Aníbal Domingo Fernández (born January 9, 1957) is an Argentine Justicialist Party politician, lawyer, and certified public accountant who has been a close ally, to the former Presidents Néstor Kirchner and 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
Early political career
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.
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." 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.”
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 the National Congress, 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."
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.
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. Fernández held this position from July 8, 2009, until December 10, 2011.
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. 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.” He run for governor of the Buenos Aires Province instead, defeating Julián Domínguez in the primary elections. He lost the main elections to María Eugenia Vidal, of Republican Proposal, and announced that he may leave politics.
In 2006, Anibal Fernández, who was serving as the Interior Minister at the time, called "feel" the growing insecurity that was experiencing Argentina.
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."
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.”
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.”
Fernández's notable activities and associations include the following:
- Chairman of Quilmes Athletic Club
- Honorary Professor at the University of Social Sciences of the National University of Lomas de Zamora
- President of Centro Latinoamericano de Administracion para el Desarrollo
- President of Grupo de Acción Financiera Internacional
- President of the Argentinian Field Hockey and Tennis Confederation
- President, Arturo Juaretche Institute for Strategy and Development
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.
The book's title is a reference to the 1968 book by Argentinian writer Arturo Jauretche, Manual de zonceras argentinas, a catalogue of foolish 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.
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. 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.”
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.
- "Justicia: un mal comienzo". La Nacion. Jan 11, 2008.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-09-24. Retrieved 2017-11-02.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- BBC Mundo | AMÉRICA LATINA | 4. Paradojas de noticias y exabruptos
- Clarín (in Spanish)
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-02-02. Retrieved 2014-04-21.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Juraron Abal Medina y Lorenzino". www.lanacion.com.ar (in Spanish). 2011-12-10. Retrieved 2019-12-05.
- "Aníbal Fernández quiere ser candidato a presidente en 2015". Clarin. Jan 12, 2014.
- "Aníbal Fernández felicitó a Vidal y culpó a Lanata y al "fuego amigo": ¿deja la política?" [Aníbal Fernández congratuled Vidal and blamed Lanata and "friendly fire": does he leave politics?] (in Spanish). La Nación. October 26, 2015. Retrieved October 26, 2015.
- "El PO demandó al Gobierno y C5N: reclama $7 millones". El Pais. Dec 17, 2008. Archived from the original on December 19, 2008.
- "Renunció Posse: duró apenas 11 días como ministro de Educación porteño". PERFIL. 2009-12-23. Retrieved 2019-12-05.
- "Para Aníbal F, Duhalde no existe, Cobos es un inútil y Redrado hace payasadas". PERFIL. 2010-01-17. Retrieved 2019-12-05.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2014-04-22.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Aníbal Fernández: "Vargas Llosa y Savater dicen estupideces"". La Nacion. 2011-04-21. Retrieved 2019-12-05.
- "Los puntos clave del Triple Crimen del que acusan a Aníbal F." [Key points of the Triple Crime that Aníbal F. is being accused of] (in Spanish). Perfil. August 3, 2015. Retrieved August 10, 2015.
- "Aníbal Fernández presentó su libro y llenó de políticos la Feria". www.lanacion.com.ar (in Spanish). 2011-05-06. Retrieved 2019-12-05.
- http://institutonacionalmanueldorrego.com/index.php/cafe-dorrego/item/500-anibal-Fernández-en-cafe-dorrego Archived April 22, 2014, at the Wayback Machine
- http://www.agenciacomunas.com.ar/nota/5340/anibal-Fernández-presento-su-libro-zonceras-argentinas-al-sol-[permanent dead link]
| Mayor of Quilmes
| Minister of the Interior
| Minister of Justice
| Chief of the Cabinet of Ministers of Argentina
Juan Manuel Abal Medina
| Chief of the Cabinet of Ministers of Argentina