This Tuesday, the ex-president of Argentina, Nestor Kirchner, was elected Secretary-general of the Union of the South American Nations (Unasur), and will conduct the process so that the mechanism become an institution.
Up to the moment, only five of the twelve countries that integrate the Unasur ratified the Constitutive Treaty. Among those that didn´t do it is Brazil.
The Unasur needs to be ratified by at least nine countries so that its mechanisms, like the South American Council of Defense, can work fully.
Besides, the Initiative for the Integration of the South American Regional Infrastructure (IIRSA), is now under the “umbrella” of the Unasur.
It is about a set of projects of the twelve South American countries to promote the development of the transport infrastructure, energy and communications, through the regional physical integration.
Kirchner was elected by unanimity in a process in which no other name was presented.
Up to that time, the president of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, administered the block.
The Argentinean ex-president was waiting since 2008 for this moment.
The Uruguay vetoed his name in the management of Tabaré Vázquez and the way was hope for the possession of José Mujica, who supported him, contradicting the Uruguayan interests.
Mujica bets on an negotiated solution with Argentina because of the factory of Finnish cellulose that must work to the edges of the river Uruguay.
He emphasized, however, that he didn´t impose conditions. His vote, he affirmed, was for the South America.
Also Peru and Colombia weren´t enthusiastic with Kirchner. Alan García and Álvaro Uribe didn´t appear.
It remains to know if the chief of the “Perónism” will have be able to drive the Unasur.
As president, Kirchner played the lead role in unpleasant moments while ignoring presidential meetings or even to leave them, like he did in 2004, in the Summit of the Mercosur in Ouro Preto (state of Minas Gerais, Brazil).
He always complained of the excess and of the nuisance of the regional meetings.
His vision of the International Relations was never beyond the Argentinean frontiers, even this being very contradictory.
He was the principal responsible for the crisis that is still without solution in Uruguay.
Just like the provincial politicians, he is rich, has a job in the Congress and made of his wife his successor.
It isn´t clear if Nestor Kirchner is in fact the most indicated name to make Unasur become more than an acronym.
His authoritarian outbursts and political ambitions complicate his position of conciliatory-negotiator.
South America needs a lot of things and it can´t allow the luxury of supporting more bureaucracy to serve to the whims of A or B.
Marcelo Rech is a journalist, editor of the InfoRel and specialist in International Relations, Strategies and Policies of Defense and Terrorism, Counter-Insurgency. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org