As Javier Milei finalizes the composition of his upcoming administration, the choice of his future Attorney General of the Treasury, Rodolfo Barra, is causing significant controversy. A former justice of the Supreme Court, Barra resigned from his ministerial position in the 1990s due to his youthful association with a pro-Nazi nationalist movement.
This marks the second time that Rodolfo Barra’s past has come back to haunt him. In 1996, while serving as Justice Minister under Carlos Menem, the magazine Noticias published a photo of him as an adolescent giving a Nazi salute. It was revealed that he had been part of the nationalist and fascist Tacuara movement in his youth, accused of attacking a synagogue. Faced with intense criticism, Barra resigned, expressing regret with the words, “If I was a Nazi, I regret it.”
Now, twenty-nine years later, Javier Milei has selected Rodolfo Barra to be the Attorney General of the Treasury, a pivotal position in the state reform planned by the future president.
The Argentine Forum Against Anti-Semitism has immediately voiced its “concern and rejection” regarding this appointment. In contrast, the delegation of Argentine Jewish associations, which had protested Barra’s actions in the 1990s, did not oppose his nomination, stating that Rodolfo Barra had “apologized for his behavior and terrible actions during his youth.”
On Saturday, Barra himself pleaded youthful indiscretion. “Many at that adolescent age do crazy things, and I did this madness,” he defended, reiterating his apologies. The unfolding controversy adds a layer of complexity to the preparations for the upcoming administration, prompting public scrutiny and diverse reactions within Argentine society.