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Fernando de la Rúa (born September 15, 1937) is an Argentinemarker politician. He was president of the country from December 10 1999 to December 21 2001 for the Alliance for Work, Justice and Education (a political alliance of the Radical Civic Union and Frepaso).

Biography

Born in the city of Córdobamarker, he attended the local Military Lyceum before entering the National University of Córdobamarker, from which he obtained his law degree. De la Rúa became involved in politics at a young age. He first appeared in the political arena during the 1973 elections, when he was elected to the Senate, representing the city of Buenos Airesmarker. A few months later he ran for the Vice Presidency along with veteran politician Ricardo Balbín on the Radical Civic Union (UCR) ticket. His youth (running for Vice President at the age of 36) earned him the still-standing nickname of "Chupete" ('Pacifier' or 'Dummy'), as he was perceived as a "baby" in politics.


After the democratic restoration in 1983 de la Rúa was elected to the Chamber of Deputies and once again ran for the Senate in 1989. He actually won the popular vote, but was outmanoeuvered in the Electoral College by the alliance between the Justicialist Party and the Ucedé.

Elected to the lower house by his constituents in the city of Buenos Airesmarker in 1991 and at last, to the Senate in 1992, de la Rúa became increasingly thought of as presidential timber in the press, generally. Benefitting from his high standing in the polls and the amendments to the Constitution that gave Buenos Aires the right to elect its own mayor, de la Rúa became the first elected mayor of Buenos Aires on August 6, 1996.

Quick to tackle chronic property tax evasion in his city, de la Rúa earned a reputation for efficiency as his city's mayor. This, as well as the nation's mounting social and economic problems, helped carry de la Rúa to victory in the October 24, 1999, presidential election. Handily defeating Buenos Airesmarker Governor Eduardo Duhalde (a man saddled by his ties to the unpopular president), Fernando de la Rúa was inauguated President of Argentina on December 10, 1999.

De la Rúa's government was characterized by an ongoing economic crisis, continuous fights and rivalries between the coalition partners, cabinet crises, a general sensation of inaction and a failure to tackle corruption. One of his last acts in office was to ban extraditions for human rights violations. His lack of charisma and his slow demeanor (perceived as stupor) hurt his public image.
President de la Rúa upon tendering his resignation, Dec.
21, 2001.
Facing mounting pressure and 18% approval ratings, de la Rúa on March 19, 2001, reached out to Domingo Cavallo, the economist behind the "Argentine miracle" during the early 1990s. Cavallo's appointment was, however, interpreted as an act of desperation by the derivatives markets and a massive shorting of Argentine bonds ensued, followed by at least US$40 billion in domestic capital flight.

De la Rúa was finally forced out of office by the popular demonstrations in the midst of the December 2001 riots, the financial crisis, and the growing popular unrest, which took form under the rallying cry of the Argentine people: ¡que se vayan todos! ("away with them all!") – referring to the governing class.

News reported October 23, 2007, that de la Rúa had been indicted for manslaughter in connection with bloody street riots in 2001.

De la Rúa is father of Antonio de la Rúa who is engaged to Latina superstar Shakira.

References

  1. Noticias, September 6, 1991.
  2. World Briefing | Americas: Argentina: Human Rights Extraditions The New York Times, December 25, 2001
  3. "Little sympathy for Argentine president", BBC news, 17 March, 2001
  4. BBC news
  5. Univ. of Pittsburgh study
  6. Argentine judge accuses ex-leader over 2001 deaths, Reuters, October 23, 2007



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