It seems the first casualty of the Kirchners' defeat in the Senate won't be a senator but one of the most revolting elements in the government, Secretary of Domestic Commerce Guillermo Moreno. So say some people. But the news channels disagree: was it just a rumour, or will Moreno leave after all?
Does he stay or does he go? Same place, almost the same time.
Moreno is a thug. Just as Néstor Kirchner is the de facto president despite Cristina's formal title, Moreno de facto handles microeconomic policies (or what passes for that) as if the Minister of Economy, Carlos Fernández, did not exist. (I've only seen or heard this Fernández guy speak twice or three times on TV.) He deals with "price fixing agreements" (Kirchnerspeak for price controls) and, through his mafioso acquaintances, manages INDEC, the census bureau that protects us from the harsh reality of inflation by fudging the rates every month.
Moreno was one of the leaders of the mob that drove a cacerolazo away from the presidential residence last month. On Monday afternoon, a couple of hours before the press conference where Cristina Kirchner announced the nationalization of Aerolíneas Argentinas (and its massive debt), his mob at INDEC attacked the office of the opposition union ATE, whose members (also INDEC employees) have been protesting the Kirchnerist tampering of the inflation rate since it began. They threatened the employees and, after they escaped, trashed the office. The authorities did nothing. The police arrived late.
Moreno is just an extreme example of the characters that populate Kirchner's camarilla, and of his way of doing things. Most of his (and Cristina's) top officials are criminals in some way or another — they simply don't make it so clear.