Argentina Society and Human Rights

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Population and society

Argentina stands out from most other Latin American countries by its relative ethnic and cultural homogeneity. Inhabited mostly by the descendants of the great European migrations of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the country has a population made up mostly of migrants of Italian and Spanish origin. This characteristic, now partly attenuated by the growing immigration from neighboring countries with a mixed or Indian majority, has profoundly conditioned (and partly still characterizes) history, its relationship with other states in the area and its vision of the world. The exceptions are indigenous minorities, concentrated mainly in the northern provinces, and the growing number of immigrants from Paraguay and Bolivia, who are economically more backward.

The population is concentrated in urban areas, especially around the capital, where about one third of the 41.8 million Argentines live. The dream of the founders of modern Argentina to populate the immense territory with immigrants has therefore largely vanished, and the country has definitively lost the pace of the great demographic growth that has occurred in the meantime in Brazil and other countries of the region: which it helped to inhibit the old aspiration to exercise a sort of regional leadership. For Argentina society, please check

The effects of the serious and recurring economic crises have caused an increase in social marginality, as well as an increase in tensions in the major urban centers between local residents and immigrants, thus opening the doors of the urban peripheries to new forms of crime, in some cases linked to drug trafficking. In a country that has long been lulled into the illusion of being committed to a prosperous future, these conflicts and the widespread sense of insecurity have generated controversy and tension, sometimes resulting in manifestations of xenophobia. Insecurity and social conflicts then find constant nourishment in unemployment rates, which tend to be high, and in the wide range of social inequality, further increased by the crash of 2001 and the new default of July 2014.

Freedom and rights

The many authoritarian governments and the serious violations of human rights that have marked the history of the last century highlight even more the recent progress made by Argentina in terms of individual freedoms and civil rights. Among the advances that occurred during the government of Néstor Kirchner, when the Supreme Court revoked, sanctioning their unconstitutionality, the pardons granted to the military and their civilian collaborators who in the last dictatorship had been responsible for serious crimes: against them the trials have resumed. Fundamental freedoms, starting with that of association, are respected and the same is true to a great extent for religious freedoms, in a country where the primacy historically exercised by the Catholic Church, with the active support of the state, has been diminishing over time. Religious tolerance is also exercised towards other faiths such as the Jewish one, which retains one of the largest communities in the entire subcontinent. However, major problems are encountered on other fronts. For example, there are frequent reports of violence and arbitrariness by the police, especially in the province of Buenos Aires, where crime is endemic. Moreover, both in the police and in the public administration in general, it remains widespread especially in the province of Buenos Aires, where crime is endemic. Moreover, both in the police and in the public administration in general, it remains widespread especially in the province of Buenos Aires, where crime is endemic. Moreover, both in the police and in the public administration in general, it remains widespread corruption, so much so that in 2014 Argentina occupied the 107th position out of 175 countries in the ranking of Transparency International. Media complaints have sometimes resulted in conflicts between the government and major publishing groups. The Kirchner executive has repeatedly accused the media, in particular the group headed by the daily Clarín, of monopolizing information and in this sense has promoted legislative measures to reduce its widespread power. Large companies with media interests have in turn denounced the government’s intimidation of the independent press, which often denounced corruption and arbitrary actions by public officials.

The accentuation of some authoritarian traits of the executive led by Kirchner was confirmed by an episode whose contours have not yet been fully clarified. This is the disappearance of the prosecutor Alberto Nisman, found dead in his home in Buenos Aires on January 18, 2015 for reasons not fully demonstrated (officially it was suicide). Nisman, in fact, should have presented in those days the results of his investigation concerning the alleged desire of Cristina Kirchner to cover up the investigation that should have dealt with the attack that took place in a Jewish center in Buenos Aires in 1994. This attack, officially claimed by Hezbollah (of which a cell has been present for some time in the territories bordering Paraguay), could have occurred with the complicity of the Iranian regime.

Argentina society

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