(CNN Spanish) — Javier Milei said he would confirm the formula of his electoral vote on June 24, but went ahead. Thus, he became the first presidential candidate in Argentina to announce her potential vice-president for the 2023 election: lawyer Victoria Villarruel, who is also a member of the economist’s bloc in Congress.
“Her knowledge of security and defense issues is impeccable and few people are her equal, even in extremely important discussions, so tainted and dirty in Argentina, such as the discussion of human rights,” Milei said.
Victoria Villarruel, “a brilliant person”, according to Milei.
She is 48 years old and, together with the libertarian economist, is the second member of the block of deputies of La Libertad Avanza, composed exclusively of them, since 2021.
She is the daughter and granddaughter of military men. Her father, retired lieutenant colonel Eduardo Marcelo Villarruel, who died in 2021, attended the Operational independence, launched in 1975 by the government of Isabel Perón to fight an outbreak of guerrilla warfare, and which some organizations considered “the beginning of clandestine repression”. He later participated in the Malvinas War in 1982 and was second in command of Company 602, commanded by Aldo Rico.
Since 2006, the lawyer has chaired the Center for Legal Studies on Terrorism and its Victims (Celtyv). This association, according to its website, watches over the “innocent victims of guerrilla organization terrorism” in the 1970s.
On countless occasions, he has publicly criticized the human rights policies of different governments in recent decades. “Neither Argentina is at the forefront of human rights, nor are Mothers and Grandmothers white doves.”
In her legislative work, Villarruel promotes the bill that seeks to establish the “National Day of Victims of Terrorism in Argentina”. Also, she wrote two books of that period: “The other dead, the civilian victims of guerrilla terrorism of the 70s” and “They call them… young idealists”.
Years ago, during an interview, he was asked specifically about the period of military dictatorship in Argentina and how he described the 1976 coup. This was his answer: “I think the situation at that time was really very difficult, there were many attacks every day, and without justifying this situation, the reality is that terrorist attacks have begun to decrease and the population has begun to be more protected”.
“In Argentina, if you defend certain ideas, you are Satan,” he said another interview recent.
In 2019, Milei’s now-vice-presidency pre-candidate shared a conference with leaders of Spain’s far-right Vox party, convened titled “The Challenges of the Cultural Battle.” After the meeting, Villarruel published a note in a local media, “The lessons of Vox that Argentines can learn”, in which he underlined “the defense of values and principles” such as “the family, freedom, the right to life , private property. Furthermore, he stated that there is “a sector of society that has no representatives who contradict the increasingly totalitarian discourse of political correctness”, which he attributed to an “artificial history” of Kirchnerism, also reproaching it for the lack of construction of a “counter-narrative” to Macrism.
She defines herself as “a profound supporter of life” and has said she will repeal the law on voluntary abortion: “It was disastrous for the Argentine Republic”. After Milei’s announcement, a television host who came out as gay asked her about marriage equality. This is an approximation of that dialogue:
-What do you think of equal marriage?
-For me it was guaranteed with the civil union. I have to be honest with you, legally some rights were guaranteed. Expand them? Yes, but calling it marriage is an institution that, if you will, has more to do with religion. Apart from that… To me we all have rights before the law.
(…) It seems to me that in the civil union it was fully guaranteed and those things that had no legal recognition, had to be expanded and that’s it.
-It bothers you that gays can get the same treatment as heterosexuals.
After Milei’s announcement, Villarruel said it wasn’t the first time she had been invited to politics: “We have already chosen each other with Javier once, he chose me, but I also chose him.” The lawyer chairs another foundation, Oíd Mortales. One of the slogans that can be read on his Web page is: “Make Argentina great again”.