Marcelo Iurcovich was born in 1923 and died April 3, 2003. He was married to Raquel Kaliman, daughter of Moisés Israel Kaliman. Their son, Hugo Iurcovich, succeeded him at the head of his businesses, and he continues there today.
The civilian-military dictatorship that came to power with the coup d’etat on March 24, 1976, inherited an excellent opportunity from the government of María Estela Martínez de Perón to try to bleach its image and take advantage of the Argentine people’s soccer fever by leveraging the organization of the 1978 soccer World Cup for favorable political and propaganda purposes. The event was the target of boycott campaigns, especially at the international level, which was denounced by the dictatorship as part of an “anti-Argentina campaign,” which was then echoed by the domestic print and broadcast media. The dictatorship set up a clandestine press office in the loft of the ESMA for this purpose—in which detainees archived the information about Argentina published by foreign media—and from there, information favorable to the regime was spread.
To successfully host the world championship, the organizers considered it necessary to build numerous infrastructure works, like highways, communication networks, sports stadiums, and, crucially to our story, five-star hotels to house the numerous delegations that would visit the country.
In his History of Argentine Tourism, Wallingre makes it clear that the dictatorship disbursed a series of soft loans for the hotel infrastructure necessary for the ’78 World Cup, with which “hotels were built in Buenos Aires, Rosario, and Mendoza. Among others in the four and five-star category are The Americas, the Bauen, the Conqueror, and the Elevage hotels in Buenos Aires.”1
- Noemí Wallingre, History of Argentine Tourism, Bs. As.: Ediciones Turisticas, 2007.↩