Buenos Aires Education Secretary Abel Posse an “ass” and a “misogynist” in December 2009.[10]

Fernández called TV host Mirtha Legrand "uneducated, rude, ignorant” in January 2010, and maintained that she “says stupid things.”[11]

In January 2010, Fernández called economist Martin Redrado a “fool” and "freak” who “thinks he is the center of the world and fails to show respect for Argentinians.”[12]

Fernández attacked Nobel Prize-winning Peruvian author Mario Vargas Llosa and Spanish philosopher Fernando Savater in April 2011 for criticizing the policies of the Kirchner government. “They say stupid things,” he charged, just prior to the two writers’ appearances at a book fair. Vargas Llosa, Fernández complained, “insults President Cristina Kirchner every time he gets a chance,” and Savater “comes to Argentina to speak ill of the ruling party in Argentina.”[13]

Other activities[edit]

  • President of the Argentinian Field Hockey and Tennis Confederation.
  • President, Arturo Juaretche Institute for Strategy and Development.
  • President of Quilmes Athletic Club.
  • President of Grupo de Acción Financiera Internacional.
  • President of Centro Latinoamericano de Administracion para el Desarrollo.
  • Honorary Professor at the University of Social Sciences of the National University of Lomas de Zamora.

Books[edit]

In May 2011 the Editorial Planeta published his first book, Zonceras argentinas y otras yerbas (Argentine follies and other stuff). The book is an attack on “the follies that do so much damage to the country” and to the Kirchner government.[14]

The book’s title is a reference to the 1968 book by Argentinian writer Arturo Jauretche, Manual de zonceras argentinas, a catalogue of negative ideas about Argentina that are widely held by the Argentinian people, having been inculcated in them by primary school and reaffirmed by the new media.

The foreword was written by the President of Argentina, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. The book was officially launched at the Frankfurt Book Fair on May 5, 2011, in front of a packed auditorium of government officials and most of the members of the Cabinet. In his presentation of the book, Fernández praised the president said that many books he had read were “full of false accusations” against the Kirchners. He singled out Mario Vargas Llosa for special criticism.[14]

In January 2012, his book Zonceras Argentinas al Sol was published. He described it as a response to “organized absurdity,” by which, he explained, he meant the opposition to the Kirchners.[15] At the official book presentation, mayor Dario Díaz Pérez Fernández said that the book would be “an invaluable tool for all youth who daily join the militancy for the project led by President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner.”[16]

Personal life[edit]

Fernández is married with one son and is a passionate fan of Quilmes Atlético football club. He is the president of the Jauretche Institute, named for the local 20th-century pro-development activist Arturo Jauretche.

Notes[edit]

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Eduardo Camaño
Mayor of Quilmes
1991–1995
Succeeded by
Federico Scarabino
Preceded by
Jorge Matzkin
Minister of the Interior
2003–2007
Succeeded by
Florencio Randazzo
Preceded by
Alberto Iribarne
Minister of Justice
2007–2009
Succeeded by
Julio Alak
Preceded by
Sergio Massa
Chief of the Cabinet of Ministers of Argentina
2009–2011
Succeeded by
Juan Manuel Abal Medina