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Using children's life for the political campaign - Buenos Aires / Argentina

Marcela Baigros

Argentina’s political scene has always been very complicated. The right and the center left, and the middle is a big big void. Nothing. Empty. “If you are not with them, you are against them” there is no place for someone with no opinion, nor someone who doesn't agree with either side. In Argentina, we call it “La grieta”, meaning the crack, the gap.

Due to the rise of cases of COVID-19, on April 15th 2021, the president, Alberto Fernandez, a populist politician, signed a necessity and urgency decree, ordering, among other things, closing schools in the City of Buenos Aires and its surroundings for 15 days, making remote education mandatory, starting the following Monday

The head of state of the City of Buenos Aires, Horacio Rodriguez Larreta, from the other political color, presented a request to the Supreme Court petitioning that they declare the measure unconstitutional, so that schools would remain open. Many protests, from middle and higher class parents arose, requesting schools be kept open, because “children need to go to school to learn”, disregarding the safety of their kids, the teachers, and all the administrative personnel involved in the education of the kids.

As the request was presented on April 16th, a Friday, and even though the city justice system recognized that they had no saying in the matter[1], they decided that because of the urgency of the matter, they would call off the application of the decree in the city.

Added to this, the former president, Mauricio Macri, opposite to the actual president and partner with the city government, encouraged other local Mayors to disobey the decree and open schools.


After this Twitter post, an attorney presented to the Buenos Aires Province Court, a complaint and request to investigate the former president for the commission of the following crimes: violation of the actions needed to prevent the propagation of a pandemic, instigation to commit a crime, and rebellion. The justice system is slow, there is no answer to this yet.

After this, the National Administrative Court ratified that the City Justice System had no saying over the issue, and elevated everything to the National Supreme Court, leaving the previous ruling, without effect.

Even after this, the city schools didn’t close.

Fifteen days later, and the decree came to an end, the President again spoke to the people, asking for help and responsability for the protection of the population against the Pandemic. At this time, he ruled that schools should remain closed for 3 weeks until April 21st.

Minutes later, the head of the City of Buenos Aires, Horacio Rodriguez Larreta ordered that in the city, kindergardens and primary schools would continue open, secondary schools would have a double mode, and all the rest would obey the Urgency and Necessity Decree orders.

One of the biggest dangers of this action is that it sets precedent for the decisions on other topics and fields. Can Govenors, Mayors or the Head of State of the City of Buenos Aires openly defy a National Law and demand the population to do so?

What is all this for? During 2020, starting the pandemic, Horacio Rodriguez Larreta (head of the city), and the president Alberto Fernandez, got along. The presented a unified front to combat Covid-19. 2021 is another story, this year is an election year in Congress, the right political party needs to separate themselves idiologically and use the support of the middle and high class population who want the children in the schools to work freely at home without the need to take care and educate them.

The question shouldn’t be education yes or education not. What we must question is: education with our children safe, or education exposing the children and all the academic and administrative personnel to a life threatening disease?


[1] The National Justice System has jurisdiction over this issue, because it is a problem between the city and the national governments. [2] Translation: “The Mayors of the Province of Buenos Aires have the opportunity to impose the leadership so that the small number of schools which are open, continue that way. To mantain the bond between the students and the school is a primary necessity, as is not to support improvised failed decisions, based on intuition and fear.”





Horacio Rodriguez Larreta: Infobae


Marcela Baigros

I’m Marcela Baigros, from Argentina. I’ve studied Communication Sciences and have a postgraduate course on NGO Management. I have funded in 2103 an NGO “Cero to the Right” and we work mainly on Communications from the Human Rights perspective, to eliminate stigma and prejudice.


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