rn:Argentina revolts – photo URLs


Jan Slakov

Date: Sat, 22 Dec 2001 13:27:39 -0400
From: Aaron Koleszar <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Argentina Revolts! Updates/photos

The first articles are followed by "Argentina declares state of emergency"

Tons of great photos.

1.  First hand account from the Plaza de Mayo
2.  The day after in Argentina:  A personal account
3.  A call to action
4.  IMF blamed for Argentine crisis

1.  First hand account from the Plaza de Mayo

I have made it back from the battle. I am way to tired to write a complete 
report, but I will do so tomorrow when I get up.

I will however say that these was far beyond anything I have seen before 
(way beyond Quebec, Goteborg, Genova, etc.). We tried to fight our way to 
the Plaza de Mayo (where the presidential palace is). Hardest fighting I've 
ever seen. As the OSL said, it was step by step, meter by meter. Rocks 
against an unholy amount of gas, rubber bullets, tanks, water hoses, you 
name it. The cops on occassion ran out.

We carried forward our barricades all we could, we got to the corner of the 
Plaza. I truly thought we would take the presidential palace, and thus 
fought like it was truly the last battle. Unfortunately, we did not make 
it. But we fought for 7 hours straight, back and forth. Unbelievable 
intensity. Amongst the people fighting there was all sorts, from a couple 
thousand leftists (from our march, which was attacked after only 1 block), 
to young people who were simply pissed, old workers (people in their 50s and
60s with bandannas and rocks), people in suits and ties straight from work, 


2.  The day after in Argentina:  A personal account

Buenos Aires woke up today in the middle of smoke and disaster due to the 
riots that took place yesterday in the center of the city near the main 
square (Plaza de Mayo). Even the stain of blood of the 6 people murder 
remain like yesterday afternoon.
The incredible riot was something never seen before, at least since I was 
born (i'm 22).
We fought the police with anything we had, rocks and sticks, while they 
were using tear gas, rubber bullets, and real ones.
People coming from every where, were whilling to give their lives in the 

Now we reached at least 1 of our aims, re resignation of the president, but 
this is not enough; because at this moment the peronist (the biggest party 
of the "opposition") are taking the power, and obsolutly nothing is going 
to change because y=they are also resposible for all of the economic 
situation, the external debt, the 20% of unoccupied people.
They are forcing a devaluation (i'm sorry but i don't know how is the 
accurate translation)that is going to cause more hunger and sorrow for the 
working people, and will only benefit the big national corporations.
But i believe things have changed in the last 48 hours, let's see what 
happens next and how long this peronist goverment last.


El gobierno argentino no existe, se fugo corrido por el pueblo que no va a 
acceptar ninguno de los otros politicos corruptos, Ya se llamen radicales o 
En estos momentos las delegaciones argentinas en el extranjero no tienen la 
mas minima legitimidad. Este es un llamado a todos los ciudadanos del mundo 
que concurran a las embajadas argentinas de sus paises y exigan la salida 
de los embajadores, que no tienen nuestro mas minimo apoyo. Que la protesta 
sea masiva y global!!
El pueblo argentino les autoriza a ustedes ha hacer lo que se les cante las 
pelotas con ese edificio que es parte del territorio argentino. Porque no 
una casa de divulgacion cultural? o para hospedar a la gente sin techo, que 
las hay hasta en Europa?
Arriba los que luchan.

- English Translation

Argentina doesn't have a government anymore. The embassies and consulates 
in the different cities arround the world are not authorized to represent 
the Argentinian people.

We urge you to go to the Argentinian ambassy or Consulate in your country 
and dismiss the personnel, including the Ambassador.

You are authorized by the people of Argentina on the streets to do what you 
want with these buildnings that are a part of the Argentinian territory.

Why not a cultural center or a home for people without any place to sleep?

4.  IMF blamed for Argentine crisis
BBC (London) December 21

The IMF was "instrumental" in engineering Argentina's financial collapse
because of irresponsible lending which "exacerbated" its foreign debt
problem, foreign creditors have claimed.

Argentine people have seen their pensions taken away, unemployment soar,
inflation jump and their industries decimated.

"The IMF... were instrumental in engineering this, lending an additional
huge amount of money this year," Hans Humes, of Van Eck Emerging Market
Funds and spokesman for a New York-based committee of Argentina's foreign
creditors told the BBC's Today Programme.

Foreign creditors expect the collapse of the government to delay a
restructuring of the nation's $132bn (#91.2bn) public debt and cause a

One rating agency said it will cost private investors half of the $97bn
(#66.9bn) face value of their claims.

The International Monetary Fund decided two weeks ago to cut Argentina's
$22bn credit line but denies it is to blame for the country's troubles.

Debt swap unlikely

Argentine President Fernando de la Rua resigned on Thursday as violence
engulfed the country.

The widespread riots and looting were in response to more than four years
of harsh austerity policies demanded by the IMF to repay the debt.

President de la Rua was only halfway through his four-year term and quit
just hours after economy minister Domingo Cavallo.

The resignations mean the country is unlikely to be able make its planned
20 January debt swap.

By swapping out of current bonds and into new low interest bearing loans,
the government had hoped to cut its heavy debt servicing payments.

IMF blamed

"They (IMF) were really the last lenders to Argentina and have exacerbated
the debt overhanging the country," said Mr Humes, adding the IMF should
take its share of losses.

"This is a market where you make your own risk estimates and that should
apply to the private sector as groups like the IMF who are way over their
budget for lending to Argentina," he said.

"It's going to cut across everybody, banks, insurers, pension funds, every
financial institution would have some exposure," Mr Hume said.

Default rating

Fitch, the credit ratings agency, said on Thursday that Argentina is
likely to default on about $97bn of outstanding debt owed to private

The agency also said it did not believe that Argentina's currency peg,
under which one peso is convertible into one US dollar, was viable,
indicating a devaluation is the only option.

"The combination of a disorderly default and devaluation implies that
creditors will ultimately be forced to write off at least 50% of the face
value of their claims on the Argentine government," Fitch said.

From: lombrenoire <•••@••.•••>

[NOTE: The following is a report from the BBC, dated Thursday, 20
December, 2001, 01:37 GMT. It is posted for information purposes.]

Argentina declares state of emergency

Union members resorted to violence in Buenos Aires

The Argentine Government has declared a state of emergency after violence
erupted over the country's worsening economic crisis. Argentine President
Fernando de la Rua will address the nation later on Wednesday to explain
the move, the Associated Press news agency says.

["It is under control and I emphasise the peaceful nature of the Argentine
people." -- President Fernando de la Rua]

The emergency decree grants the Government special powers to quell looting
and rioting and will last for 30 days.

It will allow the authorities to bring troops and other security forces
onto the streets. Public meetings are also banned.

Four people were killed and dozens injured on Wednesday in clashes with
police across the country, in the worst civil unrest in Argentina since

Thousands of people took to the streets - many looting from stores - in
protest at wage cuts, spiralling unemployment and strict government
austerity measures aimed at coping with a massive public debt and
four-year-long recession.

Default risk

The credit ratings agency Standard & Poor's has warned that Argentina
could default on its $132bn sovereign debt as early as next month.

"It is likely, though still not certain, that in the very short term,
Argentina will miss a payment on their debt," said the agency's managing
director of sovereign debt rating, John Chambers.

"That would be outright default."

A default would in effect cut off any lifeline from the International
Monetary Fund and send Argentina spiralling even deeper into a chaotic
economic crisis.

The government has acted swiftly to try to take control of the situation,
announcing it will start distributing free food.

The Labour Minister, Jos=E9 Gabriel Dum=F3n, said the president had already
authorised the distribution of $7m worth of food, and he called on
Argentines to remain calm.

Running battles

Police clashed with rioters in the capital, Buenos Aires, and the
provinces, as protests which began at the weekend escalated. [

["I feel bad about it but we're dying of hunger." --Sonia Aristici,

Dozens of stores were ransacked in Buenos Aires and the northern Entre
Rios province, while in the second-largest city, Cordoba, workers
protesting at government plans to reduce wages set fire to the town hall.

Looting of supermarkets was reported in at least half a dozen cities,
including Rosario, north of Buenos Aires, and Mendoza in the west.

In Santa Fe province, north of the capital, a 15-year-old boy was shot
dead by an unidentified gunman.

Elsewhere, a man was stabbed to death by a storeowner on the outskirts of
the capital, and a man and a woman were shot dead by shopkeepers trying to
protect their stores in the same area.

President under pressure

As the violence raged, the opposition-dominated Congress voted to repeal
special powers granted to Economy Minister Domingo Cavallo earlier this

Women fight to get food handouts

Similar unrest marked the last financial crisis in Argentina in 1989,
forcing the then president, Raul Alfonsin, to leave office early.

There is now growing pressure on President de la Rua to do the same.

On the streets, some supermarkets handed out food packages to prevent
looting as thousands of people gathered outside shops, while police in
riot gear - heavily outnumbered by protesres - stood guard.

The violence also resulted in the cancellation of the second-leg final of
the Copa Mercosur football competition between Argentina's San Lorenzo and
Flamengo of Brazil.

Deepening recession

The social unrest has been provoked by a deepening economic crisis in

There has been a recession in Argentina for almost four years, and
unemployment has risen to almost 20%.

Mr de la Rua and Economy Minister Domingo Cavallo are desperately trying
to avoid a devaluation or a default on Argentina's foreign debt payments.

Earlier this month, the IMF refused Argentina a further $1.3bn in standby
loans, unless it balanced its budget for the year 2002.

Mr Cavallo has put forward budget proposals slashing government spending
by 20% - but only by cutting public sector wages and reducing pension