Beatriz Rojkés de Alperovich
|Beatriz Rojkés de Alperovich|
from Tucumán Province
December 10, 2009
|Provisional President of the Argentine Senate|
November 30, 2011 – February 28, 2014
|Preceded by||José Pampuro|
|Succeeded by||Gerardo Zamora|
from Tucumán Province
December 10, 2005 – December 10, 2009
|Born||Beatriz Liliana Rojkés
February 4, 1956
San Miguel de Tucumán
|Political party||Justicialist Party/Front for Victory|
Auto dealership proprietor
Beatriz Liliana Rojkés de Alperovich (born February 4, 1956) is an Argentine psychopedagogue, businesswoman, and Justicialist Party politician. She was elected to the Argentine Senate in 2009, and in 2011 became the first woman and first Jew to be designated as its Provisional President; the post put her second in Argentine line of succession, after Vice President Amado Boudou.
Both Rojkés and her husband, José Alperovich, who has been governor of Tucumán since 2003, are considered leading Kichnerist figures and “staunch supporters” of President Cristina Kirchner's administration. Rojkés de Alperovich was replaced as Provisional President of the Senate in February 2014 by Gerardo Zamora.
Early life and career
Beatriz Liliana Rojkés was born in San Miguel de Tucumán to Luisa Werblud and Salomón Rojkés, both Ashkenazi Jews who emigrated from Europe. Salomón Rojkés inaugurated a textile mill in the city, Textil Americana. She earned a degree in Psychopedagogy and married a fellow member of Tucumán's Jewish community, José Alperovich, with whom she had four children.
She became a partner in her father-in-law's auto dealership, León Alperovich de Tucumán S.A., in 1997, and by 2010 controlled 98% of the firm (one of Tucumán's largest Ford and Volkswagen distributors). Following the election of her husband as Governor of Tucumán, she was elected in 2005 to the Argentine Chamber of Deputies on the Front for Victory ticket (the majority, center-left Justicialist Party faction then headed by President Néstor Kirchner). She introduced numerous bills advancing children's rights, women's rights and nutrition, among other issues.
Rojkés was elected to the Senate in 2009. Her stake in the Rojkés and Alperovich family businesses made her the wealthiest woman in the Senate by 2010, and the fourth-wealthiest overall. She was named to the Senate committees on Constitutional Affairs, Labor, Health, Ombudsmanship, and Bermejo River works.
Her seat on the Congressional Bicameral Committee was transferred to an opposition Senator, Luis Juez, early in 2010. An Appeals Court, however, confirmed Rojkés's reinstatement to the committee on April 29, 2010.
Rojkés was elected Provisional President of the Senate on November 30, 2011. Married to one of the few Jews in Argentina to be elected governor, she herself made history by becoming both the first Jew and the first woman to hold this key post. Rojkés promised the President her “loyalty.” In a radio interview, Rojkés de Alperovich said that she “fully supports the political system” of the Kirchner regime and that she was “proud” to have been selected for the position. The Provisional President of the Senate is second in the line of succession to the Presidency in Argentina.
Speculation mounted in the days leading to the second inaugural of President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner that Senator Alperovich might be asked to administer the Oath of Office in lieu of Vice President Julio Cobos, who had been distanced from the rest of the administration since his surprise tie-breaking vote in 2008 against an export tax increase supported by the president. President Fernández de Kirchner ultimately opted to take the oath independently, as did Vice President Amado Boudou.
Flanked by Alperovich and Rojkés, whom the Buenos Aires Herald described as “two staunch supporters of her administration,” President Cristina Kirchner criticized opposition politicians in June 2013 for “failing to come up with new ideas so as to make possible a healthy democratic debate.” Rojkés de Alperovich was replaced as Provisional President of the Senate in February 2014 by Gerardo Zamora.
At a public event in March 2006, Rojkés condemned the writer and journalist Tomás Eloy Martínez, calling him a "former Tucumáno" – effectively disowning him as a resident of the province – because he had published an article in La Nación about the high level of poverty in the province.
She was criticized in November 2011 by a political opponent, Senator José Cano, for saying that there were no street urchins in the province of Tucumán. Cano said that her remark gave him the feeling that “she lives in another province.”
Rojkés caused controversy in 2012 by commenting on the brutal murder of a six-year-old girl, Mercedes Figueroa, saying that her parents were “drunks” who had not cared for her properly and that as First Lady she could not associate herself with such people. She later apologized for the remarks.
Her visit in 2015 among flood victims in the town of El Molino and made headlines when she called one of them a “lazy bum” and boasted of having ten mansions. In an April 2015 commentary for La Nación, Fernando Bracaccini and Renzo Lavin suggested that the incident in El Molino underscored the lack of accountability for public officials under the Kirchner regime. They noted that Rojkés had not made public any information about her income or fortune since 2009, and that there was no way to know how many houses she owned. A 2013 federal law, they explained, enabled public officials to avoid disclosing their private financial or property information by putting it in the names of their spouses or children, and under provincial legislation her husband, even though serving as governor of Tucumán, was not required to disclose such data.
A July 2012 article of the right-wing news daily La Nación held up the Province of Tucumán, and particularly the relatives of Rojkés and Alperovich, as “a crude example” of nepotism in government and the enrichment of Kirchner-connected families with government funds. At the time the article was published, Rojkés's sister, Silvia Rojkés Temkin, was the provincial Minister of Education; her brother Carlos Rojkés was an officer in the national Senate; her niece Veronica Rojkés was a member of the National Congress; and her brother Rubén Rojkés was a supplier to the provincial state. Pablo Zeitume, Alperovich's son, was Director of Commerce for Tucumán Province; Isaac Bromberg, an Alperovich cousin, was a Congressman; another cousin, Beatriz Mirkin, was a former Minister of Social Development and a current Congresswoman; Oscar Mirkin, another cousin, was Secretary of Public Works in Tucumán; and Lucia Temkin, a niece, served as private secretary to Rojkés during her tenure as Provisional President of the Senate.
- "Senadores Nacionales" (PDF). Directorio Legislativo.
- "Beatriz Rojkés se convirtió en la primera presidenta judía de la Argentina". Primera Fuente. May 17, 2012.
- "CFK: give me ideas". Buenos Aires Herald.
- "Zamora to lead Senate". Buenos Aires Herald.
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- "Rojkés de Alperovich es una de las mujeres más ricas de la política". Perfil.
- "Diputada inspirada: Beatriz Rojkés de Alperovich". Blog Aguilares.
- "Senadora Nacional Beatriz Liliana Rojkes De Alperovich: Comisiones". Honorable Senado de la Nación.
- "Appeals Court orders Cobos to reinstate ousted senator De Alperovich in Bicameral Committee". Buenos Aires Herald.
- "'We will be able to work normally from now on,' De Alperovich says". Buenos Aires Herald.
- "Beatriz Rojkés de Alperovich será la primera mujer en presidir el Senado". El Dorado Noticias.
- "Rojkés de Alperovich promises 'loyalty' to President CFK". Buenos Aires Herald.
- "Rojkés de Alperovich: Me encantaría tomarle juramento a Cristina". Página/12.
- "Último acto". Página/12.
- Lopez, Fabian (Mar 22, 2015). "Beatriz Rojkés de Alperovich insultó a las personas afectadas por las inundaciones en Tucumán". La Nacion.
- "Quién es Beatríz Rojkés de Alperovich, flamante presidenta provisional del Senado". Periodico Tribuna. Nov 30, 2011.
- "Argentina - Nepotismo para todos". La Nacion. Jul 27, 2012.