Monday, January 20, 2014

Sept 14, 2011: And the Latest from Argentina is...

article from September 14, 2011
By Jamie Douglas

Argentinean wheels of justice

Argentina: Where Anything is Possible. And occasionally, the slow wheels of justice provide an amusing glimpse at life here. Take for instance a young couple’s wedding celebration in July 2006:  They hired the Miraculous Medal Chapel and adjoining facilities to celebrate their future together. It was a pretty big shindig and the high point of their lives so far. Caterers were called in to make sure all the guests had food in their stomachs while consuming the mass quantities of alcohol Latin American weddings are famous for. Tailors spent many hours laboring over all the dresses for the wedding party’s female members and, of course, photo and video crews were on hand to document the happy affair, when, wouldn’t you know, the electricity goes out.

At first, it was assumed that this was a temporary outage; but as time dragged on, the formerly happy couple was getting more and more distressed, what with sitting in the darkness of the chapel. The power never did come back on. The bands could not perform, the hired disc jockey had no way to play the music, the videographers could not film and the few pictures that photographers were able to take in the semi-darkness all had that horrible rabbit-eye syndrome.

After the wedding, the families decided to investigate why the power went out. To their surprise, electricity supplier EDESUR had no explanation, so they made a claim directly to them for actual damages suffered during their fiasco of a wedding. EDESUR decided to not honor said claim, and off to court it went, where, with the snail’s pace of Argentinean justice, it was resolved in a relatively speedy five years time.

The Buenos Aires court ruling in effect affirmed a lower court’s decision to award the pair US$2,350 each, since EDESUR was “unable to justify any credible cause for the blackout,” and the wedding finally took place under very different circumstances than what was planned. It was a tumultuous beginning of their new existence together, without a doubt.

Rising inflation

Meanwhile, congressional opposition leaders released the unofficial but correct inflation rate for the month of August 2011: 1.87%, or an annualized rate of 22.44%, which is up substantially from July’s rate of 1.62%, or 19.44% for the full year. That is a disturbing increase of 3%. Surely this can’t go on much longer without serious consequences. With the upcoming presidential election, however, the government of Christina Fernández de Kirchner is compelled to be disingenuous about the figures, admitting to a mere 0.8% rate. I don’t understand the why’s of the shuffling of the figures, as there is virtually no chance of the opposition stealing the election from her at the last minute.

To counter this ever-worsening economic news, Argentineans, along with their fellow Scotch Whiskey lovers throughout Latin America, are consuming record amounts of that antidepressant, boosting imports of the golden substance by a whopping 49%. Salud, amor, dinero, y tiempo para gozarlos.

Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo scandal

Meanwhile, the ever-widening scandal of the Mothers of Plaza de Mayo seems to have involved the president of that organization, Hebe de Bonafini, along with her daughter, who apparently are holding several Swiss and Spanish bank accounts where maybe one will find some of the millions of dollars that have been looted from that organization, funds that were to pay for low income “Share your Dreams” housing construction, but instead went to their former financial manager, Sergio Schoklender. He was hired by the Mothers after being released from prison, where he served 14 years for killing his parents with his brother. I don’t know what kind of rationale was applied to retain him and give him control over millions of dollars in charity funds. But hey, this is Argentina. Todo es possible en Argentina.

Jamie Douglas        
San Rafael, Mendoza
Where that Malbec Wine is always Fine!

I encourage you to write me at cruzansailor [at] gmail [dot] com with any questions or suggestions you may have. Disclaimer: I am not in any travel-related business. My advice is based on my own experiences and is free of charge (Donations welcome). It is always my pleasure to act as a beneficial counselor to those who are seekers of the next adventure.

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