This Wednesday, in the midst of the versions about his imminent landing in Social Development, protesters from the most radical sector of the Polo Obrero marched again at the door of the mayor’s office Juan Zabaleta with multiple claims.
They had already appeared in the municipality of Hurlingham last week – they left with bags of food – and a few months ago, a practice, according to district sources, that is repeated more frequently during campaign times. And a dispute with which the mayor, one of those closest to Alberto Fernández, must begin to deal with daily in the coming days when he takes over as Minister of Social Development.
The heads of the territorial organizations are on alert. In particular, Emilio Pérsico and Fernando Navarro, leaders of the Evita Movement, who see Zabaleta’s arrival at the ministry, scheduled, according to official sources, for the next few days as a kind of threat. “They are like crazy”, stand out near one of those two leaders.
Until this Wednesday there was still no official confirmation on how long Arroyo will continue to lead the ministry, although it is already a fact that Zabaleta will go in his place. The official signed in position 12 of the list of candidates for national deputies of the Frente de Todos in the province of Buenos Aires and that, according to sources from the Casa Rosada, he had insisted on leaving the ministry, to a large extent, due to the internal subdivision .
It is that the minister never completely reconciled with the different internal factions. In fact, inside the building on 9 de Julio Avenue they always suspected that social organizations had at least celebrated the controversy surrounding the alleged surcharges in the purchase of food in the middle of last year, which ended with a judicial investigation and more than a dozen officials fired.
The heads of the social movements and the communal chiefs of Greater Buenos Aires, where the organizations have the greatest firepower, never had a good bond due to the competition around the management of the plans and the territory. Zabaleta would arrive with that dispute under his arm.
In any case, mayors have a considerable place within the ministry structure. Erika Roffler is head of the advisory cabinet and of the Secretariat for the Articulation of Social Policy. Gustavo Radic, meanwhile, manages the Secretary of Administrative Management.
Both are referenced, for example, in Gabriel Katopodis and Mariano Cascallares. The latter, from Almirante Brown, also sounded in these days as a possible replacement for Arroyo.
From the presidential environment they explained to this newspaper in the last hours that the minister’s departure is scheduled for “next week.” This Tuesday the version that Zabaleta could assume before the weekend, after Alberto Fernández’s trip through Peru, had circulated strongly. But there were still details to be polished.
The truth is that the head of state will thus add the third mayor in the cabinet
The minister and candidate for deputy had even warned at his cabinet meeting on Monday that he would continue in office until November or December, or until the President decides. But times sped up.
On Monday, for example, after a weekend full of tension, Zabaleta and La Cámpora finished sealing a list of local unity. The group founded by Máximo Kirchner had submitted its own payroll, with Martín Rodríguez at the helm. The mayor did the same. And in the end they closed an agreement that ended up smoothing the arrival of the communal chief to the ministry.
The Cámpora even has its own representative there: This is Laura Alonso, Secretary of Social Inclusion. In Hurlingham, meanwhile, Damián Selci, president of the Deliberative Council and militant camper, will be in charge.
The concern of the social movements about the arrival of a mayor of Greater Buenos Aires is added to the closing of lists of the weekend that exposed the tension within the government coalition. In Córdoba they closed with Juan Schiaretti, in Santa Fe with Agustín Rossi and in La Matanza in front of the mayor Fernando Espinoza.
Daniel Menéndez, undersecretary for Social Development and who ceded the power that held Persico and Navarro, was only in position 16 on the ballot of national candidates in the Province.