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Julio Martínez (Argentine politician)

Julio Martínez
National Senator
In office
10 December 2017 – 10 December 2023
ConstituencyLa Rioja
Minister of Defense
In office
10 December 2015 – 17 July 2017
PresidentMauricio Macri
Preceded byAgustín Rossi
Succeeded byOscar Aguad
National Deputy
In office
10 December 2009 – 10 December 2015
ConstituencyLa Rioja
In office
10 December 2003 – 10 December 2007
ConstituencyLa Rioja
Provincial Deputy of La Rioja
In office
10 December 1999 – 10 December 2003
Personal details
Born (1962-03-23) 23 March 1962 (age 62)
Chilecito, Argentina
Political partyRadical Civic Union
Other political
Juntos por el Cambio (since 2015)
Alma materNational University of Córdoba

Julio César Martínez (born 23 March 1962) is an Argentine politician of the Radical Civic Union (UCR). Among other posts, he served as a National Senator for La Rioja from 2017 to 2023, as Minister of Defense under President Mauricio Macri (2015–2017), as a National Deputy (2009–2015), and as a member of the Legislature of La Rioja (1999–2003).

Early life

Martínez was born on 23 March 1962 in Chilecito, La Rioja Province. He studied agricultural engineering at the National University of Córdoba, graduating with a licenciatura in 1986.[1]

Political career

Martínez became politically active in the Radical Civic Union (UCR). In 1999, he was elected to the Legislature of La Rioja. Later, in the 2003 general election, he ran for one of La Rioja's seats in the National Chamber of Deputies as part of the UCR list; he was elected with 30.39% as the only UCR deputy from La Rioja.[2]

As part of the Chamber of Deputies, he was a member of the parliamentary commission on national defense.[3] He was a vocal critic of many of President Néstor Kirchner's defense policies, such as the modernisation of the FMA IA-63 Pampa and the purchase of new aircraft for the Argentine Air Force, as well as the appointment of César Milani as General of the Argentine Army's Estado Mayor General.[4][5]

He ran for re-election in the 2007 legislative election, but the UCR list received less than 22% of the vote, not enough for Martínez (or any other candidates in the list) to make it past the D'Hondt cut.[6] He would run again in 2009, this time as part of the Social and Civic Agreement list, and he was elected.[7] He was re-elected for a third term in the 2013 legislative election, as the first candidate in the Frente Cívico Riojano (FCR) list. Both lists came very close in the voting, with a difference of merely 1,000 votes between them.[8]

Gubernatorial candidacies

Martínez first ran for governor of La Rioja in the 2011 provincial elections. As the Civic Front for Change candidate, he sought to challenge the re-election bid of Justicialist Party governor Luis Beder Herrera. Beder Herrera won the re-election with 67.2% of the votes against Martínez's 19.6%.[9]

He tried to once again run for governor in the 2015 provincial elections, this time backed by the Cambiemos coalition (including Republican Proposal, the Civic Coalition ARI and the Socialist Party). However, he once again fell short and lost with 39.32% of the votes against the PJ candidate Sergio Casas's 56.74%.[10]

Defense minister

On 10 December 2015, following the election of Mauricio Macri as President of Argentina, Martínez was appointed as Minister of Defense in the incoming cabinet, taking over from Agustín Rossi. One of his first acts as minister was Martínez shutting down plans for a state-commissioned revamp of Air Force planes.[11]

In June 2016, on Martínez's orders, criminals sentenced for crimes against humanity (namely those who participated in the 1976–1983 military dictatorship) were once again allowed to receive medical treatment at military hospitals, reverting a resolution passed by former minister Rossi.[12] Martínez also supported granting dictatorship collaborators home arrest due to their advanced age.[13][14]

His administration saw a general setback for military development in Argentina, as part of the Macri administration's austerity policies. The renovation project for the Puerto Belgrano Naval Base was paralyzed, as was the renovation of ARA Santa Cruz, one of the Argentine Navy's three (at the time) submarines, and a project to produce the second series of six radars built by Fabricaciones Militares and INVAP was scrapped altogether.[15][16]

National senator

In the 2017 legislative election, Martínez ran for one of La Rioja's three seats in the National Senate, as the first candidate in the Cambiemos list. His list ran again the list headed by former president and longtime peronist senator Carlos Menem. In what was described as an upset, Martínez's list came first, with 48.02% of the vote, against Menem's 45.50%. Martínez was thus elected for the majority.[1]

As a national senator, he formed part of the parliamentary commissions on Administrative and Municipal Affairs, Budgets and Treasury, National Defense, Agriculture and Livestock, and the Bicameral Commission on Social Security Funds Accountability. He also presided the commission on Rights and Guarantees.[1] He was an opponent of the 2020 Voluntary Interruption of Pregnancy Bill, which legalised abortion in Argentina.[17]

Personal life

Martínez is married to Laura Rebeca Waidatt, with whom he has three children.[1]

Electoral history


Electoral history of Julio Martínez
Election Office List Votes Result Ref.
Total % P.
2011 Governor of La Rioja Civic Front for Change 32,069 19.64% 2nd Not elected [18]
2015 La Rioja Civic Front 80,235 40.70% 2nd Not elected [10]


Electoral history of Julio Martínez
Election Office List # District Votes Result Ref.
Total % P.
2003 National Deputy Labour and Production 1 La Rioja Province 38,721 30.39% 2nd[a] Elected [19]
2007 Civic and Social Front 1 La Rioja Province 24,263 21.60% 2nd[a] Not elected [20]
2009 Civic and Social Front 1 La Rioja Province 50,528 32.21% 2nd[a] Elected [21]
2013 La Rioja Civic Force 1 La Rioja Province 87,245 46.53% 2nd[a] Elected [22]
2017 National Senator Cambiemos 1 La Rioja Province 91,307 56.96% 1st[a] Elected [23]
  1. ^ a b c d e Presented on an electoral list. The data shown represents the share of the vote the entire party/alliance received in that constituency.


  1. ^ a b c d "Julio César Martínez". Directorio Legislativo (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 11 February 2023.
  2. ^ "Escrutinio Definitivo" (PDF). Ministerio del Interior (in Spanish).
  3. ^ "El diputado nacional por La Rioja Julio Martínez será el ministro de Defensa". Télam (in Spanish). 25 November 2015. Retrieved 11 February 2023.
  4. ^ "Defensa: Con Martínez, la UCR retoma la política militar". La Nación (in Spanish). 26 November 2015. Retrieved 11 February 2023.
  5. ^ Aiub Morales, Julio (26 November 2015). "Julio Martínez, un riojano para Defensa". Clarín (in Spanish). Retrieved 11 February 2023.
  6. ^ "Escrutinio Definitivo" (PDF). Ministerio del Interior (in Spanish). Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 March 2012.
  7. ^ "Escrutinio Definitivo" (PDF). Ministerio del Interior (in Spanish). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 September 2011.
  8. ^ "Diputados 2013". (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 11 April 2021.
  9. ^ "La Rioja: cerraron los comicios para elegir al nuevo gobernador". El Cronista (in Spanish). 29 May 2011. Retrieved 11 February 2023.
  10. ^ a b "En La Rioja, el FPV le gana a la UCR". La Nación (in Spanish). 6 July 2015. Retrieved 11 February 2023.
  11. ^ Aguilera, Edgardo (24 July 2016). "Fuerza Aérea se quedará en 2018 sin aviones de combate". Ámbito Financiero (in Spanish). Retrieved 24 January 2023.
  12. ^ "Denuncian que unos 50 represores obtuvieron prisión domiciliaria en 2016". Ámbito Financiero (in Spanish). 24 July 2016. Retrieved 24 January 2023.
  13. ^ "El Ministro de Defensa justificó la prisión domiciliaria para algunos represores". La Gaceta (in Spanish). 2 August 2016. Retrieved 24 January 2023.
  14. ^ "Los que no marcharon". Página 12 (in Spanish). 12 July 2016. Retrieved 24 January 2023.
  15. ^ Porfilio, Gabriel (15 March 2017). "Una filtración desvela un amplio plan de recortes en la Defensa argentina". InfoDefensa (in Spanish). Retrieved 11 February 2023.
  16. ^ Aguilera, Edgardo (24 July 2017). "Se debilitó la vigilancia en la lucha contra narcovuelos". Ámbito Financiero (in Spanish). Retrieved 11 February 2023.
  17. ^ "Aborto legal: cómo votó cada uno de los senadores". El Cronista (in Spanish). 30 December 2020. Retrieved 23 January 2023.
  18. ^ "Escrutinio Definitivo". (in Spanish). Gobierno de la Provincia de La Rioja. Archived from the original on 1 June 2011.
  19. ^ "Elecciones 2003". (in Spanish). Dirección Nacional Electoral. 8 February 2019. Retrieved 4 February 2023.
  20. ^ "Elecciones 2007". (in Spanish). Dirección Nacional Electoral. 14 February 2019. Retrieved 4 February 2023.
  21. ^ "Elecciones 2009". (in Spanish). Dirección Nacional Electoral. 30 August 2017. Retrieved 4 February 2023.
  22. ^ "Elecciones 2013". (in Spanish). Dirección Nacional Electoral. 28 August 2017. Retrieved 4 February 2023.
  23. ^ "Elecciones 2017". (in Spanish). Dirección Nacional Electoral. 27 September 2017. Retrieved 4 February 2023.
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Julio Martínez (Argentine politician)
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