Latest polls suggest Proyecto Sur will come in a distant third, and therefore be eliminated from a second round run-off. However, the party surprised everyone in the 2009 legislative elections when it finished second in the city of Buenos Aires. In an attempt to capture support from the left and beat Daniel Filmus to second place, one of Proyecto Sur’s campaign mottos is “spread the word, only Pino can beat [Mauricio] Macri.”
Solanas studied theatre, music and law in Buenos Aires but first became famous as a film director. In the seventies he supported Juan Domingo Perón, which is evident in his award-winning feature “La Hora De Los Hornos,” a documentary that examines racism, social upheaval, massacres and the precarious political situation in Latin America, which could change thanks to a revolutionary rebellion by Peronists.
His artistic eye and political beliefs have repeatedly converged: in 2008 he directed “La Próxima Estación,” a documentary about Argentina’s decaying railway network. A year earlier, he directed “Argentina Latente,” a film that shows how Argentina does not take advantage of its potential, and in 2009 “Oro Impuro” referred to the country’s mining problems.
His political career took off in dramatic circumstances on May 21, 1991, the day after publicly criticizing and accusing the then president Carlos Saul Menem of corruption. Unknown individuals shot Solanas three times in the legs. “The people of Argentina are not going to keep silence or stay. We are not going to kneel down no matter how many threats or attacks we receive from the mafia that is robbing the country,” proclaimed Solanas, while still lying on stretcher.
Solanas’ political career has been intermittent, although he has never stopped being a leftist activist. He was a congressman from 1993 to 1997, after which he did not try to be elected again, saying: “I sadly retire from the congress because I do not see any serious attempt to end corruption.” Ten years later, in 2007, he ran for president with his new party and came in fifth place.
2009 was Pino Solanas’s best political year. Proyecto Sur finished second in the capital in the mid-term legislative elections, behind Macri’s PRO party but above the Kirchnerist candidate. The results of the elections were a surprise— Proyecto Sur had never captured such a high percentage of vote (24%). Some believe that it was thanks to a debate on the TN television show “A Dos Voces”, where Solanas asked sharp questions to all main opponents. Months before the debate, the kirchnerist candidate, Carlos Heller, was second according to the polls, but his party came in fourth.
A Third Option
“The porteño suffers the abuse of two administrations,” complained Solanas during an open interview in June at the Universidad de Palermo. The candidate said that these abuses are the consequence of Macri’s inefficiency and the ignorance of the national Govervment towards issues such as security and inflation.
Among the political promises of Pino Solanas are the plans to build more schools, houses, and hospitals, especially in the south of the capital. He also pledges to apply a law of public development of medications, which Macri vetoed, and the creation of a university of the city.
Solanas originally said he would again run for president in 2011 but decided to step down, perhaps because polls showed Cristina Kirchner with a formidable lead. Now he has focused his attention on being the next mayor of Ciudad de Buenos Aires.
However, recent polls have shown that his opponents, Filmus and Macri, are above Solanas by a long margin, despite his supposed strong support base in the capital. The reason of this lead could be that both candidates have not only the support of parties in office, but they also started their mayoral campaigns long before Solanas.