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The Argentine president's secret weapon? A super-charged youth movement.

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Argentina’s middle classes took to the streets in June to protest against alleged corruption – including a scandal involving the vice president – the soaring inflation rate, and new restrictions on buying dollars. The head of umbrella union CGT, Hugo Moyano – once a loyal supporter of the Kirchners – also formalized his split with Fernández during a rally last week, accusing her of “overwhelming arrogance.”

Today, Fernández’s bedrock of support is represented by la juventud or “the youth” and, specifically, by La Cámpora.

The support the group drums up represents a “theatrical fanaticism” which a “disjointed” opposition cannot replicate, says Lucho Bugallo, founder of the website Argentina contra K, Argentina against Kirchner.

Unlike the Young Republicans in America, a grassroots organization that backs the Republican Party, La Cámpora is personalist. Just as the Peronist Youth fought for Perón’s return from exile, La Cámpora activists call themselves “soldiers of Cristina.”

‘A pillar’ of Kirchnerism

La Cámpora is named after former President Héctor Cámpora, who resigned after just 49 days in 1973 to facilitate Perón’s return to power. Its birth can be traced back to the economic crisis of 2001 where the saying Que se vayan todos – Away with them all – was employed by protesters who wanted to purge Argentine politics of its corrupt old-blood.

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