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Argentine Executive and Judiciary clash over Media Bill and intimidation of Judges

Friday, December 7th 2012 - 05:50 UTC
Full article 63 comments

President Cristina Fernandez and the Argentine Judiciary branch are on a collision course after a federal court, despite all kinds of pressure and threats, decided on Thursday to extend an injunction referred to a controversial media bill which seems targeted to dismember the powerful Clarin Media Group, which has become to the eyes of the regime enemy number one. Read full article


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  • Ayayay

    Ooh, this is healthy.. that they're showing some checks and balances!

    Dec 07th, 2012 - 06:08 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Lord Ton

    ”he regretted that the Argentine courts “are not prepared to fight against corporations because a large part of it is colonized by those corporations.”

    You Argies seem to have a fixation with colonisation :-)

    Dec 07th, 2012 - 06:23 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • The Last Viking

    This is actually very good news, see how the K camp is spinning this!
    Older people that actually have an education and life experience do not fall for the crap the government are selling, that is why the radicals want (and got) the voting age down so they can get teenager brainwashed by the crazy queen to counter sanity .

    Dec 07th, 2012 - 07:17 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • War Monkey

    @3 The Last Viking (#)
    Dec 07th, 2012 - 07:17 am

    Interesting. Of course we have seen this happen before haven't we? Quite recently, much closer to home.

    Dec 07th, 2012 - 07:40 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Santa Fe

    4- What Germany, that was back in 39!!

    uk government voted not to control the press or move a motion for a new law retraining them. Maybe we should go down the RG route, then you can print all the propaganda you wish with no opposing view of challenge.

    Dec 07th, 2012 - 07:47 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Xect

    'the group was considered a faithful ally of the government. However following the 2008 farmers’ conflict which almost knocked out the administration of Cristina Fernandez when she was forced to roll back taxes, the Clarin media group became number one enemy for having given ample television, broadcast and written coverage to the protests'

    Says it all really, targeted for providing the news and not covering it up.

    At least the judiciary are willing to be principled and fight for the freedom of the press.

    Seems there are some people in Argentina with honor, dignity and decency who are willing to fight the corrupt government.

    Dec 07th, 2012 - 08:41 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • reality check

    It will be interesting to see what happens to the two judges who delivered the ruling, early retirement on the cards? I wonder.

    Dec 07th, 2012 - 09:37 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • toxictaxitrader2

    Without an independent judiciary,you have an elected dictatorship .

    Dec 07th, 2012 - 10:02 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • reality check

    Hey Christina!

    Democracy 101.

    The separation of powers, often imprecisely used interchangeably with the trias politica principle,[1] is a model for the governance of a state (or who controls the state). The model was first developed in the Roman Republic as part of the unmodified Constitution of the Roman Republic.[2][3] Under this model, the state is divided into branches, each with separate and independent powers and areas of responsibility so that no branch has more power than the other branches. The normal division of branches is into a legislature, an executive, and a judiciary.

    Love the bit about no branch having more power than the other.

    There Christina, see, that's how it works, not hard is it?

    Dec 07th, 2012 - 10:29 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • toxictaxitrader2

    Is there no such thing as contempt of court in Argentina?say such things about a judge in Ireland(Eire)and you would have to explain yourself in court.LETS HAVE SOME RESPECT

    Dec 07th, 2012 - 10:46 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ChrisR

    I see where she is going with this: she wants to be Empress TMBOA!

    Dec 07th, 2012 - 10:48 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Mendoza Canadian

    Finally...democracy just might be working. The government just got bitch slapped by the judiciary. I love it.

    Dec 07th, 2012 - 10:53 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • GALlamosa

    We have always known there are good people in Argentina as there are in any country, with principle and integrity. They are just hard to find in public life.

    Go Judges.

    Dec 07th, 2012 - 10:56 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Pirate Love

    Good to see at least something works in argentina, to Crustinas dismay.

    However very disturbing how the courts are being allowed to be intimidated and threatened by the very thing they are there to prevent, Crustina and her Dictatorship agenda.

    No doubt, Worrying times for Argentinians, but i will sleep soundly tonight :)

    Dec 07th, 2012 - 11:00 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • toxictaxitrader2

    What is so urgent that it requires Per Saltum?is country in imminent danger? NO !
    its just about media licences ,lets hear all the arguments

    Dec 07th, 2012 - 11:03 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • reality check

    It's just another case of using legislation that it is not really intended for, chalk up one more abuse of power!

    Dec 07th, 2012 - 11:25 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Captain Poppy

    Good to see checks and balances, but TMBOA will find away around. Now to see how strong the Supreme Courts are. Two phrases always come out of the pink house that is getting old fast......either something is “colonized ”INSERT HERE“ or it ”damages democracy” . Always when things do not go asslips way

    Dec 07th, 2012 - 11:28 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Optimus_Princeps

    Oh damn! Checks and balances? That comes into conflict with “democracy” right? It's not a real “democracy” unless that Versace looking creature, her cronies, and lazy hooligans can do what they want.

    “What's the point of being President if I can't do what I want?”

    Dec 07th, 2012 - 11:33 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • emerald

    Think Argentina obsessed freak..

    keep on hoping..continue to write maybe you can catch an Argentine fly/fish here......

    Dec 07th, 2012 - 11:34 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Welsh Wizard

    As a lawyer I still can’t quite get my head around the idea that Argentineans accept/are almost proud of the institutional corruption in their legal system. The trouble is that it is accepted that you will have a political agenda as a judge, as a result people studying at law school will enter the profession (if you can actually call it that in Argentina) with the premise that you will not be independent.

    Dec 07th, 2012 - 12:10 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • reality check

    Of all the things in a democracy, an independent judiciary is the most sacred. Without the rule of law, you have nothing, your not free.
    He who controls the law, controls the people, simple concept really.

    Dec 07th, 2012 - 12:31 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • txiki

    I've also been reading in La Nación that they are introducing Kirchner propaganda into the school curriculum - sounds a lot like Nazi Germany. Rewriting history and spoon feeding it in schools is never a good idea. Exactly what they did with the Falklands from the 1940s.

    It's going to be an interesting week for CFK, between 7D and 15D when the Libertad case goes to the IMO. Will she survive?

    Dec 07th, 2012 - 12:37 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • toxictaxitrader2

    Are,nt things not much the same in the U.S. of A? With your liberal judges and neo judges all under political appointment,this is a question not statement.

    Dec 07th, 2012 - 12:38 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • reality check

    No, in the UK judges are appointed by the Lord Chancellor. The Lord Chancellor, is a posh name for the most senior judge in our system.

    Our serving police are banned from belonging to any polical party or holding political office, so are the serving judiciary.

    Dec 07th, 2012 - 12:46 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Shed-time

    Without the rule of law, the only thing left is the rule of power. That's called an autocracy, like in China, where the judiciary follow party prescribed lines.

    No doubt they La SS Campora will refer to democracy as undemocratic, again.

    Dec 07th, 2012 - 12:58 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • War Monkey

    @5 Santa Fe (#)
    Dec 07th, 2012 - 07:47 am

    ” that is why the radicals want (and got) the voting age down so they can get teenager brainwashed by the crazy queen to counter sanity .”

    The SNP have done something similar for the independence referendum in 2014.

    Dec 07th, 2012 - 01:03 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Captain Poppy

    #23 Not really. Often judges are picked by administrations with the impression that their rulings will lean one way or another. Even though they are picked, they are really nominated because they have to be approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee. Picking them by the President is only step one, they need the Senate confirmation to get into the judgeship and they does not always happen.
    Supreme court justices go through the most intense Senate hearing that sometimes go go on for two weeks. Usually they are confirmed but sometimes they get kicked out. The President here does not have absolute power to do as they wish.
    Law here is interpretional until it moves up to SCOTUS and then it becomes defined in one way or another. That is why they are choosen based on they rulings and sometimes the administration is disappointed becasuse of they way act once they become a judge becasue they are truly independent.

    Dec 07th, 2012 - 01:29 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Simon68

    Congratulations to ALL our judges for standing up to CFK and her thugs. This is the first time for years that Argentines can seriously hope for REAL democracy.

    Well done the Judiciary!!!!!

    Dec 07th, 2012 - 01:37 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • yankeeboy

    Let's see how long it lasts. I am sure there are cars following around the judges families right about now.

    Dec 07th, 2012 - 01:40 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • briton

    Cristina Fernandez and the Argentine Judiciary branch are on a collision course,,

    Freedom of the press
    Freedom of speech
    Independent judges,
    CFK controlled press
    CFK controlled speech
    CFK controlled judges,

    And these indoctrinated argie bloggers laugh at us,

    Just goes to show just who is indoctrinated and lives in a controlled state.

    Dec 07th, 2012 - 01:51 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ElaineB

    Apparently CFKC sent 200 tax inspectors to the Clarin offices last week. That is her usual MO, is it not?

    I expect the Judges and families will be under intense pressure now.

    Dec 07th, 2012 - 02:02 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Welsh Wizard

    @31 Yup. Tax inspectors were sent round to the offices. Isn't it strange how the tax inspectors only get sent to check on people/companies who aren't “government friendly”...

    Dec 07th, 2012 - 02:05 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • reality check

    A new breed of secret police no doubt.

    Dec 07th, 2012 - 02:06 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Captain Poppy

    Where are the trolls? December is shapping up to be an interesting month. Yesterday's rains and floods and caustic gas clouds, the judiciary denied asslips repression of the press with another stay, IMF in less than two weeks, bond payments due, IMO results, Delima told to last week to be a good little farmer and stay out of the car business, Pepe considers Argentina their most distressing problem, they pushed Paraguay away, chubby chavo is all but dead (the only wood she will get from him is his coffin). South America seems to be telling cuntina kirchner...“we are with you”, but their action are saying something totally different. Yes December is going to be a month from hell for her. I see many illnesses on the way in her future.

    Dec 07th, 2012 - 02:21 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • yankeeboy

    I am pretty sure if they are kicked out of IMF etc the auto business will exit the country. I don't see how they could get loans for expansion, working capital, ex/im etc through ex/im bank or ifc etc if Argentina is not part of the orgs.

    So Arg may be out of the car mfg business whether they want to or not.

    Dec 07th, 2012 - 02:29 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • GeoffWard2

    'The media' of a nation should not be the mouthpiece for the president or the government, or the police or the military.
    Equally they should not be 'the official Opposition'.

    But they should be one of the key 'checks and balances' that a country uses to nudge the government, the administration and the president into an ethical modus operandi ... and keep it there.

    The 'media' has an ethical responsibility itself to operate within the best word and spirit of the laws of the land - usually encompaseed within, and extending in detail, the Constitution...

    For instance, it must not hack into any persons private information, correspondence or communications. Neither should it use unlawful methods to investigate the structures and practices of governance.
    'In The Public Interest' is insufficient justification.

    An ethical media should be protected by the people of a country AT ALL COSTS.
    Such a media can, through its actions and information, bring a deviant goverment to book.
    But all this needs an independent judiciary.

    Can Argentina become this clean?

    Dec 07th, 2012 - 02:52 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • emerald

    more.....Think.....more .....

    Dec 07th, 2012 - 03:10 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Captain Poppy

    #36 I totally agree with you in your statements. I always felth that in the USA, the role of the media had it's finest hour when they exposed President Nixon and the Watergate affair. However, with that also can the deluge of every reporter trying to be the next Woodward and Bernstein. But the media play a very crucial role in a democracy and politicians in democracy know and understand that. However in every sector of a free society, their will always be the bad apple that is respresentive of the whole.

    Dec 07th, 2012 - 03:21 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Conqueror

    From Wikipedia article ”Government of Argentina:

    The Judiciary Branch is composed of federal judges and others with different jurisdictions, and a Supreme Court with nine members (one President, one Vice-President and seven Ministers), appointed by the President with approval of the Senate, who may be deposed by Congress.

    What does that mean? Are “federal judges and others with different jurisdictions” all appointed by the President or is it just the Supreme Court?

    Dec 07th, 2012 - 03:48 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • GFace

    @36 When there is a one-party state, the press effectively becomes the opposition for the few minutes between when the party takes over and they send the not-so-secret police to stop the presses. Likewise. when there is effective one party rule (or the parties so inline with one another on any given issue that they are mutually indistinguishable) you better hope that there is an ornerytarian media outlet willing to be THE Loyal Opposition and an independent judiciary willing to protect their right to say the emperor has no clothes and that the baby's ugly.

    As much as I dislike the US's Fox News and MSNBC with the possible exception of RedEye (the only talking head show I can tolerate), I'm thankful that they are up and running. If GWB or Obama were to make moves in the same style as CFK in the name of “media diversity” solely against media outlets that didn't give them friendly copy, people would be up in arms. But in Argentina and Venezuela, we are constantly told by their apologists that their case is “different” and “special.” Bull Hockey.

    And pardon me while I drop the bomb on commenters with whom I'm often in agreement/sympathy, BUT... in scenarios where bad government is SO entrenched that the only way to get to the bottom of something is indeed “questionable information access*” then so be it! (This does not include going through Hugh Grant's cell phone records though as much as his screen presence threatens my world's peace, and let's not get near the godawful case that is currently setting what I still think is bad legal precedent in the UK. But as Pops with his example in #38, crucial ethical investigative journalism often requires polite and sometimes legal boundaries to be crossed.)

    *If you know what I mean**.
    ** And I think you do.

    Dec 07th, 2012 - 04:29 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Pugol-H

    “Colonised” that word appears again, and once again used to demonise, this time talking about things inside Argentina.

    Getting to the position where a Minister is accusing the courts of an “uprising”, and a “conflict of powers”!

    In many ways this issue is one of the most critical for Argentina, whether the Government (whoever it is at the time) seemingly not having the ability to draft laws that the courts seem willing to enforce, can bend the judiciary to their will.

    Dec 07th, 2012 - 04:43 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Captain Poppy

    GFace.....first of all Obama could get to present that type of action against the meia. He would have to have a Rep. from congress submit a bill and it would die a quiet death like so many other bills do. For those of you that do not know how law is created in the USA, google it, it is not a quick process.
    Argentina's president has too much power vested in one person. I enjoyed reading of Argentina's judiciary balancing out what should be considered illegal actions in Argenina. We shall see how the SC rules on this as there already submitted they per saltum motion.

    The trolls must be re grouping from having their asses waxed all week.......just wait until the thrid week of this

    Dec 07th, 2012 - 05:08 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • GFace

    @42 Eyup! There is a good reason why our “law does not leap*” ;-) and when it does we become naturally suspicious... But I also think that even with mythical bipartisan “Republicrat/Demcolican” congressional support for a hypothetical “[insert name of recently murdered child here] Memorial Patriotism in the Media Act” (sorry, it's Friday, and I'm feeling punchy) to satisfy the ego of a slighted president, the rank-n-file John & Jane Q Public would be happy to provide some constructive criticism. We Americans are so often chided for being First Amendment fetishists by our betters in the world, after all, and we gladly own it!

    *(Just ~what~ jackrabbit IS CFK trying to race? ;-)

    Dec 07th, 2012 - 05:34 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • J.A. Roberts

    What do you expect? The Argentine executive were flummoxed when the Ghanaian executive didn't simply step in and tell the judge in the Libertad case to do what they wanted... They just don't get the whole separation of powers thing.

    Dec 07th, 2012 - 06:33 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • briton

    They probably have no idea what free expression is,
    Or free press, ect,

    It just seems so natural to these controlled states to demand
    And get people to do their bidding .without complaint,?

    Dec 07th, 2012 - 06:44 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Captain Poppy

    The First Amendment has gone to extremes as well, being an American you know what I mean. What has become protected is far beyond the realm and context of what our fore fathers had in mind.

    briton......they like to refer to it as a “democratic press”

    Dec 07th, 2012 - 06:59 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ChrisR

    Clarin have reported the TMBOA had lunch will Dilma in Brasil today and she told the reporters that they can relax, she is not thinking of suicide! I have no idea why she said that.

    I bet that brought a few glum faces out.

    Dec 07th, 2012 - 07:54 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • briton

    we feel sorry for these argies, they are walking stright to hell,
    and the wicked witch is close behind them.

    Dec 07th, 2012 - 08:39 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • toxictaxitrader2

    #24 reality check
    I think you must have misread my post,thats OK We all do it
    #Captain Poppy
    Thank you for edifying explanation,its much as I thought

    Dec 08th, 2012 - 01:04 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • axel arg

    This was the answer by c. f. k to a group of students of comunication in 2008, at one of our universities, when she was asked about the project for a new broadcast law, which was included in her electoral platform in 2007. It's true that during nestor kirchner's presidence the relation with the clarin group was good, however just mediocre people, like some journalists and forists who love emphasizing about that aspect, woudn't take into account the social context of 2003, when kirchner took office, in that moment, the country had 53% of poor people, 22% of unemploit people, beside, the nation was in defoult, so, with that deplorable context, it's was obvious that kirchner was going to need clarin's help, i dont think that despite the miserable context of 2003, he was going to think about democratizing the media, dont you think?. On the other hand, it is often said by the media which is against the government, and by some ignorant people who buy so easily what it says, that c. f. k's gov. handles the justice, and claim for an independet justice, this was also one of the claims of many protestors n the last cacerolasos, however they omit to include that justice must be independent not just from the gov. but also from the powerfull corporations, like clarin. The entails between clarin and those judges were argued with solid fundaments, by minister alak, that's why it was obvious the chamber was going to extend the injunction for clarin. Anyway not everything is lost, i trust our suprem court which is very prestigious, despite that in some oportunities it had some contradictions. C. f. k.'s expressions in 2008 show that she was absolutly right, the law was aproved in 2009, and clarin could get all the legal injuctions it wanted, in order to not to comply with the new law. However i understand that some people who are sick of hate against c. f. k., are very happy with this news.

    Dec 08th, 2012 - 05:50 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • briton


    As CFK cant fly,
    We will leave the impossible to superman if that’s ok.

    Dec 08th, 2012 - 08:29 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Captain Poppy

    south america uses the term democratic media, democratic unions.....blah blah and they have not idea what it is. Politics is the only thi ng that needs to be democratic

    Dec 08th, 2012 - 08:31 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Conqueror

    @50 Shut up, you waste of space.

    Dec 08th, 2012 - 10:06 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Simon68

    50 axel arg (#)
    Dec 08th, 2012 - 05:50 pm

    One of the major good policies done by Nestor Kirchner, was the selection of a very independent Supreme Court.
    This doesn't mean that CFK can now undermine his one good deed by pressuring the Judiciary in the way she and her ministers have over the last ten days!!!!

    Dec 09th, 2012 - 04:42 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Captain Poppy

    They are in process of impeaching the judges who granted the stay. If the houses go along with it, then it truly shows they level of the lack of checks and balances, therefore the lack of democracy in argentina.

    Dec 09th, 2012 - 06:13 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • GeoffWard2

    My God! poppy #55,
    if there is shown to be no democracy in Argentina, then Mercosur will have to remove them. They'll be in South American Limbo.

    Dec 09th, 2012 - 08:22 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Captain Poppy other words....the status quo. My point being is that up to this point they can use smoke and mirrors, but it will be near impossible to use smoke and mirrors if they impeach the judges.
    When the judges extended the stay, some people I know in Argentina felt a shimmer of hope that maybe it was the start of some change.....but then again maybe not.

    Dec 09th, 2012 - 10:40 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Simon68

    57 Captain Poppy (#)
    Dec 09th, 2012 - 10:40 pm

    For impeachment, they also need a Congressional 2/3 majority, which although almost non existent, the opposition will not give them over this!!!!!!

    Dec 10th, 2012 - 05:16 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Captain Poppy

    SO pretty tough to remove the judges then.....good.

    Dec 10th, 2012 - 06:17 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • GeoffWard2

    Argentina needs a 'top judge' like Brasil's Barbosa.
    Someone who is not afraid to 'kick the pricks'.

    Dec 10th, 2012 - 07:31 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • axel arg

    If you really cared about having an independent justice, you would criticise also the shameful entails between clarin and the cámara en lo civil y comercial. Do you really think that after what minister alak explained about the relation between both parts, you can say that the chamber is independent from clarin?, what would you say, if you see on the news that a judge who had to dictate a judgment where the government is one the parts, it's discovered that the judge had entails with c. f. k's government?, would you believe in the independence of that judge?, i don't think so. Like i said in my comment 50, it is often said that c. f. k's government handles the justice, and one of the claims of the last cacerolasos, was the claim for an independent justice, however many of those hipocrites and you, omit that justice must be independent not just from the governmnet, but also from the corporations. Allthough i support c. f. k's government, i dont' deny that her government has contradictions and some very negative aspects, because i'm not neather injudicious nor hipocrite, but if she decides to take such a difficult decision like sending to the congress a project for a new broadcast law, which doesn't allow the concentration of oligopolic groups for any mediatic corporation, it's someting that should be recognized too. Your comment 28 is really pathetic.

    Dec 12th, 2012 - 12:58 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ChrisR

    54 Simon68

    Looks like you have hit a nerve with Broken Axle @61!

    Keep up the good work. ;o)

    Dec 12th, 2012 - 03:11 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • axel arg

    I think that SIMON68 is not bad guy, like some miserable and despisable people who post comments often in this website. His problem is that he is very missinformed, beside, he doesn't know very much about politic, on the other hand, his view is too partial, that's why his politic analysis are always so mediocre. I would like to talk to him openly some day about politic. Anyway, it's not my intention to change his point of view, because this is evident that our ideologies are very different, and we have right to have different politic postures like everyone. But if we debate about something so complicated and controversial like politic, we must have enough intellectual honesty, instead of making so partial politic analysis, like most people do.

    Dec 14th, 2012 - 02:22 pm - Link - Report abuse 0

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