After two prosecutors called for a 12-year prison sentence and a ban on holding public office for alleged corruption during her administration, thousands of supporters of Argentina’s former president and current vice president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner took to the streets on Saturday to defend her. On Monday, prosecutors charged Fernandez de Kirchner, who served as president from 2007 to 2015, with cheating the government and taking part in a plot to transfer public funds.
The largest protest on Saturday took place in front of the vice president’s residence in the affluent Recoleta area of Buenos Aires, where police had installed fences early in the morning to try to prevent a sizable gathering.
Afternoon protesters tore down the barricades and engaged in combat with police, claiming that Fernandez de Kirchner is the target of legal persecution and that the opposition mayor of Buenos Aires put up the walls as a provoking act. Water from hydrant trucks was used to try and disperse the masses. Five police officers were hurt, and four protestors were detained, according to local media.
They want to outlaw peaceful and joyful displays of love and support that are occurring in response to the judiciary’s already undeniable persecution. President Alberto Fernandez shared a message on his own Twitter account as a show of solidarity.
The most extreme faction of Argentina’s center-left Peronist coalition, which has been in power since the end of 2019, is led by Fernandez de Kirchner. A judge will decide the verdict and potential sentence, which could take months. Fernandez de Kirchner has the right to appeal any ruling, which could cause the final verdict to be delayed for years.