In what can only be described as a moment of pure folly, former Domestic Trade Secretary come pancho (hot dog) entrepreneur, Guillermo Moreno, has more or less challenged Federal Judge Claudio Bonadio to a fist fight via a poorly produced YouTube video.

“You pick the place, the time, and the form…We will meet face to face,” says Moreno, sitting in a black leather chair in a darkly lit room with his sleeves-rolled up and his hands on the desk in front of him. A large double-ledger accounting style book sits open to one side (perhaps to convey a sense of “unpaid debts”?)

The video, which was reproduced on Moreno’s twitter account and went viral after being played on political talk show Animales Sueltos, is the former Kirchnerite official’s response to comments that Bonadio made on journalist Jorge Lanata’s Radio Mitre radio show yesterday.

Bonadio, a high-profile judge who regularly appears in the Argentine press because of his active role in investigating public officials – including former President Cristina Kirchner, and his pancho business associate/former Army Chief, César Milani – had complained about menacing graffiti directed at him that was scrawled on his son’s recording studio.

“More than worried I’m annoyed,” said Bonadio to Lanata. “It’s involving somebody who has nothing to do with the issue…If this person wants to argue with me, I don’t have any problem in arguing with them…but my family has nothing to do with it.”

Judge Claudio Bonadio, image via Rio Negro
Judge Claudio Bonadio, image via Rio Negro

Moreno, one of the more combative officials from the Kirchner years – who used to greet businesspeople with a gun on his desk, according to one of the guests on Animales Sueltos [Moreno has denied that] – saw an opportunity to put on his gloves and step into a metaphorical ring with Bonadio.

“Bo-na-dio, I just heard your declarations…” – says Moreno, at this moment pausing awkwardly for dramatic effect or because he forgot his lines – “…about what happened to your son, that’s bad and I agree with you that family members should be left out of it,” he begins.

Then, in a moment of broken logic, Moreno confuses journalist Jorge Lanata with Bonadio, evokes the sanctity of the mother, and says “But you made these statements on Jorge Lanata’s program…And this ‘La-na-ta’ [cue grimace and exaggerated, pseudo-italiano pronunciation of Lanata’s name] called my mum, who is 82/83 years old* – because I was living with my mum at that time** – and my mum called me and said, ‘I received a call from Lanata’…83 years old.”

From here Moreno gets to the point and states the refrain he will repeat three times throughout the video: ““You pick the place, the time, and the form…and I’ll accept your challenge.”

He then makes reference to the old rumour that Bonadio shot and killed a man in the back as he was trying to escape (Bonadio shot and killed two men in a shootout in 2001 in what was found to be self-defense). “You killed two men, but you shot one of them in the back as he was running away. We will meet each other face to face.”

Ciao, Bonadio,” he concludes, in a tone somewhere between the happy, the threatening, the jocular and the confused.

Tip for next time, Moreno? Try a horizontal frame for the video. That is, turn the phone on its side.

* age being an imprecise concept, impossible to quantify

**brave candour from Moreno