Dig him up

A Buenos Aires federal judge has now ordered that the corpse of Carlos Menem Junior – son of the former Argentine President, Carlos Menem (pictured) – is to be exhumed – again. Menem was President during 1989-1999, when he led the Peronist party to victory, and then continued the typical Peronist practices of bizarre high-level widespread corruption. Not for nothing was he nicknamed El Groncho, ‘The Bum’.

Menem Junior – known as ‘Carlitos’ – died on 15 March 1995 in a helicopter crash; he flew into a high-voltage power line. Menem senior’s former wife, Zulema, has always argued that Carlos Junior was murdered.

Zulema insists that some of the bones originally buried in the Islamic cemetery of San Justo were fiddled with after the body was dug up in 1996, examined by 30 forensic experts, and re-interred.

Zulema’s lawyer says there’s there are significant differences between the x-rays taken when Carlitos died and those taken at the 1996 autopsy. No doubt the fresh exhumation will not finally settle the matter.

Carlos Menem has a deeply murky character, and is alleged to have had his fingers in many dubious pies. In 2013 he was found guilty of aggravated smuggling by Argentine courts and sentenced to seven years in jail – which because he was a senator and aged 82 he served under house arrest. Two years later he was found guilty of embezzlement and got another jail sentence.

The history of Argentina’s politics could be written as a record of high-profile exhumations. The Carlitos saga is just one example of many.

Juan Peron – founder of the Peronist movement – died in 1974 and was dug up in 1987 by anonymous blackmailers, who hacked off the corpse’s hands and demanded $8 million for their return: which never happened and one hand at least is still missing. One hand that is believed to be Peron’s turned up by the side of a motorway a few years later. But – such is Argentina – who can be sure?

The corpse of Juan’s wife, Eva, suffered disinterment on several occasions after her death in 1952. For a while she was subject to the necrophiliac attentions of Carlos Moori Koenig, head of the Army Intelligence Service, who kept her dead body in his office.

Picture source: Wikimedia