Postings circulating on social networks claim that the former president assured that the State had bought 26 hydrant planes for $ 57 million. The current vice president assured at the time that the Government had these aircraft, but did not say that it had acquired them.
Postings circulating on Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter and YouTube claim that in December 2012 the then president and current vice president, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, had announced the purchase of 26 hydrant planes for $ 57 million, and they wonder why they are not being used in the fires that currently affect at least 14 Argentine provinces.
The statement attributed to the Vice President of the Nation is false : the former president did not say in 2012 that the planes had been purchased, and a report from the General Auditor of the Nation (AGN), which evaluated the performance of the National Plan for the Management of the Fuego from 1996 to December 2012, indicated that said program “does not have its own air resources -planes and helicopters-“. And he specified: “The contracting is carried out through the public bidding mechanism for a period of one year, although it can be extended for one more year.”
What the posts say
One of the images published on Facebook was shared 28 thousand times : in it you can see a photo of the current vice president with the phrase: “We bought 26 fire hydrant planes for $ 57 million. “To those who want to start fires, here they have a brigadista.” Cristina F. de Kirchner. 12/28/2012 “. The same image arrived at least 3 times on Chequeado's WhatsApp (+54 9 11 3679-0690).
Another post with 13 thousand interactions states: “How nice it would be to see the 26 hydrant planes that Cristina bought turning off the mountains of Córdoba! (sic) “ . Both messages were published by the Facebook page “Ciberpolitica Argentina”, which has 156,000 followers and is described as “an important and critical look at Argentine politics.” He usually publishes messages contrary to the current national government.
The same account also published a video in which an excerpt from a 2012 ad by the former president is shown in which she states: “We are with 26 hydrant planes with an investment of $ 57 million”, and then a newspaper article by 2015 of the medium Infobae titled: “The Government admits that the 26 hydrant planes were never bought.” The same video had been posted on YouTube in March 2015, and circulated in various Facebook posts (see here and here).
On Twitter, users also demanded the shipment to Córdoba of “the hydrant planes that Cristina bought” (see here and here).
What happened to the planes
The images and videos shared refer to an event led by Fernández de Kirchner in December 2012 , where the official highlighted the delivery of fire trucks for fire fighting and added: “We are also with 26 hydrant planes with an investment of $ 57 million ”. However, in the announcement the former president did not say that the national state would buy or have bought them.
In this regard, Juan José Mussi, who was working as Secretary of the Environment at the time of that announcement, told Chequeado that the hydrant planes “were rented according to demand,” and that those rentals “were renewed every year.”
For his part, Walter Jungwirth, head of the National Brigade of the National Fire Management Plan (PNMF) since 2008, told this media that since 1996, the year the PNMF was created, “aircraft were always rented” to fight against fires. When asked about the planes presented by Fernández de Kirchner in 2012, he confirmed that at the time there were indeed 26 aircraft flying throughout Argentina.
“If the aircraft were purchased, the State should create a specific area that is responsible for the proper functioning of the aircraft, a responsibility that today falls on contractor companies ,” Jungwirth warned.
Meanwhile, a report published in 2013 by the General Auditor of the Nation (AGN) on the performance of the National Fire Management Plan from 1996 to December 2012 indicates that “ the PNMF does not have its own air resources -planes and helicopters- . Contracting is carried out through the public bidding mechanism for a period of one year, although it can be extended for a further year . Likewise, there is an inter-administrative agreement that allows the hiring of Army media ”.
In addition, the AGN carried out a control on “the amount of aerial means deployed in High Season of Fires in each Regional Coordination during the year 2012”, and indicated that there were 28 hydrant planes available throughout the country .