Former president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner visited the Tiempo Argentino newsroom yesterday, days after a violent attack by armed men on the newspaper left two workers injured and drew scathing criticism from human rights groups across the country.
The former head of state was guided through the building, home to both the newspaper and Radio América, by Tiempo Argentino cooperative President Javier Borelli and the news director of the newspaper, Gustavo Cirelli, who along with the workers have kept the publication running as a cooperative.
CFK inspected the remnants of the newsroom following her stop at the Comodoro Py courthouse yesterday afternoon, and said that she had not witnessed such an act since the fall of the last military dictatorship.
“I have not seen an attack of this type against a media outlet since the restoration of democracy. I do not remember anything like that in our democracy since 1974 or 1975, prior to the military dictatorship,” she said.
The ex-president slammed the police’s actions following the raid, denouncing their “protection of a gang that is still free because of the police,” a reference to the failure of the federal police officers called to the newsroom on Monday to arrest any of the perpetrators.
According to a statement released by Tiempo Argentino workers, CFK held an extensive audience with them and listened to accounts of the raid before calling for “strong action from the workers and their lawyers before prosecutors and judges” in the hope of seeking justice against those who carried out the attack.
Tiempo Argentino was allegedly sold by previous owner and former Victory Front (FpV) mayoral candidate Sergio Szpolski to Mariano Martínez Rojas, the man who seems to have orchestrated and led the violent raid on Tiempo Argentino.
In conversation with the ex-president, the employees stressed the fact that their previous owner had been an FpV candidate when the party was in power under the former head of state and that they had not received their wages since December 5 last year.
“There were many candidates for the FpV. I could never speak about all of them because the list is so long. I recognize things that affect me personally, as I always did during my time as president, up until December 9,” CFK said.
Szpolski was a business associate of Darío Richarte, the lawyer of a number of high-profile ex-Kirchnerite officials including former vice-president Amado Boudou, former planning minister Julio de Vido and Senator Juan Manuel Abal Medina.
According to the La Nación daily, Szpolski’s Grupo 23 was paid 815 million pesos in government advertising funds by the CFK administration, during the president’s time in office.