After learning of the displacement of Nicolás Posse and his replacement by the current Minister of the Interior, searches on Google skyrocketed looking for information about the new Chief of Staff. But really, who is Guillermo Francos? What is his history and his political career?

Perhaps until last December 10, Francos had been a minor character in local politics who went unnoticed over the years. His appointment as Minister of the Interior stood out among the others for coming from Peronism and for having been part, until the last days, of the Frente de Todos government. Alberto Fernández’s trusted man at the IDB (Inter-American Development Bank) remained in office from December 2019 to September 2023, at which time he resigned from the position to devote himself fully to Milei’s campaign. His abandonment of the ranks of Cristina Kirchner and Alberto Fernández to be a Milei soldier made him gain some notoriety. But the reality is that Francos’ jump was not something new in his political career.

Its beginnings in the 70s, at the hands of dictatorships and the conservative right

Currently, Francos has more than 50 years of experience in politics and public service. Its first steps were during the dictatorships of Levingston and Lanussewhen he served as private secretary of the Ministry of Justice. In that decade of the 70s he was studying at the University of Salvador, where he would later graduate as a lawyer.

Born in Coronel Rosales in 1950, Province of Buenos Aires, Francos was the son of a vice admiral of the Armed Forces and grew up in a military family. His contacts in the military world linked him to the sailor Francisco “Paco” Manrique, head of the Military House during the dictatorship misnamed the Liberating Revolution and popularly known as “the fusiladora.” After being the Minister of Social Welfare of the Nation during the de facto governments of Levingston and Lanusse, in 1973 Manrique was a candidate for president in the elections that would consecrate Cámpora and Guillermo Francos actively worked for his candidacy.

In 1974, with title in hand and during the presidency of Isabel Perón, the current Chief of Staff got a job as a lawyer in the Department of Legal Affairs of the Ministry of Justice of the Nation. Despite the 1976 coup, he remained in the same position until 1978, when he was appointed director of the National Institute of Educational Credit, an entity created in 1968 by the then dictator Juan Carlos Onganía. In that position, Francos remained during the long years of the dictatorship and even the first years of Alfonsín, abandoning the position in 1985 when he was elected councilor in the Federal Capital by the Federal Party that “Paco” Manrique was driving.

Radical, Peronist or liberal: as a faithful representative of the caste he always knew how to adapt

If there is one characteristic that has defined Francos throughout his political life, it is his ability to adapt to the current times. In 1982 he began his activism alongside Manrique in the Federal Party and in 1985 he became a councilor for the Federal Capital. In 1988, after Manrique’s death, Francos remained in charge of the party and from there built numerous relationships and contacts. A year later, his party supported the candidacy of the radical Eduardo Angeloz for the presidency (defeated by Menem) and from Fernando de la Rúa to senator for the Federal Capital. The neoliberal boom of those years inspired him to leave that decision behind and He joined the Menemism ship in 1995, when he supported his candidacy for re-election.

His alliance with Menem and his government would be a before and after in his life. There he met the former Minister of Economy Domingo Cavallo (one of Milei’s idols), who had retired from the government, and became his defense lawyer and main political operator. Together they founded the party Action for the Republic and they became national deputies during the 1997 legislative elections, a position that Francos abandoned in September 2000 after the “Banelco Law” scandal, the name by which the approval of the labor reform was known amid allegations of bribery. and bribes to deputies.

Guillermo Francos founded the Action for the Republic party with Cavallo
Guillermo Francos founded the Action for the Republic party with Cavallo

Despite his resignation, Francos continued with Cavallo as his advisor and political operator when he returned to assume the position of Minister of Economy during the Alliance government chaired by Fernando de la Rúa. The story of that experiment in the government is known to everyone: a crisis that exploded, plunging millions further into poverty and unemployment, which retained the savings of the middle class and left 39 dead in the repression. on December 19 and 20, 2001 in the Plaza de Mayo. But despite everything, Francos remained with Cavallo in those years and even defended him publicly on more than one occasion.

His extensive resume does not end there: In 2003 he supported the candidacy of the genocidal Luis Abelardo Patti to governor of the Province of Buenos Aires, who years later accumulated three life prison sentences for crimes against humanity.

After unsuccessfully seeking an agreement with Macri, López Murphy and former Neuquén governor Jorge Sobisch, In the years of Kirchnerism he attached himself to the converted former Menemist Daniel Scioli, becoming a man of his trust. This is how in 2007 he became president of the Bank of the Province of Buenos Aires, a position he held until 2011. In those years he also carried out intense activity in the private world. mainly from the hand of Eduardo Eurnekian, the former boss of Milei. This is how he was director of Aeropuertos Argentina 2000 and then director of Corporación América, the empire of the magnate of Armenian origin. It was there that he met the current president and his predecessor as Chief of Staff, Nicolás Posse.

Businessman Eduardo Eurnekian, owner of Corporación América and former boss of Guillermo Francos and Javier Milei
Businessman Eduardo Eurnekian, owner of Corporación América and former boss of Guillermo Francos and Javier Milei

His last years of extensive travel are now better known and remembered. In 2015 he participated in Scioli’s presidential campaign and after the defeat, he returned in 2019 to work in the Frente de Todos alongside Alberto, Cristina and Massa. Designated from day one as representative to the IDB, in September 2023 he left the position to join Milei’s campaign team and is one of the strong names of the Libertarian administration.

At the feet of the caste

Francos assumes the leadership of the Cabinet after Milei decided to remove Posse from his position. The Minister of the Interior adds power and raises the price of his figure within an inward-looking ruling party, which almost six months after starting is going through a moment of obvious weakness. With the negotiations for the Bases Law unfinished, Francos’ task will be, mainly, to use his skills as a man of the caste to achieve some agreement in the parliamentary thread. Something that can be presented as beneficial for the ruling party, which has been stumbling in Congress since he sent his first bill at the end of December.

Far from the initial story, Francos’ arrival at the head of the Cabinet is the reconfirmation that the “anti-caste” discourse was just electoral fireworks, effective in gathering votes, but nothing more than that. His debut in the function was an open sincericide: “The President chooses me because he realizes that Argentine politics is complicated for him because he does not understand it. I have a greater possibility of dialogue and here comes the proposal” .

Francos’ confession only makes it clear what his role will be in the new function for which he was elected: seeking to finally achieve support from the collaborationist blocs for the adjustment and counter-reform plans of a government that, until Now, he has been consuming his time and his political credit while the disastrous consequences of his economic plan deepen.


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