José Luis Manzano
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|José Luis Manzano|
José Luis Manzano in 2011
March 9, 1956 |
José Luis Manzano (March 9, 1956, Mendoza) is an Argentine politician and businessman. He is currently a partner in the second largest multimedia group in his country, Grupo Uno, and has investments in several economic sectors like energy, wine and clothing sectors.
A native of Mendoza's department of Tupungato, he studied Medicine at the National University of Cuyo. He belonged to the Peronist Party, was deputy in 1983 and member of the government of Carlos Menem as Interior Minister during the first presidency of the latter. He was a sort of rising star of Menem's first period, marked by many episodes of corruption. He became infamous in Argentina after uttering the phrase "I steal for the crown", which he delivered in April 1989, alluding that the money that he obtained for corrupt deeds was not for himself but for his boss, the President Menem. Around the same time frame he confessed as having surgery in his buttocks, to which was added a silicone portion, because, he stated, the shape of his derriere was not the one he desired.
In 1993, after being the target of criticism over government corruption, he exiled himself in the United States. In 1996 he began collaborating with the media group of entrepreneur and businessman Daniel Vila. Their company, UNO Medios (also known as Grupo Uno, meaning "Group One", or Group Vila-Manzano) acquired in Buenos Aires the TV channel América 2, along with the politician and businessman Francisco de Narvaez. After that, the duo further developed the multimedia Group One, which has been repeatedly denounced for fraud, censorship of TV programmes, money laundering and unfair dismissal. Such complaints fell on their key players and stakeholders, Vila and Manzano. Also with his partner Vila, Manzano created Andes Energy, an oil company in which he also integrated Vila's brother, Alfredo Vila, into the directory of the company, which works in the province of Chubut.
From 1993 to 1995, Manzano resided in the USA where he started to work as an international consultant in the private sector.
By the end of 1995, after having spent two years outside his country, he returned to Argentina with the intention to expand his business activity there.
In 1996, Manzano and Daniel Vila - another businessman born in Mendoza - founded multimedia group Grupo Uno  in their province of birth. Since then, the business has grown until turning into the second largest multimedia group in Argentina. By the end of the 90s, it controlled the principal channels of the Cuyo region: Channel 7 (Mendoza), Channel 8 (San Juan)  and Channel 6 (San Rafael).
Nowadays Grupo Uno comprises 40 media outlets throughout the country, including press, radio, television, and digital players. Among the major ones is channel América 2, of the Buenos Aires city, whose operation license was renewed during Néstor Kirchner’s administration.
Thanks to its wide network of communications services, Grupo Uno reaches around 25 million people in Argentina and is, therefore, the second largest multimedia group in the country.
It is also a service supplier of Triple Play (telephony, Internet and cable television) through company Supercanal. Given its presence in 14 Argentine provinces, some 450 thousand people contract its services.
In 1998, Manzano made incursions into the wine industry. He created Grupo Vitivinícola de Tupungato with which the Tupungato-based Altus  winery operates.
The winery has 1533 hectares of fields which are located around 1200 – 1500 meters above sea level. Thirty hectares are used for the vineyards which produce raw materials for the high quality wines that are sold in domestic and foreign markets. The winery has an output capacity of 1 million liters of wine.
In the same facilities there is a restaurant called La Tupiña en Gualtallary  which is also owned by Grupo Vitivinícola de Tupungato.
Investments in the Energy Sector
The Argentine businessman and his partner Daniel Vila also participate in the electricity sector through Andes Energía. They are shareholders of this private-public company which provides electricity to Mendoza province, EDEMSA  (Empresa Distribuidora de Electricidad de Mendoza S.A). They also control Hidroeléctrica Ameghino S.A. in the Chubut province. This electricity generating plant is connected to the Patagonic Electric System and provides an annual 174 Gwh of electricity.
Manzano also has investments in the oil sector through the firm Ketsal/Kilwer. Within the last few years, the business has been awarded exploitation contracts in Southern Argentina, an area of great oil extraction potential.
As a member of the Justicialist Party, Manzano participated in the Argentine politics in the 80s and the 90s. Since 1983, he was a founder and an active member of group “La Renovación Peronista”, which consolidated and strengthened the party following the electoral defeat it went through when democracy returned to the country.
He was a national Deputy in 1989 and reached the peak of his political career in 1989 when he served as Ministry of the Interior of the Nation (Carlos Menem’s administration). After quitting his office he decided to abandon his political career.
- http://www.pagina12.com.ar/diario/suplementos/radar/9-5195-2009-03-29.html (Spanish)
- http://www.encontrarse.com/notas/pvernota.php3?nnota=26867 (Spanish)
- http://www.clarin.com/politica/Robo-Corona-medios_0_613138723.html (Spanish)
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-Jwo8-dE6s (Spanish)
- http://www.pagina12.com.ar/2001/01-02/01-02-11/pag03.htm (Spanish)
- http://www.lanacion.com.ar/nota.asp?nota_id=59173 (Spanish)
- http://www.lanacion.com.ar/nota.asp?nota_id=1063124 (Spanish)
- http://www.pagina12.com.ar/2000/00-02/00-02-17/pag05.htm (Spanish)
- http://www.losandes.com.ar/notas/2001/6/7/sociedad-14175.asp (Spanish)
- http://www.mdzol.com/mdz/nota/200941-Los-despedidos-por-el-Grupo-Uno-no-hab%C3%ADan-firmado-contra-la-Ley-de-Medios/ (Spanish)
- Perfil.com (Spanish)
- Grupo Uno
- Canal 7 (Mendoza)
- Canal 8 (San Juan)
- Canal 6 (San Rafael)
- Bodega Altus
- La Tupiña en Gualtallary
- Andes Energía
- Hidroeléctrica Ameghino S.A.