Mauricio Macri was celebrating winning the mayoral elections in the city of Buenos Aires last night after defeating Kirchnerist candidate Daniel Filmus in the run-off by 64.25% to 35.75%. The week leading up to the elections was dominated by accusations of dirty tricks but it seems another underhand campaign of sorts was being waged against him in the form of political stencil graffiti and propaganda. Exclusive photos by Buenos Aires Street Art.
Hundreds of stencils ridiculing and insulting Macri can be found on the walls and pavements of the Capital Federal with dozens of different designs. Macri isn’t exactly Mr Popular in the capital but such ill feeling towards the Pro leader certainly wasn’t reflected at the ballot box. A Peronist party has never been in power in the city of Buenos Aires and it seems the porteños would much rather have Macri in power than a puppet candidate backed by president Cristina Fernandéz de Kirchner.
Most of these designs have been produced by militant and Kirchnerist groups to undermine Macri’s authority in anticipation of both his candidature for the presidency and re-election as mayor but they will have to put up with him for another four years after his resounding election victory.
The above political stencil portrays Macri as the Argentine comic Micky Vainilla with Hitler-style moustache saying: “Stop discriminating against people from the slums”. It refers to the incident in Parque Indioamericano in Villa Soldati in December that saw violent confrontations between police and occupants of the park. It developed into a political battle between the national and city government over policing and housing of the poor and immigrant families. Ironically Vainilla’s humour frequently mocks Peronism, nationalism and populism and the manipulation of the poor in Argentina to win votes.
This stencil in rather ill taste found in Villa Crespo shows Macri relaxing and sitting on top his former deputy Gabriela Michetti in her wheelchair. There are also numerous stencils around the capital saying ‘vago’ depicting the mayor as ‘lazy’.
|No to Macri’s Police|
Stencil propaganda again portraying the PRO party leader with a Hitler moustache and police hat referring to the Metropolitan Police force he set up in the Capital Federal similar to those in London and New York. Kirchner’s government opposed Macri’s new police force saying it was being introduced it to serve his own interests but such is the mentality of Kirchner she would rather see crime soar than provide officers to help Macri clean up the city.
|Spies in my shoes|
A stencil referring to the spying scandal involving Macri. An ex-police officer and close ally of the Pro leader was arrested last year for tapping phone conversations and Macri himself had to defend himself in court against the charges.
The country’s painful past is frequently used in Argentine politics to reinforce stereotypes.
A stencil along Avenida Florida criticising supposedly right wing views about gay marriage saying they equal ‘AIDS’. Last year the mayor failed to speak out in favour of a bill to legalize gay marriage in Argentina. After the bill was passed in October, Macri said “everyone has the right to marry who they want at all times when it is accordance with the law.”
The phrase “Tacha la doble” accuses Macri of lying for failing to declare if he was to run for the presidency in 2011 or seek re-election as mayor. Eventually Macri decided not to run for the Casada Rosada believing he had no realistic chance of winning.Such is the aggressive nature of some militant groups in Argentine, many directly funded by Kirchner’s party, they won’t let facts get in the way of smearing a rival candidate’s reputation be it comparing Macri to Hitler, Videla or Ronald McDonald or painting him as homophobic or as an aristocrat.
All photos © Buenos Aires Street Art