Argentine Fans Protest To Demand ‘Justice’ For Diego Maradona

Dalma Maradona, daughter of the Argentinian late football player Diego Maradona, is seen during a demonstration to ask justice for his death, in Buenos Aires, on March 10, 2021. PHOTO: RONALDO SCHEMIDT / AFP


Hundreds of Argentine football fans demonstrated on Wednesday in Buenos Aires to demand justice for superstar player Diego Maradona, who died on November 25 in circumstances under investigation.

“Maradona has been left to die and it is not fair, it is not fair that a person who gave us Argentines so much ends up like that,” Abel Chorolque, a 44-year-old cab driver, told AFP at the protest.

Maradona, who was 60, died of a heart attack just weeks after undergoing brain surgery on a blood clot.

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Investigators are looking into the health treatment he received prior to his death to determine whether or not to bring a case of wrongful death, a conviction for which would result in a prison sentence of up to 15 years.

The “10M” demonstration was organized on social media by different Maradona fan groups under the slogan “Justice for Diego, he did not die, he was killed.”

Claudia Villafane (C), ex-wife of the Argentinian late football player Diego Maradona, Giannina Maradona (1-L) and Dalma Maradona (2-L), daughters of the football player, are seen during a demonstration to ask justice for his death, in Buenos Aires, on March 10, 2021. PHOTO: RONALDO SCHEMIDT / AFP


Two of his adult daughters, Dalma and Gianinna, as well as the youngest of his five children — Diego Fernando, 8 — were at the protest, though they had to leave as the atmosphere turned tense.

As darkness fell some in the crowd chanted death threats against Matias Morla, Maradona’s last lawyer, who would have appointed the medical team that treated him at the end of his life.

Maradona underwent surgery on November 3, just four days after he celebrated his 60th birthday at the club he coached, Gimnasia y Esgrima.

However, he appeared in poor health then and had trouble speaking.

Maradona had battled cocaine and alcohol addictions during his life. He was suffering from liver, kidney and cardiovascular disorders when he died.

A panel of experts, made up of 10 official specialists and 10 more selected by the interested parties, is due to deliver its findings on his cause of death in two or three weeks.

Maradona’s neurosurgeon Leopoldo Luque, psychiatrist Agustina Cosachov and psychologist Carlos Diaz are under investigation as well as two nurses, a nursing coordinator, and a medical coordinator.


Polarized Argentine Senate Set To Vote On Legalizing Abortion

A dummy of a fetus is seen during a demonstration against abortion in Buenos Aires, on December 28, 2020 as Argentina’s Senate prepares to vote on a bill that would legalize the practice. EMILIANO LASALVIA / AFP


A polarized Senate will decide Tuesday whether to legalize abortion in Argentina in a vote experts say could go either way.

The bill proposed by President Alberto Fernandez already passed the Chamber of Deputies on December 11, despite fierce opposition from the Catholic Church and evangelical Christians.

“I’m Catholic but I have to legislate for everyone. Every year around 38,000 women are taken to hospital due to (clandestine) abortions and since the restoration of democracy (in 1983) more than 3,000 have died of this,” said Fernandez.

The government says there are between 370,000 and 520,000 illegal abortions a year in Argentina, a country of 44 million.

A similar bill two years ago also passed the lower house but then floundered in the Senate.

This bill aims to legalize voluntary abortions at up to 14 weeks. Terminations are currently only allowed in two cases: rape and danger to the mother’s life.

Tuesday’s debate will begin at 4:00 pm (1900 GMT), but the vote is not expected until sometime during the night.

Despite measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, both pro- and anti-abortion supporters plan to demonstrate in front of parliament.

Religious leaders from the Catholic Church and Christian Alliance of Evangelical Churches have called for their supporters “to unite to implore for respect and care for unborn life.”

“God is the one who decides the time of birth and the time of death, and prohibits humanity from getting involved in this territory,” the Christian leaders said.

The time is now

The vote is expected to be razor-thin, despite the governing alliance led by Fernandez making up 41 of the 72 Senate seats.

Not everyone in that alliance supports the bill, while the right-wing neo-liberal opposition is mostly opposed to it.

“In the Senate there are many votes that haven’t yet been decided. They will only be known at the end,” said Nancy Gonzalez, a senator with the governing coalition.

The result could be affected by the absence of two anti-abortion senators.

One will be missing after being accused of sexual assault, while former president Carlos Menem, who is 90, is currently in hospital receiving treatment for heart and kidney pains.

Should the vote result in a tie, the deciding lot would fall to Senate President Cristina Kirchner, the country’s ex-president and current vice-president who two years ago changed her stance from anti-abortion to pro-choice.

“This is the moment to finally approve the (abortion) law. Enough of the strategy of criminalization, stigmatization and curtailment of freedoms historically inflicted on pregnant women,” Fabiola Heredia, the director of the Anthropological Museum at the University of Cordoba, wrote on social media.

Pro-choice activists have campaigned for years to change the abortion laws that date from 1921, adopting a green scarf as their symbol.

They will be out in force on Tuesday, standing face-to-face with anti-abortion supporters brandishing light blue scarves.

“We’re going to be in the streets because we’re going to have a party. But the Senate is impervious to the street, the decision will be made on the other side” of the parliament walls, said Maria Florencia Alcaraz, who has written a book about the fight to legalize abortion in Argentina.

Help from the Virgin Mary

Progress has always been slow in Argentina: divorce was legalized only in 1987, sex education introduced in 2006, gay marriage approved in 2010 and a gender identity law passed in 2012.

The Catholic Church is fighting this issue all the way. On Saturday, Archbishop Oscar Ojea prayed to the Virgin Mary at the Lujan Basilica in Buenos Aires for help in preventing the law from passing.

“Blessed Virgin, pause your gaze on our legislators who must decide on an extremely sensitive issue, so that they may reflect with their minds and hearts,” said Ojea at the mass.

In Latin America, abortion is only legal in Cuba, Uruguay and Guyana, as well as Mexico City.

In El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua, it is totally banned, and women can be sentenced to jail even for having a miscarriage.

Maradona’s Doctor Investigated For Involuntary Manslaughter

In this file photo taken on November 02, 2019, Gimnasia y Esgrima team coach Diego Armando Maradona gestures to supporters as he leaves the field after an Argentina First Division Superliga football match against Estudiantes, at El Bosque stadium, in La Plata, Buenos Aires province, Argentina. ALEJANDRO PAGNI / AFP


Diego Maradona’s personal doctor was on Sunday being investigated for involuntary manslaughter four days after the Argentina legend suffered a fatal heart attack, prosecutors in San Isidro near Buenos Aires reported.

Police raided Leopoldo Luque’s surgery and home in search of possible evidence pointing to negligence, according to television images.

The probe was triggered by concerns raised by three of Maradona’s daughters Dalma, Gianinna and Jana over the treatment he received for his heart condition at his home in Tigre, north of Buenos Aires, judicial sources said.

“Our investigations are ongoing, we are talking to witnesses including members of the family” of Maradona, a source close to the San Isidro inquiry said.

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Luque, who declined to comment when contacted by AFP, had posted a photograph of himself with Maradona on the day the 60-year-old left hospital on November 12, eight days after surgery to remove a blood clot on his brain.

Maradona returned home to Tigre where he received round-the-clock medical care and could remain close to his daughters.

He died of a heart attack on Wednesday and was buried on Thursday at the Jardin de Paz cemetery on the outskirts of the Argentine capital.

“The clinic had recommended that he go elsewhere to be hospitalised, but the family decided otherwise. His daughters signed for him to be discharged from the hospital,” said a family member, on the condition of anonymity.

Maradona’s lawyer, Matias Morla, had called for an investigation into claims that ambulances took more than half an hour to reach the football star’s house in response to an emergency call on the day of his death.


File photo of Argentine legend, Maradona. Credit: AFP


No complaint has yet been filed. “The case was initiated because he is a person who died at home and no one signed his death certificate. It does not mean there are suspicions or irregularities,” a judicial source said, requesting to remain anonymous.

A preliminary autopsy report established that Maradona died in his sleep at noon on Wednesday of “acute lung edema and chronic heart failure.”

The prosecutor’s office is awaiting the results of toxicological tests on Maradona’s body. The three prosecutors working on the case have requested his medical records, as well as recordings from neighborhood security cameras.

Three funeral home workers provoked outrage for posing for photos next to Maradona’s open coffin, smiling with their thumbs up, as it lay at the presidential palace ahead of his burial. One of the men has since apologised.

Maradona’s last public appearance came four weeks ago for his 60th birthday celebration at the stadium of Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata, the club he was coaching before his death.


Maradona To Be Buried Today Outside Buenos Aires – Spokesman

In this file photo taken on November 02, 2019,  Diego Armando Maradona gestures to supporters as he leaves the field. PHOTO:  ALEJANDRO PAGNI / AFP


Argentine football legend Diego Maradona will be buried Thursday on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, a spokesman said.

Maradona, who died of a heart attack Wednesday at the age of 60, will be laid to rest in the Jardin de Paz cemetery, where his parents were also buried, Sebastian Sanchi told AFP.

Maradona, one of the greatest footballers of all time, died on Wednesday, November 26 at the age of 60, plunging his sport and his native Argentina into mourning.


Argentines Mourn Maradona, ‘The Most Human Of gods’

Argentina And The World Of Football Mourn Maradona

Renowned along with Pele as one of the greatest players ever to play the game, the Argentine World Cup-winning captain died of a heart attack, having undergone brain surgery earlier this month, a member of his entourage told AFP.

Maradona will forever be known for his “Hand of god” goal against England in the 1986 World Cup quarter-final in Mexico when he appeared to use his hand to push the ball into the net before later swerving through the English defenders for a memorable second goal that sealed the victory.

Pele said Maradona had been a “dear friend” and said he hoped they would “play together in the sky” one day.

Gary Lineker, who was in the England team defeated in 1986, tweeted that Maradona was “arguably the greatest of all time” but made a reference to that infamous goal by adding: “After a blessed but troubled life, hopefully, he’ll finally find some comfort in the hands of God. #RipDiego”

Lionel Messi, the Argentine considered one of the world’s greatest modern-day players, said Maradona was “eternal”.

Argentine President Alberto Fernandez immediately announced three days of national mourning in the South American country.


Tevez Fires Boca To Argentine Title After ‘Lucky’ Maradona Kiss


Carlos Tevez struck the goal that clinched Boca Juniors the Argentine Superliga title on a dramatic final day of the season — after planting a good luck pre-match kiss on Diego Maradona, the coach of opposing side Gimnasia.

Boca entered the final round of matches trailing River Plate by a point, but their bitter Buenos Aires rivals left the door ajar after a 1-1 draw away to Atletico Tucuman.

Tevez blasted home the winner from the edge of the area on 72 minutes at La Bombonera as Boca secured a 1-0 victory on Saturday to earn a third league title in four years.

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The well-travelled former Manchester United and Manchester City striker credited his embrace with Argentina great Maradona for providing his stroke of fortune.

“I knew I had to kiss Diego, I was lucky that way. Sometimes you have to look for luck,” Tevez told Argentine sports daily Ole.

The 36-year-old veteran, a three-time English Premier League winner and twice Italian Serie A champion, said his latest title was one of the most memorable.

“It is something I can’t explain. It hasn’t sunk in yet, it’s one of the greatest emotions I’ve had,” said Tevez.

“It’s not a miracle because we fight until the end. For me, it’s like my first title with Boca. I came back hungry for glory, and to fight like this kid just starting out.”

Irishman, 99, Competes At World Tango Championships In Argentina

Tango dancers perform during the Tango World Championship in Buenos Aires on August 14, 2019. RONALDO SCHEMIDT / AFP


A 99-year-old Irishman competing at the World Tango Championships in Argentina has received an ovation for his performance from aficionados at the Buenos Aires venue.

“Tango brings me a lot of happiness,” James McManus told local newspapers through an interpreter. “Dancing is very important socially.”

Tango fans in McManus’ native Ireland raised money for his transatlantic trip. The fit nonagenerian said he only took up tango in 2002, when he was already in his 80s.

Dressed in a white jacket, black trousers and tie, he danced in the first qualifying round with an Argentine partner, Lucia Seva.

The couple won the biggest round of applause from the knowledgeable audience at the Argentine capital’s Usina del Arte venue.

The 2019 edition of the world championships features 744 couples from 36 countries.

Argentina’s President Mauricio Macri Sworn-In

ArgentinaArgentina’s new President Mauricio Macri, has been sworn in, taking his oath of office in congress.

The 56-year-old later addressed congress, promising to work for all Argentines, tackling poverty, corruption, drug trafficking and confrontation in politics.

“As president I want to be a citizen who can communicate with all Argentines.

“Politics for me is not a competition to see who’s got the bigger ego. It’s working together for the good of the people,” Macri told Congress.

His predecessor, Cristina Fernandez, who boycotted the inaugural ceremony, on Wednesday bid farewell to her supporters, urging them to take to the streets, if they felt betrayed by the new centre-right government.

Her absence makes it the first time since the end of the military dictatorship in 1983, that a president has not attended the inauguration of a successor.

She had insisted the handover take place in congress, but Macri made his way to the presidential palace, just as handovers have been done before 2003.

Fernandez Bids Emotional Farewell In Argentina

Fernandez Bids Emotional Farewell In ArgentinaA large crowd gathered in Buenos Aires to hear Argentina’s President, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, bid farewell as she bows out of office.

In a rather emotional speech, she defended her record and urged the people to take to the streets if they feel betrayed by the new centre-right government.

Conservative Mauricio Macri, who won a run-off election in November, is due to be sworn in as president later.

According to BBC, officials’ figures revealed that Mr Macri inherited a host of economic problems including inflation running at almost 15 per cent but other experts put it much higher at closely 25 per cent.

Argentina has suffered badly from a slump in commodity prices and foreign currency reserves have dropped, making attracting external investment difficult.

The new Argentine leader has promised a new era of change and reconciliation.

It will be the first time since the end of Argentina’s military dictatorship that a president has not attended the inauguration of a successor.

Conservative Mauricio Macri Wins Argentina’s Presidential Election

Macri---ArgentinaConservative, Mauricio Macri has been confirmed as the winner of Argentina’s presidential elections, after his ruling party opponent conceded defeat.

With almost all votes counted, Mr Macri led Daniel Scioli by 51.5 per cent to 48.5 per cent.

Mr Macri’s victory is the first in more than a decade for Argentina’s centre-right opposition and ends the 12-year rule of the Peronist Party.

In his address, he said “Today is a historic day. It’s the changing of an era”.

Sunday’s victory completes a turnaround for Mr Macri, who is currently mayor of Buenos Aires, after he lost in the first round of voting to Mr Scioli.

But Mr Scioli, who is the governor of Buenos Aires province, did not command enough of a lead to win the vote outright, forcing a run-off – the first in the country’s history.

FIFA U-17 World Cup: Golden Eaglets Leave For Chile

Golden Eaglets To Leave For ChileUnder-17 world champions, the Golden Eaglets of Nigeria would leave for Santiago in Chile on Tuesday evening.

The world champions’ arrival on the South American continent is ahead of the FIFA U-17 World Cup which would hold from October 17 to November 8.

The team on Monday, rounded off their tour of Argentina with a convincing 2-1 win over the U-20 side of racing club of Buenos Aires, as Victor Osimhen and Funso Bamgboye scored the goals for the Eaglets.

Golden Eaglets coach, Emmanuel Amuneke, described the impressive performance of team as very encouraging, adding that the pre-World Cup camping in Buenos Aires had added value to the team’s preparation ahead of Chile 2015.

The world champions have been drawn against USA, Croatia and hosts, Chile in Group A of the World Cup tournament.

Golden Eaglets To Face Racing Club  On Monday

golden_eagletsThe Golden Eaglets of Nigeria will take on Argentine’s Under 20 club side, Racing Club, on Monday in their second and last warm-up match before heading to the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Chile.

The match, which will be played at about 1pm Nigerian time in Buenos Aires, is another opportunity for the Coach Emmanuel Amuneke-led Eaglets to test their readiness for the World Cup.

The Golden Eaglets beat their Argentinean counterparts 2-1 on Wednesday last week at the Argentina FA training centre.

Meanwhile, Coach Amuneke insisted that the best players have been picked to represent Nigeria at FIFA U-17 World Cup which kicks off this weekend, with the Golden Eaglets playing their first match against the United States on October 17.

Chibok Girls’ Rescue Is Priority For My Husband – Mrs. Buhari

Chibok The wife of Nigeria’s President-elect, Mrs. Aisha Buhari, has called for international assistance for Nigeria to enable the immediate release and rehabilitation of the kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls.

Mrs. Aisha Buhari made the call at the opening session of the Global Conference on Women and Social Inclusion, holding in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where women from around the world have gathered to mark the 20th anniversary of the Beijing action.

Addressing the congregation of women during one of the sessions, Mrs. Buhari revealed that the release of the Chibok schoolgirls and all the women seized by Boko Haram is one of the immediate priorities of her husband when he assumes office on May 29, 2015.

Mrs. Aisha Buhari who led the delegation of Nigerian women, including, Mrs. Mairo Al-makura, Nkechi Okorocha and Abike Dabiri, made a compelling case for international assistance for Nigeria to overcome Boko Haram.

She also spoke on the need to build confidence in both the parents and schoolgirls to ensure they continue their education.

Just as the violence against the Chibok schoolgirls attracted global attention, some of the participants at the conference also called for legislation that protect the working condition of women.

The gathering was also aimed at speeding up action on the 1995 Beijing resolution on gender equality for women and UNDP Representative, Helen Clark, said that although the level of women participation increased significantly to 22.1% in the last 20 years, more can still be done to attain the 35% affirmative action.

Top among those at the conference were the Director-General of the United Nations Women for Africa, Phumzile Miambo, former Malawian President, Mrs. Joyce Banda and right activists

The conference is providing Mrs. Aisha Buhari and the Nigerian delegation with gainful insight on how to address the challenges facing Nigerian women when her husband assume office later this month.