Socialist politician and former Argentine presidential candidate Hermes Binner died this Friday at the age of 77 due to acute pneumonia in the city of Casilda, in the central province of Santa Fe, sources from the Socialist Party informed Efe.
Binner was governor of Santa Fe between 2007 and 2011, the year in which his figure gained national weight as presidential candidate of the Broad Progressive Front but came second, far from the Peronist Cristina Fernández de Kirchner (2007-2015) who that year achieved his re-election.
After its defeat at the polls, in which it received nearly three million votes, socialism did not regain such significance at the national level.
FIRST SOCIALIST GOVERNOR IN ARGENTINA
The leader was trained as a doctor and through his work in public health entered the political world, where his figure was recognized by all sectors thanks to his serene and scandal-free profile and he became the first socialist governor of an Argentine province .
He stood out for his efforts first as mayor of the Santa Fe city of Rosario, the third most populous in the country with nearly a million inhabitants, and then at the head of the province of Santa Fe, one of the richest districts of Argentina for its agro-industrial production and its ports for the export of grains and derivatives on the Paraná river.
Binner promoted an active role of the State by implementing decentralization and citizen participation measures, the recovery of the riverside area of the so-called “Chicago Argentina” and a new model of free public health.
FROM DOCTOR TO PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE
Binner had been born on June 5, 1943 in the Santa Fe city of Rafaela, heart of the largest dairy basin in Argentina, where his grandparents settled after leaving their native Swiss canton of Valais.
Militant in socialism from the age of 18, he graduated in 1970 as a doctor at the University of Rosario, where he was secretary of university extension.
As a doctor, he worked in the populous poor outskirts of Rosario in the 1970s and specialized in anesthesiology, occupational medicine, and then public health, training that allowed him to enter high management positions in public hospitals through competition, until 1989. became Rosario’s secretary of public health.
His first electoral experience was in 1993, when he agreed by popular vote to a seat in the municipal Legislative of Rosario, traditional bastion of Peronism, and two years later he became mayor two consecutive periods (1995-1999 and 1999-2003).
In 2003 he unsuccessfully competed for the Santa Fe governorate, but two years later he was elected national deputy as a candidate for the Progressive, Civic and Social Front, an alliance then undone from the Socialist Party, the Radical Civic Union and Affirmation for an Equal Republic, between other center and center-left forces.
As a candidate of that same front, Binner won in 2007 the elections that consecrated him as the first socialist governor in Argentine history and that ended 24 consecutive years of Peronist governments in Santa Fe.
After his failed presidential nomination in 2011, in 2013 he returned to a seat in the national Chamber of Deputies, his last public office.