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ARGENTINA | 14-01-2024 16:39

Vice-President Victoria Villarruel names Claudia Rucci to head Senate Human Rights Observatory

Vice-president names Claudia Rucci as the head of the Senate’s Human Rights Observatory. In 2023, the new appointee supported Villarruel's event at the City Legislature paying tribute to “victims of terrorism.”

Vice-President Victoria Villarruel has appointed dissident Peronist leader of Encuentro Republicano Federal Claudia Rucci as the head of the Senate’s Human Rights Observatory.

The news was confirmed following a meeting of the two politicians last Thursday afternoon at the office Villarruel has in Congress.

“We’re very proud of her appointment and for the openness and inclusion her vision of human rights carries for everyone,” Villarruel stated on the social network.

Argentina’s vice-president has sparked controversy with her position on human rights and since entering national politics, her stance on state terrorism during the era of Argentina’s 1976-1983 military dictatorship has drawn headlines. 

Rucci, the daughter of a historic labour leader of the CGT umbrella union group, thanked Villarruel for “her words” and promised to work for “the rights we have, basically, for our condition as human beings.”

The Buenos Aires Province senator (Juntos por el Cambio) highlighted that she would “protect and promote human rights in their true and complete dimension,” which she defined as “the rights to life, liberty, property, security, decent work, health, education, women’s rights, children’s rights and the rights of differently-abled people.”

On her list, the senator also highlighted the rights “of people of all sexual orientations, indigenous peoples, access to culture, to live in a healthy environment, the rights of victims of violence of any kind, the right to freedom of investigation, opinion and expression.”

“The rights we have, basically, for our condition as human beings. That’s what we will work on,” she stressed.

The Human Rights Observatory was created within the structure of the Senate in December 2013 and it has the hierarchy of a General Directorate. 

Its functions include assisting the vice-president in matters related to human rights; coordinating a territorial map reflecting the situation of vulnerable populations and risk groups, and to foster and supervise actions related to the purpose of conducting diagnostic studies, research and surveys through academic and technical institutions.

 

New appointee

Claudia Mónica Rucci, born in Buenos Aires in 1963, is the daughter of Nélida Vaglio and representative of the Metal Workers’ Union, general secretary of the CGT and friend of Juan Domingo Perón, José Ignacio Rucci, who was murdered when she was nine years old. 

The crime was never solved and the only known fact is that Montoneros admitted to the crime in 1975, without being able to take the case to trial.

In her childhood and until 2003, Claudia Rucci worked as an actress. In 2004, she entered the Interior Secretariat of the CGT headed by the deceased leader Gerónimo ‘Momo’ Venegas. Between 2009 and 2013 she was a deputy for the Unión-PRO alliance and was a president of the Women’s Family, Childhood and Adolescence Commission of the lower house Chamber of Deputies until 2011.

She was a candidate for deputy governor of Buenos Aires Province under the presidential ticket of Eduardo Duhlde in 2011, which only took 5.86 percent of the votes. Together with Francisco de Narváez, she was a candidate for deputy in 2013, and together with José Manuel de la Sota, a vice-presidential candidate in the PASO primaries in 2015. In 2019, she was elected Senator for Juntos por el Cambio and in 2021 she joined Encuentro Republicano Federal, together with Miguel Ángel Pichetto, Joaquín De la Torre and Juan Carlos Romero.

Rucci was married to Córdoba-born actor Víctor Hugo Vieyra from 1982 to 2003. She is the mother of three children: María and Juan from her first marriage, and Thiago, together with her current husband Gustavo Salischiker.

 

Previous ties

Rucci backed Villarruel last year when the La Libertad Avanza leader organised on September 4 a controversial tribute to “victims of terrorism” at the Buenos Aires City Legislature. 

“Should I ask for permission to have a mass to pay tribute to my father murdered by Montoneros?”, the senator tweeted at the time. 

“The democratic State is violating our human rights to ensure the impunity of a violent group which today enjoys freedom and the guarantees afforded by our democracy,” said Villarruel at the event.

Villarruel, 48, has dedicated her career to a combat against the generalised consensus regarding the political violence of the 1970s and the crimes against humanity committed under the military junta. 

Presenting herself as a militant of "complete memory," Villarruel constructed her political figure around the controversial “theory of two demons,” equating left-wing killings with state terrorism. 

Her track record extends from visiting genocidal generals in prison (including former junta chief Jorge Videla) and retaining ties to many other military ex-officers currently on trial.

Her Víctimas del Terrorismo de Argentina (Celtyv) association has assisted members of the military regime accused of crimes against humanity.


 

--TIMES/PERFIL

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