Other Free Encyclopedias » Brief Biographies » Biographies: Barbara Barbieri McGrath (1953–) Biography - Personal to Fridtjof Nansen (1861–1930) Biography » Carlos Saul Menem: 1930—: Political Leader Biography - Longtime Perónist, Served As Governor, Ran For President, Continued Controversies

Carlos Saul Menem: 1930—: Political Leader - Continued Controversies

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After leaving the presidency, Menem remained the head of the PJ, which ruled as the official opposition party in Congress after political rival Fernando de la Rúa came into office in 1999. Unfortunately, a period of economic chaos that rivaled the worst extremes of the 1980s unfolded during de la Rúa's term, and he was ousted from office in favor of a series of short-lived presidents at the end of 2001 and first months of 2002. Given the political and economic upheavals, Menem once again put himself forward as the only person capable of bringing stability back to Argentina.

In preparing his political comeback, however, Menem refused to answer questions about two major scandals that unfolded during his two terms in office. In one corruption and drug-trafficking probe, Menen was even placed under house arrest by a court order; however, he was subsequently freed and had maintained his innocence. In a more far-reaching probe, however, accusations surfaced that Menem had accepted a bribe of ten million dollars to cover up a 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires that killed eight-five people. The investigation centered around the testimony of a former Iranian spy who presented evidence to Swiss authorities that Menem's administration had ties to both Muslim extremist groups and to international organized crime syndicates as well. With the investigation taking place in Switzerland—far out of Menem's sphere of political influence—it appeared that the former president's bid for a third term in office would be put on hold.



Castañeda, Jorge G., Utopia Unarmed: The Latin American Left After the Cold War, Alfred A. Knopf, 1993.

Crassweller, Robert, Perón and the Enigmas of Argentina, W.W. Norton & Company, 1987.

France, Miranda, Bad Times in Buenos Aires: A Writer's Adventures in Argentina, Ecco Press, 1998.

Guillermoprieto, Alma, Looking for History: Dispatches from Latin America, Pantheon Books, 2001.

Rock, David, Argentina 1516-1987: From Spanish Colonization to Alfonsín, University of California Press, 1987.


America, February 11, 2002.

Business Week, January 21, 2002.

Christian Science Monitor, February 11, 2002.

Economist, January 5, 2002; January 19, 2002.

Los Angeles Times, January 13, 2002; January 24, 2002.

—Timothy Borden

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