Southern Exposure

Desde as Entranhas dos Labirintos Latinos.

Friday, November 28, 2003

Latin American "pearls": San Luis, Argentina

It's easy to see why the literary genre "magical realism" is so typically Latin American: it's actually not that far away from what passes for reality here.

If you read last Wednesday's wrap up of news from Argentina, you might remember a paragraph about Adolfo Rodriguez Saá, formerly the President of Argentina for a few days, former Governor of the state of San Luis and now member of the lower House. Well, it turns out that San Luis is really something out of a Gabriel García Marquez story.

Last weekend's municipal elections in the state capital (also named San Luis), won by Saá's candidate María Angélica Torrontegui, are but the second ones recently carried out. Depending on where do you stand politically (and I'm utterly confused about the issue), you might or might not say that there were municipal elections earlier this month, with victory going to one Daniel Pérsico. As you might have guessed, this oversupply of mayors poses a bit of an administrative problem, to the point that city accounts have been blocked by a judicial act.

So what's to be done? The legislative branch of San Luis came up with an... unique idea: run a parallel (or the true one, who knows?) City Hall in the legislature's building. The city now has two deliberative bodies, two mayors, and a big heap of political confusion.

I'm not sure if it's clever or deranged, but it's thoroughly Latin-American.

Oh, by the way: the current governor's name is Saá, Alberto Rodriguez Saá. Don't ask.



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