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Carlos Menem was the longest uninterrupted president of Argentina. File photo.
Carlos Menem was the longest uninterrupted president of Argentina. File photo.

Controversial former Argentine president and senator Carlos Menem dies

The current president of the country, Alberto Fernandez, has decreed three days of national mourning starting this Sunday after the death of the former…

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The former president of Argentina, Carlos Menem, died this Sunday at the age of 90.

Menem had been hospitalized for the last two months in Los Arcos sanatorium, in Buenos Aires, due to a urinary infection; however, he was diagnosed last year with severe pneumonia, which worsened in the last weeks to diabetes he also suffered. The former president will be laid to rest at the Congress of Deputies.

Carlos Menem was in power between 1989 and 1999, known as the "Menemist decade," a period marked by corruption and economic instability in Argentina.

"Always elected in democracy, he was governor of La Rioja, President of the Nation, and National Senator. During the dictatorship, he was persecuted and imprisoned. All my love to Zulema, Zulemita, and all those who mourn him today," President Fernandez wrote on his Twitter account.

A native of La Rioja (Argentina), in 1995, Menem became the first president to be reelected in 50 years. He graduated as a lawyer, served as governor and senator, was twice imprisoned during the military regimes of the 1970s and 1980s, and was twice convicted in corruption and arms trafficking cases. However, parliamentary immunity allowed him to avoid his convictions and, later, to be acquitted.

On May 14, 1989, Menem defeated his opponent Angeloz with 49.3% of the vote. On July 8, 1989, he assumed the nation's presidency with an economy in decline and an inflation rate of around 5,000% per year.

During his first government, between 1989 and 1995, he eliminated hyperinflation, stabilized politics, promoted consumption and openness, received international support, and generated national consensus to change the Constitution to try to obtain a third term, without success.

However, in his second term, he could no longer hide political and judicial corruption, generated international scandals, and his "Convertibility Plan" ended up unleashing the worst economic crisis in decades, in 2001.

In the early 2000s, he found himself facing justice and was under house arrest for the illegal sale of arms to Ecuador during the conflict with Peru. Despite all this, he later ran in the 2003 presidential elections and was the most voted candidate with 24.4%.

He dropped out of the race, making way to Néstor Kirchner, giving way to Néstor Kirchner, who would later be elected as the new president. Menem continued his political career as a national senator for the Justicialist Party, for the province of La Rioja from 2005 to 2019, until the day of his death for the Coalición Peronista Frente de Todos party.

 

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