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Eduardo R. Saguier

Conicet corruption in Argentina

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Conicet corruption in Argentina

by Eduardo R. Saguier

saguiere@ssdnet.com.ar 054-11-4802-2979 Juan F. Segui 3955-Buenos Aires

Summary: The electoral method by which the four members of the body of Directors are elected is essentially fraudulent. It does not allow the representation of minorities following the nasty rule that “the winner takes all”. Moreover, the right to vote and be elected is fragmented by geographic regions, by age status, and by discipline. Those members who belong to the two first scales of its bureaucratic hierarchy are not allowed to present themselves.

Conicet corruption in Argentina

A letter from Eduardo R. Saguier, Argentina

Dear JUST Response,

Re: Corruption in higher education and research in Argentina

On February 16th 2005, Judge Emilia Martha Garcia suspended elections in CONICET, Argentina's national research council. The issue concerns an institution whose main concern is to promote scientific research. Within its rank and file there are more than five thousand researchers from a wide range of scientific disciplines, including the social sciences, distributed along five different scales.

Their authorities are named by the national executive power, with the exception of only four members of the Body of Directors who are elected by the researchers. These four members are extremely powerful, they are removed by halves each year and they represent the four chief scientific areas of the institution. Those four members also have the right to choose the coordinators of each one of the almost thirty scientific committees, who have the responsibility to assess or evaluate the yearly reports of each researcher. Those coordinators also become part of the Qualifications Committee or Junta de Calificaciones and have the responsibility of promoting the rank and file of the institution.

This method of promotion is completely unfair because the members of the Qualification Committee act as both judge and interested party. The electoral method by which these four members are elected is essentially fraudulent. It does not allow the representation of minorities following the nasty rule that “the winner takes all”. Moreover, the right to vote and be elected is fragmented by geographic regions, by age status, and by discipline. Those members who belong to the two first scales of its bureaucratic hierarchy are not allowed to present themselves.

The end result of this anti-constitutional legislation is a scientific community almost completely divided, with a high rate of electoral absenteeism and without any communication among themselves..

Eduardo R. Saguier

3955 - Buenos Aires

Argentina

Note: This letter was published by JUST Response on March 12 2005

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