Chaco elects governor under shadow of Cecilia Strzyzowski’s disappearance

Incumbent Jorge Capitanich is seeking a fourth term amid the ongoing investigation

Chaco province will vote for its next governor on Sunday, with incumbent Governor Jorge Capitanich from the Peronist local coalition Frente Chaqueño as a frontrunner. However, his ties with the suspects of Cecilia Strzyzowski’s alleged femicide have had political repercussions that might affect his performance as they did in the primaries.

Capitanich is seeking reelection for his fourth term — he served two consecutive terms from 2007-2015 and was voted back into office in 2019. Allied with the national ruling coalition Unión por la Patria (UxP), Capitanich won outright as an individual candidate in Chaco’s primaries on June 18, with 36.5% of the votes. 

However, national opposition alliance Juntos por el Cambio (JxC) was the most voted coalition overall: 42.7% of chaqueños voted for the opposition coalition when adding up the votes its two candidates received. Capitanich’s main contender, Leandro Zdero, clinched JxC’s gubernatorial candidacy with 23.1% of the vote.

In Chaco, gubernatorial candidates need at least 45% of the vote or 40% with a 10-point advantage to win the elections. If neither scenario happens, there will be a runoff on October 8, two weeks before Argentina’s presidential election.

Voting is mandatory in Argentina, and according to the government’s Political Electoral Observatory, voter turnout is usually over 70% in Chaco. The province’s electoral court expects a higher voter turnout than in the primaries, which in June was reported to have been 54%.

The drop could be a consequence of Cecilia Strzyzowski’s disappearance and the ensuing media storm and political discontent.

Strzyzowski’s husband, César Sena (19), and his parents, Emerenciano Sena (59) and Marcela Acuña (51), are in pre-trial detention charged with murder for her suspected femicide. She hasn’t been found yet, but DNA tests confirmed her blood was found at her in-laws’ home.

Both Emerenciano Sena and Acuña were candidates for Frente Chaqueño along with Capitanich, but were removed from the ballot when suspicions grew regarding their possible involvement.

Strzyzowski (28) was last seen in Resistencia, Chaco province, on June 2, entering the Sena home with her husband, who stands accused of femicide alongside his parents. The Senas are a politically powerful family and police raids uncovered evidence at one of their properties — however, her remains have not been found. 

You may also be interested in: Chaco governor minimizes political ties with femicide suspects

— with information from Télam


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