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Who is Juanchi Zabaleta: from car broker and secretary of Amado Boudou to new Minister of Social Development


It began in Morón facing Rousselot. Then he armed politically with the former vice president. And he came to govern Hurlingham from where he was crowned as an 'albertist'.

Pablo de Leon

07/29/2021 5:26 PM

  • Clarí

  • Politics

Updated 07/29/2021 17:30

Those who know Juan Horacio Zabaleta well assure that he likes to accelerate thoroughly.

He did so shortly after graduating as a mechanical technician (like his father Horacio) and in the 90's getting into a Carretera Tourism car as

co-driver for Luis "Patita" Minervino

, a leading Chevrolet brand racer.

He also brought

vertigo to his political career when he joined the political adventure of Amado Boudou

, being his administrative secretary in the Senate of the Nation.

And now he feels the same adrenaline

again shortly after

Alberto Ángel Fernández takes

over as Minister of Social Development

, a complex ministry, with a presence in its structure of the different Peronist tribes, from the Evita Movement to La Cámpora.

Juanchi Zabaleta with Luis "Patita" Minervino

"Juanchi" Zabaleta began to be a member of the Peronist military at the age of 15 during the renewal of Peronism.

And he did it in Morón, working with the provincial senator Horacio Román, his mentor and his "political father", as he calls it.

Román was a reference for Antonio Cafiero but at the same time, a controversial pejotista with an oiled link with the Buenos Aires Police

and with members of the Justice of the province of Buenos Aires.

Both of them

they faced, at that time, the Peronist announcer Juan Carlos Rousselot.

Over time, the air of political renewal arrived and a young man emerged, Martín Sabbatella, who ran for the municipality of Morón in 2003. The one who came from the PJ to face him was Zabaleta, who lost by 30 points.

Those were the times of Néstor Kirchner as president

, a lover of arming internal among the leaders.

Juan Zabaleta, recently elected as mayor of Hurlingham, in the Clarín newsroom.

Photo Fernando of the Order

After that defeat in Morón

, he joined the ANSES, then led by Sergio Tomás Massa, led by Néstor Kirchner


With the Tigrense, he forged a strong relationship as he also did with Amado Boudou, who entered the pension organization as an Analyst, then rose as Manager of the budget area and ended up as its incumbent.

Zabaleta reached the General Secretariat of ANSES and later, with the promotion of Boudou to minister, to the Undersecretary of Institutional Relations of the Ministry of Economy.

There began the political army of Boudou

, who was blessed by Néstor Kirchner to do politics.

Both went out to walk the Buenos Aires territory and Boudou crowned his vertiginous rise when he was elected as Vice President of the Nation.

Juanchi Zabaleta in his Senate days.

Photo Nestor Sieira

From the Administrative Secretariat of the Senate, Zabaleta wove ties in Peronism,

cultivating a close relationship with Miguel Ángel Pichetto

, a leader who later also ended up having sparks with the irreverent Boudou, who moved with the impunity of the absolute blessing of Cristina Kirchner.

He also oiled links with the radical Ernesto Sanz, with "Pino" Solanas and with the now macrista Luis Juez.

But that experiment that dreamed of crowning Boudou as the political heir of CFK was punctured by the judicial investigation of the Ciccone case that went as far as the arrest of the failed successor.

Zabaleta then put together his own structure and set out to electorally conquer the Hurlingham district.

He was first a councilor in 2013 and won the quartermaster for the first time in 2015, which he renewed in 2019.

Juanchi Zabaleta with Pichetto and Boudou.

Clarín Archive

In 2017, Zabaleta, along with other mayors such as Martín Insaurralde and Gabriel Katopodis, set up a group called "Grupo Esmeralda" after the name of the Buenos Aires street where they had their offices.

From that team

came, mainly, support for the adventure of Florencio Randazzo, candidate for senator, in 2017, where Alberto Fernández served as campaign manager


That experience ended in a traumatic way, with the Peronist mayors closing at the last minute with Unidad Ciudadana, the name that Cristina Kirchner found to compete that year, where Kirchnerism lost in the province of Buenos Aires to Cambiemos, who ran for the senators' strip. nationals to Esteban Bullrich and Gladys González.

Andrés "Cuervo" Larroque and Juan Zabaleta at the inauguration of a kindergarten in Hurlingham

After that,

Zabaleta and Katopodis continued to bring together several mayors from the suburbs and showed themselves with their own game


Thus, the Frente de Todos was formed during the administration of Mauricio Macri, where they met again politically with Alberto Fernández and Sergio Massa.

Alberto Fernández in Hurlingham, with the local mayor Juan Zabaleta.

Zabaleta today set up his own political network in the province and wove a strong bond with President Fernández.

"He is the only albertista mayor


" they

say with a laugh at the Casa Rosada.

But now, with his promotion to the Ministry of Social Development, he will be the third mayor to join the national Cabinet: Katopodis is Minister of Public Works and Kirchnerist Jorge Ferraresi, Minister of Housing and Habitat.

This Peronist born in Haedo is 54 years old and has 6 children: María Agostina, María Julieta, Juan Facundo, Juan Ignacio, Juan Bautista and Eva Victoria;

the oldest, 29 years old and the youngest, 6 years old.

And a newborn granddaughter.

His wife is Carolina, sister of Julio De Vido's former private secretary, José María Olazagasti. 

In addition to his love of driving, he collects Converse sneakers.

Alberto Fernández with the mayors Juan Zabaleta and Jorge Macri

Recently, Alberto asked him to be the PJ controller in Corrientes.

And now, "Juanchi" is back on the accelerator fully, shortly after assuming as Minister of Social Development, a portfolio where several failed when trying to put some brake on the closed reserves that the various groups of social organizations and politics traditional constituted in the ministry located in Belgrano and 9 de Julio.

His identification as an "albertist" mayor will put him to the test before the pressure of Kirchnerism

on the Cabinet.

Alberto Fernández will demand that he be an "official who works."

The Pope received mayors at the public audience.

Juan Zabaleta hands him a rosary and a letter.

Clarín Archive

Look also

The injured from the list closures and the tantrums of Sergio Berni

Victoria Tolosa Paz, friend of Alberto Fernández and close to Cristina Kirchner: possible Peronist letter for the Buenos Aires fight

Who is Cecilia Todesca Bocco: her story of two parents and her key role with Alberto Fernández and Santiago Cafiero

Who is Juan Manuel Olmos, the influential negotiator who is Alberto Fernández's chief adviser

Julio Vitobello, the silent side that did not accompany Alberto Fernández when he left Kirchnerism

Source: clarin

All news articles on 2021-07-29

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