Argentine defense minister Julio Martinez criticized the previous government policies towards the Armed Forces saying that during the Falklands/Malvinas conflict the country lost 72 aircraft, but under the administrations of Nestor and Cristina Kirchner over a hundred went out of service or were decommissioned.
Martínez who will be stepping down from Defense in a few days to run for Senator in the province of La Rioja in the coming midterm elections, argued that in the brief time he has been in office, we have been able to definitively turn around the decadence tendency in Defense
We have been able to begin the recovery of the Argentine Armed Forces, and the respect they deserve, since they are an institution of the democratic system, said Martinez, who will be running under the incumbent Let's Change ticket.
Asked more specifically on his comments Martinez said that when he took office he was informed that during the South Atlantic conflict Argentina lost 72 aircraft, but under Kirchnerism we lost over a hundred planes
Military aircraft ceased to operate because of lack of maintenance, spares, refurbishing and simply because there no funds invested.
He added that the Cordoba aircraft factory had a staff of 1.500, and not a single aircraft was built in ten years.
However now we have started a process of recovery and modernization in aircrafts such as the Hercules C-130 and Pampa III training units, among other initiatives involving the three branches, air force, navy and army.
As to his political ambitions in La Rioja, Martinez said that the president Mauricio Macri administration needs more legislative support and this includes two Senators and more deputies in Congress representing that province.
We must pull La Rioja out from corruption, cronyism, and the lack of a decent justice system argued Martinez who admitted he will be running against former president Carlos Menem, who is not an easy rival and should not be underestimated, since he still has the support and care of many people in the province.