Juan Manuel Urtubey

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Juan Manuel Urtubey
Governor Juan Manuel Urtubey.
Governor of Salta
Assumed office
December 10, 2007
Lieutenant Andrés Zottos
Preceded by Juan Carlos Romero
Personal details
Born (1969-09-06) September 6, 1969 (age 44)
Political party Justicialist Party
Spouse(s) Ximena Saravia Toledo
Children 3
Alma mater University of Buenos Aires
Profession Lawyer
Religion Roman Catholicism

Juan Manuel Urtubey (born September 6, 1969) is an Argentine politician, lawyer, university professor and current Governor of Salta Province. Formerly a senior figure in the ruling Front for Victory faction of the Justicialist Party (PJ) in the Argentine Chamber of Deputies and Chairman of Constitutional Committee, Urtubey became Governor in the 2007 elections with only 38 years old. He was reelected in 2011 with almost 60% of the vote.


Urtubey was born in Salta City on September 6th 1969, eight of ten brothers, being his father, Rodolfo Urtubey a Lawyer and his mother a notary. His father has developed a career in the provincial judicial system, ending as Provincial Supreme Court President.

He completed his elementary studies at Escuela Parroquial de la Merced, and his high school studies at Bachillerato Humanista Moderno.

When young, he played rugby at Jockey Club of Salta, and was even called for the U-19 provincial rugby team [1]

Since little, he developed interest for political activities, and took his uncle, Julio Mera Figueroa, a peronist politician as a mentor.

He studied Law at University of Buenos Aires, completing his studies in only three years.

He is married to Ximena Saravia Toledo, and has three sons: Marcos (1994), Lucas (1997), Mateo (2000) and Juana (2003).

He is brother to José Urtubey is manager of the Argentine Industrial Union, Rodolfo Urtubey national senator and Alejandro Urtubey businessman and former airplane pilot.

He is law professor at University of Salta.

Political Carreer[edit]

During Juan Carlos Romero provincial government, he became Secretary of State of Salta Province in 1995, moving to become provincial government spokesman in 1996. In 1997 he was elected provincial deputy until 1999. In that office he was elected as President of General Law Committee

In 1999 he was elected National Congressman and served as chairman of the Constitutional Affairs Committee for 5 years (2002-2007), secretary of other two committees and chairman of the Justicialist Party (PJ) caucus in Argentine Chamber of Deputies

Due to his legislative activity during his eight years in Congress, he was chosen five times as one of the ten most active congressmen.[2] His most important activities were to be co-author of the Obediencia Debida and Punto Final laws, that helped to pursue last military coup Human Rights Crimes.

In 2003 he was elected member for the Constituent assembly in the context of the reform of the Salta Province constitutional reform.

Since 1998 he has been dean of the Public Administration School, that depends of the Government of the Salta province and intends to educate and permanently train public employees.

In 2007 he was elected Governor the Province of Salta for the Frente Para la Victoria party, defeating for a very low margin Walter Waynar, candidate supported by the former Governor, Juan Carlos Romero [3][4]

In 2011 he was re-elected Governor. In this time he obtained 60% of votes, over 25,64% of his opponent Alfredo Olmedo [5]

Urtubey has heavily supported minority rights expansion, becoming, for example, one of the main supporters of LGBT rights in Argentina.[6]

He has publicly stated his intention to run for President of Argentina in the 2015 Elections [7] and the press has also speculated about him running as Vice-President of either of the other two main candidates, Daniel Scioli and Sergio Massa.[8]

Summary of his Political Carreer[edit]

  • Governor of the Province of Salta 2011-2015
  • Governor of the Province of Salta 2007-2010.
  • National Congressman 1999–2007:
  • Chaiman of the Constitutional Affairs Committee of the Chamber of Deputies 2002-2007
  • Secretary of the following congressional committees: Penal Law and Sports.
  • Member of the following congressional committees: Budget and Economy, Comunications and IT, Justice, Petitions, Adiction Prevention and drug trafficking, Social Security, Energy, Small and Medium Businesses, Freedom of Expression and Special Committee for the control of the works at Río Bermejo.
  • Member of the bi-cameral Committee of the Defensoría del Pueblo
  • Argentine representative of the Human Rights Committee of Human Rights of the Latin-American Parliament
  • JP caucus chairman Argentine Chamber of Deputies 2005-2007.
  • Member of the Constituent assembly 2003.
  • Provincial Secretary of the Partido Justicialista in Salta 2002-2006.
  • Secretary of International Relationships of the Partido Justicialista in Salta 2002-2006.
  • Dean of the Public Management School. Since 1998.
  • Provincial deputy for the Capital Departament, Salta Province. 1997-1999
  • Chairman of the committee of General Law 1997-1999.
  • Secretary of Press - Provincial Spokesman. Salta Province 1996-1997.
  • Secretary of State of the Province of Salta 1995-1996

Political profile[edit]

Juan Manuel Urtubey is critic of his predecessor, Juan Carlos Romero, to whom he blames faults in his administration that constituted many of the problems for the incumbent government. He qualified Juan Carlos Romero, former vice-president candidate to Carlos Menem, as the leader of a "pseudo-feudal regime" and head of the "old politics".[9]

In a national level, Urtubey is a member of the Partido Justicialista, having presided the PJ caucus when being national deputy. In spite being an allied of the current Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner he was always noticed for publicly criticizing the actions of the National Government he opposed to.[10] In this way, he criticized the "personalist" characteristic of Kirchnerism and opposed the re-election of Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner [11][12]

Urtubey keeps a tense relationship with the newspaper El Tribuno, owned by former governor Romero, political opponent of Urtubey. This newspaper does not only criticizes permanently Urtubey's office, but also has provenly invented news. One of those examples is an article that narrated the story of "an extremly poor mother that boiled a rock to look as she was cooking while her famished sons went to sleep", with a picture. Soon it was proved that the picture was taken from a Mexican Newspaper that recounted that story that happened in Honduras.[13]

Urtubey had been frecuently criticized for his extravagant way of life that includes race motorcycle riding, or base jumping from the highest building in Auckland.[14]

He has been always close to Jorge Bergoglio, far before to his election as Catholic Church Pope.[15][16] However, he followed the will of the Pope when he asked the argentinians "not to travel but give away that money to poor people" [17]

Government of Salta 2007-2011[edit]

In 2007 he was elected Governor of Salta with 45,47% of votes.


In many ways, Urtubey followed his predecessor economic policy: he encouraged international investment, encouraged exports, improved communications (land, air, etc.), between Salta and the rest of the county, improved tax policies and invested in infrastructure.

However, in many aspects, his economic policy was innovative for the Province: he renewed the public employee payroll as to include in the provincial Government trained youth from every social strata.

In 2009, he nationalized the Provincial Supply Company, as to improve access to drinking water.[18]

In 2010, the province took control of the Materno Infantil Hospital, which was controversially privatized by former governor Juan Carlos Romero.[19]

Regarding to turism, his policy was to encourage international quality sport events, as to make Salta one of the principal turist destinations in South America. For example, National Rugby team hosted a test match against England in the province.[20] In 2010, Rally Dakar raced across Salta.


While Urtubey being governor, Salta became the first province in Argentina to use Electronic voting. This, benefits electoral transparency and accelerates vote counting. This system in particular, was subject of praising by international observers.[21] Dr. Nestor Pedro Sagüés, Constitutional Law Expert and Professor concluded hat Electronic Voting in Salta satisfies the conditions recommended by the Constitutional Court of Germany.[22]


New education law and religious education[edit]

In 1886, catholic education was imposed in the province. Since then, only three Argentine provinces (Salta, Jujuy and Santiago del Estero) have been the only ones in which catholic education is compulsory [23][24][25]

In 2008, during Juan Manuel Urtubey government, the Provincial Congress modified this laws. The new law estabilshed religious education in every provincial school without disctintion of belief En 2008, durante el gobierno de Urtubey, el Congreso provincial modificó esta antigua normativa. El Congreso estableció una nueva norma, que estableció la enseñanza religiosa en las escuelas [26] This, was criticized by many sectors, that demanded complete elimination of religious education in public Schools. In spite of the critics, it was declared constitutional by the Supreme Provincial Court [27]

Human Rights[edit]

In 2011, many political factions criticized former Governor Juan Carlos Romero, current governor Urtubey and other political movements in Salta due to the opinions and policies regarding LGBT minorities. They demanded Urtubey the abolition of laws that banned prostitution [28]

However, in 2013, Urtubey's office was praised by diverse LGTB organizations by transforming Salta into one of the first provinces to accept genre identity.[6]

In march, 2012, after the ruling of the Argentine Supreme Court, Salta became the first province to regulate not punishable abortion. Urtubey authorized this law in spite of his personal beliefs[29]

Government of Salta 2011-2015[edit]

Historic Reparation Fund[edit]

On November 17, 2011, encouraged by Governor Urtubey, the provincial congress passed the law number 7651 that created the Historic Reparation Fund for the North of the Province of Salta. This law authorized to destine u$s 220.000.000 to finance an Infrastructre Plan for the Departaments of Oran, San Martín and Rivadavia. .[30] This funds are used to finance infrastructured agreed by the provincial and municipal governments.[31]

The Historic Reparation Fund, "breaks the negative intromission of sectors that don't represent institutions" as well as benefiting "the long forgotten people of Salta" [32] by creating infrastructure and jobs.


During Urtubey's administration, Salta was consolidated as one of the main turistic destinations in South America.[33]

Since his second provincial government, Urtubey works togetherwith Daniel Scioli, governor of Buenos Aires in the subject of turism [34]


  • Sembrando Progreso. Claves del Desarrollo de Salta. Ed. Hanne, 1999. ISBN 987-9140-44-3.
  • Invited columnist in newspapers and magazines of Argentina, Chile and Brasil.
  • “La Escuela”, Magazine, from de Public Administration School (Editor).[35]
  • “Argentina 2020-Propuestas para profundizar la transformación”. Compilador Nicolás Trotta. Ed. Lumiere, 2006. ISBN 987-603-013-2


  1. ^ «Juan Manuel Urtubey and Rugby», El Intransigente del 3 de octubre de 2011. IN SPANISH
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ «Justice approved Urtubey electoral win for 5400 votes», article in theNuevo Diario november 96h 2007; IN SPANISH.
  4. ^ «Urtubey won by 5000 votes, newspaper Página/12 SPANISH.
  5. ^ «Salta: Urtubey reelected for governor in an historic election» IN SPANISH.
  6. ^ a b http://www.salta.gov.ar/prensa/noticias/destacan-a-salta-por-ser-una-de-las-primeras-provincias-del-pais-en-reconocer-la-identidad-de-genero/27057
  7. ^ http://www.lanacion.com.ar/1658069-juan-manuel-urtubey-yo-nunca-me-enganche-con-la-idea-de-amigo-enemigo
  8. ^ http://www.rionegro.com.ar/diario/scioli-se-muestra-con-urtubey-una-formula-para-el-2015-1472721-9532-nota.aspx
  9. ^ http://www.lanacion.com.ar/1363813-urtubey-vs-romero-la-batalla-de-salta
  10. ^ Perfil: http://www.perfil.com/contenidos/2008/08/19/noticia_0016.html Juan Manuel Urtubey, el ultra-cristinista que se borró en medio del conflicto con el campo], 19.08.2008, consultado el 05.01.2012
  11. ^ La Política Online: In SPANISH
  12. ^ http://www.lapoliticaonline.com/nota/69926/ IN SPANISH
  13. ^ http://www.elintransigente.com/notas/2014/1/21/otra-mentira-mas-tribuno-que-revela-mujer-que-hervia-las-piedras-era-mexicana-saltena-227324.asp
  14. ^ «Juan Manuel Urtubey, un transgresor irresponsable, extravagante y bipolar», IN SPANISH
  15. ^ http://www.quepasasalta.com.ar/34865/
  16. ^ http://www.lavoz.com.ar/noticias/politica/bergoglio-pidio-un-nuevo-liderazgo-y-advirtio-que-el-pais-esta-danado
  17. ^ http://www.elaconquija.com/notas/2013/3/15/urtubey-tampoco-viajara-roma-para-asuncion-francisco-16623.asp
  18. ^ IN SPANISH
  19. ^ http://www.elintransigente.com/notas/2010/9/24/urtubey-rescinde-contrato-santa-tecla-estatiza-hospital-materno-infantil-56745.asp
  20. ^ Reuters: [http://ar.reuters.com/article/topNews/idARN139476220090614?sp=true IN SPANISH
  21. ^ http://www.elintransigente.com/notas/2013/12/20/observadores-uruguayos-califican-positivamente-sistema-voto-electronico-salta-223351.asp
  22. ^ http://www.informatesalta.com.ar/noticia.asp?q=52777 IN SPANISH
  23. ^ «¿Laica o libre?: Salta podría reavivar la vieja antinomia», IN SPANISH.
  24. ^ IN SPANISH
  25. ^ «Con la cruz, la pluma y la palabra», IN SPANISH
  26. ^ http://edant.clarin.com/diario/2008/12/20/sociedad/s-01825769.htm.
  27. ^ http://www.eltribuno.info/salta/302134-La-Justicia-respaldo-la-educacion-religiosa-en-la-escuela-publica.note.aspx
  28. ^ [2]
  29. ^ http://www.26noticias.com.ar/el-gobernador-de-salta-reglamento-procedimientos-para-abortos-no-punibles-149093.html
  30. ^ http://www.salta.gov.ar/descargas/archivos/informe-FRH-al-02-05-2013.pdf IN SPANISH
  31. ^ http://www.salta.gov.ar/organismos/fondo-de-reparacion-historica/14
  32. ^ IN SPANISH
  33. ^ http://turismo.salta.gov.ar/contenido/1017/urtubey-recibio-el-premio-sol-andino-por-la-gestion-turistica-2013-de-la-provincia
  34. ^ http://tiempo.infonews.com/2014/01/23/argentina-117272-scioli-y-urtubey-juntos-y-cautos-en-mar-del-plata.php
  35. ^ La Revista - Escuela de Administración Publica

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Juan Carlos Romero
Governor of Salta
Succeeded by