Argentine young turn to politics to serve their popular president

By Debora Rey

Associated Press

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 18 2011 11:06 p.m. MDT

In this photo taken Oct. 5, 2011, Brandon Velarde, 5, right, and Jean Luca Choque, 7, do homework with other children at a community center, built by Frente Transversal Nacional and Popular, a political social movement in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Fernandez is expected to win re-election by a landslide in the Oct. 23 election, thanks in large part to her conquest of a generation of Argentines born after the harsh 1970s dictatorship that has shaped nearly every aspect of her presidency. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano)

Associated Press

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — A determined young crowd advances down the avenue despite a steady drizzle, beating drums, setting off fireworks and handing out pamphlets. They aren't lashing out in anger, like the unemployed youths of Europe, Chile's student marchers or America's "Occupy Wall Street" activists.

These young Argentines like their government, and want it to become even more powerful.

President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner is expected to win re-election by a landslide Sunday. Polls suggest she could come away with a first-round majority and consolidate her support in Congress against a splintered opposition. Key to the victory is her conquest of a generation that wasn't even born during country's bloody 1976-1983 dictatorship, whose legacy has shaped nearly every aspect of her life.

She has won over the new generation by encouraging them to try to change their world, just as activists of her generation thought they could do before Argentina's last military coup silenced them and unleashed a bloodbath that officially killed 13,000 people and set the country's democracy back for years.

"The whole world is shocked by how young people are getting involved in politics in Argentina," the president said.

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