Former president Carlos Menem, the Peronist chief who led the nation for a decade, died at a hospital in Buenos Aires on Sunday on the age of 90.
The ex-leader’s dying and sitting senator’s was confirmed by the Télam state information company and a number of different media retailers.
Menem had been hospitalised a number of occasions in latest months for numerous illnesses and had been on the Los Arcos clinic within the capital for the final two months. On these events, Zulemita at all times accompanied him.
“I realized of the dying of Carlos Saúl Menem with nice remorse. All the time elected in a democracy, he was governor of La Rioja, president of the nation and nationwide senator. Through the dictatorship he was persecuted and imprisoned. All my love goes to [his first wife] Zulema, [his daughter] Zulemita and all those that mourn him right now,” President Alberto Fernández wrote in a publish on Twitter.
Fernández declared three days of mourning in Argentina in honour of the late ex-president, whose physique can be taken to the Casa Rosada, the presidency introduced.
Menem, who served as a nationwide senator representing La Rioja since 2005, was nonetheless energetic in politics, serving as a nationwide senator representing La Rioja since 2015. Again in December, his poor well being had prevented him from having the ability to forged a poll within the Senate vote concerning Argentina’s new abortion legislation.
Ten years in workplace
Hailing from the province of La Rioja, Menem dominated Argentina for greater than 10 consecutive years (1989-1999), the longest interval of a democratic chief in modern-day Argentina.
“He had monumental charisma,” Fernández recalled this Sunday in an interview with the C5N channel.
Menem dominated with a neoliberal programme. Opposite to his marketing campaign rhetoric, he privatised most of Argentina’s public corporations and established an trade fee in parity with the greenback, a scheme that generated initially sturdy returns however that in the end exploded in 2001, producing the worst financial disaster within the nation’s historical past.
“We didn’t know the neoliberal Menem then, as a result of it was not the topic of his [electoral] marketing campaign,” Fernández recalled on Sunday. “And we should at all times recognise his braveness and assist for democracy. When the dictatorship got here, he was imprisoned for years,” she added.
Chile’s conservative President Sebastián Piñera, additionally paid tribute to the late chief, describing Menem as a determine who “marked the 90s in Argentina and was a very good good friend of Chile.”
“My solidarity together with his household and the Argentine folks and should God welcome his soul,” added the Chilean billionaire in a publish on Twitter.
Son of Syrian immigrants
The son of Syrian immigrants and raised initially as a Muslim earlier than changing to Catholicism, Menem pushed and delivered constitutional reform in 1994, which launched instant presidential re-election, along with abolishing a requirement that Argentina’s head of state profess their dedication to Catholicism.
He additionally controversially pardoned convicted human rights violators chargeable for crimes in opposition to humanity dedicated throughout Argentina’s brutal 1976-1983 navy dictatorship, together with former Military officers and members of guerrilla organizations.
Menem additionally confronted his personal authorized woes, going through quite a few costs in numerous corruption circumstances, although there was by no means a remaining conviction.
In 2001 he was ordered held in pre-trial detention at residence for a case involving arms smuggling to Croatia and Ecuador, however he was freed weeks later beneath a Supreme Courtroom ruling and in the end cleared.
In 2019, he obtained a brand new three-year sentence for embezzlement, however was not jailed because of the parliamentary immunity he obtained as a sitting senator.
The ex-president married and divorced twice, initially with Zulema Yoma and latterly with former Chilean Miss Universe Cecilia Bolocco.
With Zulema he had two youngsters: Zulemita and Carlos, the latter killed in a helicopter accident. With Bolocco he had one other son, Máximo.