After months of silence, former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner is set to make a return to the public political scene today. She’ll be the keynote speaker at a sort of “training camp” for 400 leaders of the mechanics union (Smata) in the Buenos Aires Provincial district of Cañuelas this afternoon.
The decision didn’t just come out of the blue. The former President had been scheduled to give the speech for weeks, marking the end of the radio silence she has mostly kept since being defeated by Cambiemos’ Esteban Bullrich in the Buenos Aires Province’s 2017 midterm elections.
However, the recent surfacing of the scandal known as “the notebooks of corruption,” of which she is in the center, is likely to change the tone and subjects she will address on stage. Although Kirchner has not yet publicly addressed the subject, different news reports indicated that she considers it to be just another episode in the political persecution plan orchestrated by her political enemies, and executed by judges loyal to them – in particular, Federal Judge Claudio Bonadio. Cristina uses the term “lawfare” – a combination of law and warfare – to describe the attacks.
On August 1st, Clarín journalist Pablo De León indicated that sources close to the former President quoted her as saying: “August is starting, prices are increasing again [in reference to the hikes in fuel, electricity and transportation fares] and the Judicial Party and the media, allied with the government, strike again. It seems like they looked at the polls and got nervous.”
Bonadio called the former President to testify on August 13th. She can decline to attend or, as she usually does, show up but refuse to answer questions and instead deliver a written statement detailing her point of view on the accusations. Based on this, and the already-available evidence, Bonadio will decide whether or not to press charges against her.
According to La Nación, Kirchner is not planning on speaking the hearing. “She has always shown up and always will,” a source close to her told journalist Gabriel Sued.