Bullrich files criminal complaint against Milei for accusing her of ‘bombing kindergartens’

The libertarian candidate also accused her of being a Montoneros member in her youth

Juntos por el Cambio (JxC) presidential candidate Patricia Bullrich filed a criminal complaint Wednesday against fellow candidate Javier Milei (La Libertad Avanza, LLA) after he accused her of bombing kindergartens as a member of Montoneros, an armed organization that was active in the 1970s.

During the presidential debate last Sunday, Milei said Bullrich was a “montonera bomb thrower”. Bullrich denied being involved in violence during those years. She said she had been part of a youth political group — Juventud Peronista — without mentioning its name. 

In an interview with TV channel A24 on Monday, Milei said that “she bombed kindergartens” as a member of a “terrorist organization.”

Bullrich responded on Tuesday in a post on the website X saying that Milei is “emotionally unstable”. She has now filed a criminal complaint for defamation and libel, stating that “Milei’s accusations are false.”

“I have never been involved in placing bombs in kindergartens. Furthermore, no incident with these characteristics has ever been registered in Argentina,” Bullrich said in the document, adding that this proves that “Milei knows his accusation is false.”

In Argentina, defamation and libel are crimes punished with small fines that go from AR$1,500 to 30,000 (between US$4 and US$82 at the official exchange rate, or US$1.7 and US$35.5 at the informal exchange rate, known as “blue dollar”). In the past, people could go to prison if convicted, but this was repealed in 2009.

“Candidate Milei, knowing his accusations are false, explicitly linked me to specific serious crimes, falsely describing me as a ‘terrorist,’ which, without a doubt, pretends to exclude me — and the coalition I represent — from the rules of democracy,” the presentation says, adding that the intended goal is to discredit her in the eyes of the public.

Patricia Bullrich in Juventud Peronista

Bullrich’s position is that Milei has gone beyond his right to free speech and is trying to achieve “an electoral advantage based on lies” while also “promoting political hate.” She also accused him of “destroying or altering” her political rights and image as a candidate.

Bullrich asked the Center for the Legal Studies of Terrorism and its Victims (CELTYV, by its Spanish acronym) to provide evidence of any kindergarten bombing committed in Argentina between 1969 and 1980.

CELTYV is a civil organization that aims to seek reparations for those who died in actions carried out by guerrillas before and during the last military dictatorship. Victoria Villarruel, Milei’s vice presidential candidate, created CELTYV in 2006. The organization and Villarruel herself have strong ties to the military sector and have been accused of denying state terrorism as well as promoting impunity for repressors.

Human rights at the presidential debate

During the debate, Bullrich said that guerrillas were terrorist organizations and requested that their victims be granted justice in the same way as the victims of state terrorism during the 1976-1983 dictatorship. However, she distanced herself from Milei, who denied the number of disappeared during the military government.

“There weren’t 30,000 [disappeared]. There were 8,753,” Milei said during the debate. He also endorsed the “two demons” or “dirty war” denialist theory, saying that there was a war in the 1970s in which armed guerrilla groups committed crimes that were equivalent to those of the military government.

To Bullrich, the number of disappeared people during the dictatorship “is something you can discuss,” but “being a denialist and denying the dictatorship is going too far”. 

“Killing 8,000 or 30,000 is outrageous,” she said in an interview on Monday.

While Bullrich has condemned the military government, Milei has said that its systemic violence were exceptional “excesses,” echoing the position of military junta leader Emilio Eduardo Massera, who used the same words to defend himself in the 1985 trial against the repressors.

— With information from Télam.

You may also be interested in: Victoria Villarruel’s long and gruesome history of denying crimes against humanity


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