Vice President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, a prominent figure in the political left of Latin America, was convicted of corruption in a case that divided public opinion, and her supporters He vowed to paralyze the country in protest.
A three-judge panel on Tuesday handed down a guilty verdict in Buenos Aires, likely to strengthen Fernandez de Kirchner’s support base ahead of the October 2023 presidential election, hit by runaway inflation and a blow. It could give the ruling Peronist Party a symbolic boost in the economy.
Prosecutors have sentenced Fernandez de Kirchner to six years in prison and a lifetime ban from public office on fraud charges. She was among a dozen people charged with defrauding the state.
Kirchner, known in Argentina as Christina, has called on her supporters to defend her, claiming she was a victim of political persecution by a “media judicial firing squad.”
Prior to the verdict, some Kirchner allies had already been mobilized in her defense. Crowds blocked some roads in downtown Buenos Aires on Tuesday afternoon, with more protests expected in the capital on Wednesday.
As both vice president and president of the Senate, the 69-year-old has legal protection and is unlikely to be imprisoned. Remains until appeals are exhausted. Further proceedings could last another six years, according to legal experts.
Kirchner faces multiple charges of corruption over events in his presidency. Of the lawsuits filed against her in recent years, four have been dismissed and five remain.