78 Facts About Carlos Menem


Carlos Menem led Argentina as president during the 1990s and implemented a free market liberalization.


Carlos Menem served as President of the Justicialist Party for thirteen years, and his political approach became known as Federal Peronism.


Carlos Menem became a Peronist during a visit to Buenos Aires.


Carlos Menem led the party in his home province of La Rioja and was elected governor in 1973.


Carlos Menem was deposed and detained during the 1976 Argentine coup d'etat and was elected governor again in 1983.


Carlos Menem defeated the Buenos Aires governor Antonio Cafiero in the primary elections for the 1989 presidential elections.


Carlos Menem supported the Washington Consensus and tackled inflation with the Convertibility plan in 1991.


Carlos Menem ran for the presidency again in 2003, but faced with a likely defeat in a ballotage against Nestor Kirchner, he chose to pull out, effectively handing the presidency to Kirchner.


Carlos Menem was elected senator for La Rioja in 2005.


Carlos Menem is regarded as a polarizing figure in Argentina, mostly due to corruption and economic mismanagement throughout his Presidency.


Carlos Saul Menem was born on 2 July 1930 in Anillaco, a small town in the mountainous north of La Rioja Province, Argentina.


Carlos Menem attended elementary and high school in La Rioja, and joined a basketball team during his university studies.


Carlos Menem visited Buenos Aires in 1951 with the team, and met the president Juan Peron and his wife Eva Peron.


Carlos Menem studied law at the National University of Cordoba, graduating in 1955.


Carlos Menem later joined the successor to the Peronist Party, the Justicialist Party.


Carlos Menem was elected president of its La Rioja Province chapter in 1973.


Carlos Menem was elected governor of La Rioja in 1973 when the proscription of Peronism was lifted.


Carlos Menem was deposed during the 1976 Argentine coup d'etat that overthrew President Isabel Peron.


Carlos Menem was accused of corruption and having links with the guerrillas of the Dirty War.


Carlos Menem was detained alongside former ministers Antonio Cafiero, Jorge Taiana, Miguel Unamuno, Jose Deheza, and Pedro Arrighi, the unionists Jorge Triaca, Diego Ibanez, and Lorenzo Miguel, the diplomat Jorge Vazquez, the journalist Osvaldo Papaleo, and the former president Raul Lastiri.


Carlos Menem shared a cell with Pedro Eladio Vazquez, Juan Peron's personal physician.


Carlos Menem's mother died during the time he was a prisoner, and dictator Jorge Rafael Videla denied his request to attend her funeral.


Carlos Menem was released on 29 July 1978, on the condition that he live in a city outside his home province without leaving it.


Carlos Menem had to report daily to Chief of Police Hugo Zamora.


Carlos Menem returned to Buenos Aires, and then to La Rioja.


Carlos Menem resumed his political activities, despite the prohibition, and was detained again.


Carlos Menem's new forced residence was in Las Lomitas in the province of Formosa.


Carlos Menem was one of the last politicians to be released from prison by the National Reorganization Process.


Carlos Menem ran for governor again and was elected by a clear margin.


Carlos Menem promised a "revolution of production" and huge wage increases, but it was not clear exactly which policies he was proposing.


Carlos Menem won by a wide margin, and became the president-elect of Argentina.


Carlos Menem's accession marked the first time since Hipolito Yrigoyen took office in 1916 that an incumbent president peacefully transferred power to an elected successor from the opposition.


Carlos Menem drastically corrected, with accurate intuition and a firm pulse, the mistaken tendency to include among the functions of the State a number of business, industrial and commercial activities that had nothing to do with its essential mission.


Unfortunately, Carlos Menem's reformist drive collapsed when his second government began.


Carlos Menem, fearing that the crisis might force him to resign as well, embraced the Washington Consensus and rejected the traditional policies of Peronism.


Carlos Menem still had the full support of Menem, despite growing opposition within the Justicialist Party.


Carlos Menem began his presidency assuming a non-confrontational approach, appointing people from the conservative opposition, and business people to his cabinet.


Carlos Menem even considered it feasible to dissolve Congress and rule by decree, but this step was never implemented.


Carlos Menem divorced his wife Zulema Yoma and expanded the Quinta de Olivos presidential residence with a golf course, a small zoo, servants, a barber, and even a buffoon.


Cavallo brought a number of independent economists to the cabinet, and Carlos Menem supported him by replacing Peronist politicians.


Carlos Menem called for a non-binding referendum on the proposal, to increase pressure on the Radical deputies.


Carlos Menem sent a bill to Congress to modify the majority requirements.


Alfonsin met with Carlos Menem and agreed to support the proposal in exchange for amendments that would place limits on presidential power.


Carlos Menem reasoned that Menem would be supported by the eventual referendum, that many legislators would turn to his side, and he would eventually be able to amend the constitution reinforcing presidential power rather than limiting it.


The Broad Front, a new political party composed of former Peronists, led by Carlos Menem Alvarez, grew in the elections for the Constituent Assembly.


Carlos Menem attempted to undermine his chances, and proposed a new amendment to the constitution allowing him to run for an unlimited number of re-elections.


Carlos Menem started a judicial case, claiming that his inability to run for a third term was a proscription.


The Supreme Court confirmed that Carlos Menem was unable to run for a third re-election.


Carlos Menem's government re-established relations with the United Kingdom, suspended since the Falklands War, after Margaret Thatcher left office in 1990.


In 1991 Carlos Menem became the first head of state of Argentina to make a diplomatic visit to Israel.


Carlos Menem proposed mediating between Israel and Syria in their negotiations over the Golan Heights.


In 1998, Carlos Menem visited Russia, and met with Russian president Boris Yeltsin, where Carlos Menem expressed his anticommunist sentiments and congratulated Yeltsin for "defeating communism" in Russia.


Previously and contrary to other Peronist authorities, Carlos Menem voted for the Treaty of Peace and Friendship of 1984 between Chile and Argentina.


Carlos Menem intended to use the reconciliation of these historical Argentine figures as a metaphor for the reconciliation of the Dirty War.


However, Carlos Menem did not apply their proposed changes to the military.


The attack was universally condemned and 155,000 people demonstrated at the Congressional plaza, but Carlos Menem did not attend.


However, Carlos Menem was never tried for this suspected cover-up, and on 18 January 2015, Nisman was found dead of a gunshot to his head at his home in Buenos Aires.


Carlos Menem had accused the Lebanese Shia Islamist group, Hezbollah, of killing his son.


Angel Maza, the elected governor of La Rioja, was allied with Carlos Menem, and had campaigned for him.


In June 2004 Carlos Menem announced that he had founded a new faction within the Partido Justicialista, called "People's Peronism".


Carlos Menem announced his intention to run in the 2007 election.


Carlos Menem said that there had been only preliminary conversations and an alliance did not result.


Carlos Menem ran for Governor of La Rioja in August 2007, but was defeated.


On 7 June 2001, Carlos Menem was arrested over a weapons export scandal.


Carlos Menem appeared before a judge in late August 2002 and denied all charges.


On 22 December 2004, after the arrest warrants were cancelled, Carlos Menem returned with his family to Argentina.


Carlos Menem still faced charges of embezzlement and failing to declare illegal funds in a Swiss bank.


Carlos Menem was declared innocent of those charges in 2013.


Carlos Menem was scheduled to attend a trial on the matter in which he was charged with "indirect responsibility", on 24 February 2021; but died ten days before that.


On 1 December 2015, Carlos Menem was found guilty of embezzlement, and sentenced four and half years to prison.


On 13 June 2020, Carlos Menem was hospitalized due to a severe case of pneumonia and placed in intensive care; he tested negative for COVID-19 and was discharged on 29 June 2020, three days before his 90th birthday.


On 24 December 2020, Carlos Menem was induced into coma after a kidney failure.


Carlos Menem died on 14 February 2021 at the Sanatorio Los Arcos in Buenos Aires from complications of urinary tract infection.


Carlos Menem was buried at the San Justo Islamic cemetery the following day, next to his son.


Carlos Menem's daughter confirmed that he had died as a Catholic, but he would be buried according to Muslim rites in the Islamic Cemetery to be with his family.


Casa Rosada actually has a bust of Carlos Menem donated by artist Fernando Pugliese, but never disclosed it.


Carlos Menem's administration was exalted by libertarians Javier Milei and Diego Giacomini in the late 2010s, after being strongly criticized during and by Kirchnerism.


Carlos Menem's lasting legacy was a record so notorious as to shut off rational discussion about economic policy in Latin America for a generation.