Christmas dinner may be slightly awkward for a political family in San Cosme this December. An act of political “friendly fire” occurred in the Corrientes Province of Argentina last week between Eduardo Morales, councilman-elect, and his daughter, Verónica Morales, city mayor, after Eduardo formally accused his daughter of corruption.
Eduardo Morales revealed news to his community that his daughter received money for public projects that never ended up coming to fruition. Eduardo maintains that funds clearly designated for the development of public infrastructure projects were embezzled by Verónica Morales and her colleagues. In a radio interview conducted last week, the councilman-elect said that “the sewers and asphalt [projects] were not completed, but the money was taken.” Among other things, Eduardo Morales focused on the fact that more than 325,000 pesos were set aside for the purchase of a fire truck in the city, even though San Cosme doesn’t have a fire department.
During the same radio interview, Eduardo Morales acknowledged the unwieldy nature of a father potentially tarnishing a family member’s reputation. “Maybe other people hesitate to report their children: if your child is corrupt, you must denounce them and move forward,” he said.
For spectators, this drama-fueled story of political corruption may seem distinctive. For San Cosme citizens, however, it exists as yet another event in the long history of questionable politics in the small town. In fact, Eduardo Morales said that San Cosme is arguably the “province’s largest corruption den,” saying that his constituents have come to expect unfaithful leadership. “Justice does not look at San Cosme, and those who control corruption do not look here,” he said.
Verónica Morales has continually defended herself, saying that her father’s vendetta against her has been motivated by professional and personal grievances. Shortly after the allegations were made, she called her father “bipolar,” and made clear that he has long looked to discredit her political career.
Indeed, this isn’t the first time Eduardo Morales has personally denounced members of his family. In 2015, he criticized another daughter and a former president of the city council, Giovanna Morales, of unsavory political behavior. Eduardo Morales also accused his ex-wife and the ex-provincial senator, Nélida Maciel, of political inaction. He disparaged her by saying that during her time in office, “not a single bill was passed.”