Well, it has certainly been an action-packed week here in Argentina.
For several months President Kirchner's home province of Santa Cruz has been marred by striking teachers and municipal workers. Last week governor Carlos Sancho stepped down after 18 protesters and 5 police officers were injured in a particularly bad altercation. Hoping to lend some support to new interim governor Daniel Peralta, the president's sister Alicia Kirchner (who also happens to be the Minister of Social Development) came to Santa Cruz to help with the transition and negotiations.
Apparently the protesting workers didn't appreciate her visit, because on Saturday she was attacked by angry mob in the city of Río Gallegos as she left a restaurant where she had been having lunch with some friends. Here's some video.
The incident largely consisted of yelling, hair-pulling and the tossing of eggs and flour, which luckily left Ms. Kirchner relatively unharmed.
On Tuesday evening here in Buenos Aires, passengers rioted at the Constitución train station after a train broke down just outside the station, preventing other trains from leaving. Passengers threw rocks, lit ticket booths on fire and looted shops until riot police eventually restored order.
President Kirchner's unusual (but politically-savvy) response was to blame the train companies, promising to "kick them where it hurts."
Yesterday, Buenos Aires subway workers in search of higher salaries went on a one-day strike, snarling traffic throughout the city. Taxis were nearly impossible to catch and city buses were insanely overcrowded.
Apparently more than a million people were affected and the number of cars on the street increased by 30%.
Oh yes, workers from LAN Argentina were also on strike all week, resulting in scores of canceled flights and thousands of stranded airline passengers. Flights finally resumed this morning. The bad news? Buenos Aires airports still don't have radar. Yesterday two planes almost crashed in mid-air. Again.
With Buenos Aires mayoral elections in June and the October presidential election looming, it's a safe bet that politicians are hoping everything calms down in the week ahead.