- 1989 riots in Argentina
The 1989 food riots were a series of
riots and related episodes of lootingin stores and supermarkets in Argentina, during the last part of the presidency of Raúl Alfonsín, between May and June 1989. The riots were caused by the rampant hyperinflationand food shortage, and were associated with legal protests and demonstrations.
The first riots started in
Rosario, the third-largest city in the country, when people demanded supermarkets to give away food; they quickly spread to other cities, including Greater Buenos Aires. The national government established a state of emergency. More than 40 people were arrested, and there were 14 dead (20 according to unofficial reports). Eventually President Alfonsín resigned, and president elect Carlos Menemtook office six months in advance, in July. [ Human Rights Watch. [http://www.hrw.org/reports/1989/WR89/Argentin.htm 1989 Argentina report] .]
August 1988the Alfonsín government launched a new economic plan, called "Plan Primavera", intended to contain inflation. It included price controls, negotiated with 53 leading companies, and exchange ratecontrols, the freezing of state workers' wages, and negotiations with the labour unions. The plan soon proved a failure. Interest rates rose uncontrollably, and the Central Bank's foreign currency reserves were depleted, as it sold U.S. dollars to preserve the value of the Argentine austral. The economic establishment withdrew deposits from the banks, withheld the dollars brought in by exports, and purposefully delayed the paying of taxes. [Portal Planeta Sedna. [http://www.portalplanetasedna.com.ar/alfonsin.htm Resumen del Gobierno de Alfonsín] ] [Todo-Argentina. [http://www.todo-argentina.net/historia/democracia/alfonsin/1988.htm Año 1988] .]
May 1989, the exchange rate (while fixed in theory) rose from 80 to 200 australes to the dollar. In Rosario, the inflation rate of May reached 96.5%. There was a shortage of basic products in supermarkets and stores, and their price tags were updated several times in the same day.
The results of the general elections held on
14 May 1989were overwhelmingly favourable to the Justicialist Party. The volatile situation prompted talks about the possibility of anticipating the assumption of the president elect. In Rosario, mayor Horacio Usandizagaresigned, fulfilling a promise that he would leave office if Menem got elected.
24 Maywas a bank holiday. The first isolated riots erupted in Rosario and Córdoba. On 28 Maythe president announced an emergency economic plan. That night the riots and episodes of looting became generalized in Rosario, especially in the southern neighbourhoods, where most of the larger supermarkets were concentrated at the time, and the next day they spread to the nearby industrial corridor and to other cities, accompanied in certain cases by road blockades and " cacerolazos".Gabriela Águila. Nueva Historia de Santa Fe (2006). Vol. 11, "De los cordones industriales a la integración del eje Mercosur (1940-2005)." Ch. 12, pp. 183.]
The riots in Rosario
The rioters broke into supermarkets, food stores and smaller businesses, in groups of varying size (as small as 20 people and as large as 1,000). In most cases they were young, and included a significant proportion of women and children, who doubled as willing
human shields against the police. Though most were motivated by hunger and took only food, many also stole cash registers, furniture, refrigerators, etc. Common robbers as well as ostensibly middle-class people could be found among the crowd, as well as people who loaded stolen merchandise on cars and other motor vehicles. The violence was directed at the businesses, not the people, although there were some isolated incidents of owners being hurt or hurting others when trying to defend their shops, and attacks on some police stations.
Police action was rather passive during the first two days, which contributed to the generalization of the riots. Whether they were overwhelmed by its massive dimensions is a matter of discussion; some hypotheses point to orders from a faction of the provincial government. Some neighbours claimed that the police was merely "guarding" the robbers, as the security forces only shot some rounds into the air and few arrests were made.
This changed on
29 May, when the president declared a state of emergencyfor 30 days. The city was militarized and divided into three operational areas. School classes were suspended, banks were closed, public transportation was shut down, and a curfewwas imposed.
By the beginning of June the riots ceased, as the situation was controlled by the security forces and the municipal and national governments began to deliver food assistance. The national government also ordered the creation of hundreds of
soup kitchens. [Time.com. [http://jcgi.pathfinder.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,957935,00.html The Fall and Fall of Argentina] .]
Riots in 1990
The beginning of 1990 saw a new, albeit much smaller wave of riots, mainly February and March, in Rosario and Greater Buenos Aires. The economic crisis had not abated, and many businesses had resumed operating with physical barriers. The riots were contained quickly, again with delivery of food assistance to the poorer neighbourhoods.
December 2001 riots (Argentina)
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
December 2001 riots in Argentina — Argentine economic crisis (1999–2002) Economy of Argentina Peso (currency) Currency Board Corralito Cacerolazo 2001 riots Apagón Debt restructuring … Wikipedia
ARGENTINA — ARGENTINA, South American Federal Republic, general population (2004) 39,150,000; Jewish population 190,000. This entry is arranged according to the following outline: colonial period modern period legal basis for jewish life history EARLY JEWISH … Encyclopedia of Judaism
Argentina — /ahr jeuhn tee neuh/; Sp. /ahrdd hen tee nah/, n. a republic in S South America. 35,797,536; 1,084,120 sq. mi. (2,807,870 sq. km). Cap.: Buenos Aires. Also called the Argentine. Official name, Argentine Republic. * * * Argentina Introduction… … Universalium
Argentina — For alternative meanings, see Argentina (disambiguation) and Argentine (disambiguation). Argentine Republic … Wikipedia
Argentina–Chile relations — Chile–Argentina relations Chile … Wikipedia
List of riots — This is a chronological list of riots:The list is incomplete and contains only riots documented in Western culture archives. 17th century and earlier* 121 BC Roman Election Riot of 121 BC (Rome, Roman Republic) * 113 BC Roman Election Riot of 113 … Wikipedia
Foreign relations of Argentina — Argentina This article is part of the series: Politics and government of Argentina Constitution Government … Wikipedia
Economy of Argentina — Infobox Economy country = Argentina width = 250 currency = Argentine Peso (ARS) year = Calendar year organs = WTO, Mercosur, Unasur rank = 23rd gdp = $523.7 billion (2007) [http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/2008/01/weodata/weorept.aspx?pr.x … Wikipedia
President of Argentina — President of the Argentine Nation Presidente de la Nación Argentina Presidential Standard … Wikipedia
Politics of Argentina — This article is about the political institutions and political parties of Argentina. Some historical background is provided; for more details see the article on the history of Argentina. Politics of Argentina takes place in a framework of a… … Wikipedia