Rafael Bielsa

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Rafael Bielsa
Rafael Bielsa (cropped).jpg
Ambassador of Argentina to Chile
Assumed office
5 August 2020
Preceded byJosé Octavio Bordón
National Deputy
In office
10 December 2005 – 7 November 2007
ConstituencySanta Fe
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
25 May 2003 – 3 December 2005
PresidentNéstor Kirchner
Preceded byCarlos Ruckauf
Succeeded byJorge Taiana
Personal details
Born (1953-02-15) February 15, 1953 (age 69)
Rosario, Argentina
Political partyJusticialist Party
Other political
Front for Victory (2003–2007)
Rafael Bielsa (center), speaking in the press room of the Casa Rosada on 4 October 2005

Rafael Antonio Bielsa Caldera (born February 15, 1953) is an Argentine Justicialist Party politician from Rosario, province of Santa Fe. Since 2020 he has been Argentina's ambassador to Chile.

Early life and education[edit]

Bielsa spent his childhood in Morteros, Córdoba, the birthplace of his mother. He studied at the Faculty of Law of the National University of Rosario and became a lawyer. Bielsa is also a poet, writer and essayist. He is the brother of former Argentina national football team coach Marcelo Bielsa; both are well-known Newell's Old Boys supporters. He is also the brother of architect María Eugenia Bielsa, Vice-Governor of Santa Fe from 2003 to 2007 and Minister of Habitat from 2019 to 2020.

In 1974 Bielsa began at the Federal Court of Rosario. In 1977, during the Dirty War, suspected of being a member of the Montoneros radical guerrilla group, Bielsa was detained and taken to the "El Castillo" (also known as "El Fortín") illegal detention centre, where he spent two months of questioning and torture. After a period in Spain, he returned to Argentina in 1980, and started working in different positions of the military government, mainly in the Ministry of Justice. [1] [2]

Political career[edit]

Upon the return to democracy in 1983, Bielsa worked in a Secretariat of the Ministry of Education in different functions. He served as adviser to the Office of the President of Argentina during the early years of the Carlos Menem administration, at the Ministry of Justice, as well as for specific international projects and other posts. He published several books of poetry during the 1980s and 1990s.[3]

Bielsa was the foreign minister of Argentina from 25 May 2003, when President Néstor Kirchner took office, until 6 December 2005. At the 2005 legislative elections he won a seat in the Argentine Chamber of Deputies, representing the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires. At the last moment (just before the inauguration ceremony), after a request by the President, he chose not to take office, instead accepting an appointment to become Ambassador in France; however, the next day he retracted (citing moral qualms and the pressure from public opinion as the reason) and decided to occupy his legislative seat after all. Both decisions were heavily criticized by the opposition and political analysts in the media; the latter one was also qualified in harsh terms by government supporters themselves. Bielsa remained close to the President despite these problems. [4] [5] [6] [7] [8]

He competed with fellow party member Agustín Rossi in the primary elections held on 1 July 2007, and was elected candidate of the Justicialist Party for the governorship of Santa Fe by a wide margin. He lost the main election, on 2 September, to the Socialist former mayor of Rosario Hermes Binner. Bielsa received 38.8% of the vote.[9][10] After acknowledging the defeat, he announced he would also be resigning from his post as representative for Buenos Aires, which he did five days later. [11]

From 2011 to 2013, Bielsa was the secretary in charge of the Secretariat of Programming for the Prevention of Drug Addiction and the Fight against Drug Trafficking (SEDRONAR).[12]


  1. ^ Terra, 11 October 2005. Bielsa, de canciller a diputado.
  2. ^ Reportajes.org. Biografía de Rafael Bielsa.
  3. ^ Clarín, 31 May 2003. Hélas!, un poeta en la Cancillería
  4. ^ Télam, 7 December 2005. Rafael Bielsa unexpectedly named Ambassador in France Archived 2011-09-26 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Página/12, 6 December 2005. Bielsa renunció a su banca y será embajador en Francia ("Bielsa gave up his seat and will be ambassador in France")
  6. ^ La Nación, 7 December 2005. Finalmente, Bielsa será diputado
  7. ^ Mercopress, 7 December 2005. Bielsa dilemma: Paris, Congress, people, or K's fury?
  8. ^ La Nación, 9 December 2005. Los kirchneristas hacen cola para criticar al ex canciller ("Kirchnerists line up to criticize the former chancellor")
  9. ^ La Capital, 1 July 2007. Irreversible: Rafael Bielsa es el candidato a gobernador del PJ.
  10. ^ La Capital, 2 September 2007. Binner, primer gobernador socialista de la historia.
  11. ^ La Capital, 7 September 2007. Bielsa renunció a su banca de diputado nacional .
  12. ^ "Rafael Bielsa renunció a la Sedronar". Infobae (in Spanish). 19 March 2013. Retrieved 16 December 2020.

External links[edit]