Innovators and innovations in the hemisphere
partnering with Universidad Santo
Tomás on research and, in 2006, received $100,000 from Fundación CO-PEC, which funds research initiatives
that maximize Chile’s natural resources. Last year, Garretón was one
of five young entrepreneurs honored
at the “How to Lead in the 21st Century Conference” organized by the
Diario Financiero in Santiago.
But Garretón’s success has not prevented her from arguing that the Chilean biotech industry still requires a
lot more investment and researchers to compete with Argentina, Brazil and Peru—all of which have more
developed biotech sectors.
Garretón’s kits, expected to be
available for sale in 2011, will help
strengthen her argument. And so will
her next major research product: developing similar early-warning kits
for the swine and dairy industries.
Pérez has exploited his contacts and
alliances in Argentina’s polarized
politics to promote the Fondo del
Ingreso Ciudadano de la Niñez (IN-
18 members of Congress among its
Pérez has led initiatives to establish live TV broadcasts of all sessions
of Congress and to make the National
Institute for Statistics and Census
(INDEC) more independent from
the executive office. “The INDEC has
been completely distorted in the last
couple years,” he says. “We’re working to restore its independence and
strengthen other institutions.” The
replacement of independent technocrats with staff loyal to the government has undermined confidence in
economic statistics produced by the
government, scaring off investors
and creating insecurity over the actual rate of inflation.
CINI), a law similar to other countries’ conditional-cash transfer programs. First presented in Congress in
1997, the legislation would provide
indigent Argentine families monthly
allowances of up to 200 Argentine
pesos ($65) on the condition that
their children remain in school. The
bill was killed in the Senate in 2004.
Last year, Pérez played a key role in
courting colleagues in Congress to
support the bill, which will be presented again in December 2009.
A member of Red Acción Política,
a Buenos Aires-based NGO that promotes dialogue across party lines,
Perez’ cross-party activism has won
him recognition at home and abroad.
In 2008 he was one of five legislators to receive a “merit diploma” (an
award only given every ten years) for
outstanding public service from
Fundación Konex, a Buenos Aires-based
organization that awards public figures for their contributions to Ar-
gentine society. The
year before, he was
selected by his peers
to win the Premio Par-lamentario for his legislative work.
One of Pérez’ primary commitments
is finding ways to mobilize a new generation in Argentina’s political life. He believes
that many young Argentines are disengaged from politics
because they perceive
politics as “…corrupt
“We can show
young people that
politics is a noble activity, “ he says, “And
that it can change
people’s lives. Young
people need to see
that politics can be
done another way.”
Adrián Pérez was only 12 when former Argentine President Raúl Alfonsín came to power in 1983. But Pérez remembers it as
a moment of promise for his generation, a time when the country seemed
prepared to finally turn the page on
its near half century of fractured politics and military rule.
Pérez has not lost his faith in that
promise. In fact, he has become a
leading crusader for nonpartisan reform. Now 38, he represents the province of Buenos Aires as a national
deputy in the lower house of Congress. Elected in 2003 with the Affirmation for an Egalitarian Republic
Party (ARI), he is the president and co-founder of the center-left Coalición
Cívica(Civic Coalition), which counts
Adrián Pérez: working to rebuild the credibility of
Congress and politics.
26 Americas Quarterly FALL 2009