1. President Fernando de la Rua has resigned
  2. Ochlarchy and looting
  3. Cut bureaucracy costs
  4. Argentina is not a potential nightmare
  5. State of emergency lifted
  6. Economic challenge
  7. US appeal and default fear
  8. Emergency reimposed
  9. Ca 25% increase in total demand for national product is necessary as soon as possible say the anarchists
  10. Mr. Rodriguez Saa - an anarchist criticism
  11. It could have been heaven, but a greedy plutarchist bureaucracy made it hell.
  12. F.O.R.A. has got new adress
  14. Mr. Rodriguez Saa is still far out and very authoritarian, the anarchists have some more advice
  15. Economic chaos and protests
  16. Show of anger
  17. Interim government have offered to resign. Mr R. Saa shows further incompetence
  18. Cash curbs and populist chaos economics are no solution
  19. Argentine interim President Adolfo Rodriguez Saa has resigned
  20. New riots and new president
  21. From the populist left. Expected devaluation
  22. The measures of Mr Duhalde are not sufficient according to anarchist economics
  23. Uncertainty ahead and conflicting interests
  24. Worried savers and 'home-made crisis'
  25. 'No quick fix', but new business taxes? Inflation fears, unemployment hike?
  26. The F.L.A. reminds about the fight for a less authoritarian society in Argentina is not new: Memoria y presente de la lucha social
  27. New mass protests. New devaluated peso
  28. Reducing foreign trade deficit - more ochlarchy
  29. Trade unions, policy and actions, i.e. general strikes etc.
  30. Duhalde calls the chaos "anarchy", calls for an "arch", i.e. strong rule, and gets a Brown Card

ARGENTINA UPDATE 12.01.2002 IJ@ 6(31)

IJ@ International Journal of Anarchism

ifa-Solidaritet - folkebladet - © ISSN 0800-0220 no 6(31) editor H. Fagerhus - e-mail (IJA)

Bulletin of the Anarchist International


Some of the international newsmedia have called the present riots and ochlarchical situation in Argentina "anarchy", or close to "anarchy". This polyarchical, chaotic situation is however below 67% authoritarian degree on the Economical Political Map, and thus far from anarchy, i.e. less than 50% authoritarian degree. The International Anarchist Tribunal reacts immediately to this authoritarian mix of anarchy and chaos. Anyone who calls this chaotic situation "anarchy" may receive a Brown Card from the tribunal. A chaotic mix of polyarchy, ochlarchy and plutarchy, rivaling "states within the state" have nothing to do with anarchy or anarchism.

Furthermore the Anarchist Federation of Argentina, "Federatión Libertaria Argentina", so far plays no important role at all in the situation. It will however certainly contribute to real anarchy, i.e. real order, and a libertarian development, as far as it has resources. The F.L.A.and F.O.R.A., the workers' federation, has full solidaric support from the AI-IFA-IAF and the Anarchy of Norway in this work. Down with the corrupt bureaucracy, economical and political/administrative, in private and public sector in Argentina! Towards a libertarian economical and political/administrative development!

The anarchists say a ca 25% general demand hike is necessary as soon as possible. Mr Rodriguez Saa's proposals so far are neither necessary nor sufficient to solve the problems. He seems to be a "neo-mercantilist", a policy that will not do Argentina any good in the present situation. F.O.R.A. has got new adress. Mr. Rodriguez Saa is still far out and very authoritarian; the anarchists have some more advice. The economic chaos continues and protesters, waving the national flag, protests. The new interim government offers to resign. The anarchists are warning R. Saa about printing too much of the new money "argentino". Report from F.O.R.A. in Spanish. Anarchists say R. Saa seems to have no real plan for solutions, just more chaotic populist/fascist neo-mercantilism. 31.12.2001: E. Saa resignes. 01.01.2002: New riots initiated by leftists, and Eduardo Duhalde, another "Menemist", is elected to president. When will these corrupt "mercantilists" ever learn.

02-4.01.2002: The Peso will be devaluated. BBC has got a brown card from IAT. The anarchists say the expected ca 30% devaluation of the Peso is not enough. About 70% is more realistic. Furthermore the prices have hiked 40% at some goods already. A ca 50% price hike means that total demand must increase about 75% to do away with most of the unemployment in the present situation. 07-08.01.2002 Mr. Duhalde's measures are not at all sufficient to deal with the problems. Anarchists criticize it, stick to their economical advice, and recommend a broad based democratic assembley with mandate to take majority decisions. Worried savers and 'home-made crisis'. Inflation fears, unemployment hike? Anarchists have further comments and advice. A mob protests against Duhalde's policy, and say they are "tired of being treated like dirt". F.L.A reminds about the fight for a less authoritarian society is not new in Argentina, in Spanish. 10-12.01.2002 New mass protests and devaluation of the Peso, floating down to 1,7 Peso per US $. More riots and ochlarchy.

I. President Fernando de la Rua has resigned

20.12.2001: Argentine President Fernando de la Rua has resigned amid some of the worst unrest in his country for a decade, Argentine Government officials say. Mr de la Rua submitted his resignation on Thursday after a day of running battles in the capital Buenos Aires between police and protesters. Rioters set fire to the finance ministry and two major banks as police tried to control the crowds with volleys of tear gas.

-- Facing the worst economic crisis in Argentina's history and after the rejection of his call for a government of national unity, President Fernando De la Rua submitted his resignation Thursday on the second day of nationwide rioting, government sources said.

He was expected to announce his plans in an address to the nation Thursday evening, his third speech in 24 hours. Hundreds of angry Argentines demonstrated outside the presidential palace, demanding the president's resignation and rejecting his call for an end to the violence. Riot police fired volley after volley of tear gas and used water cannons to beat back the protesters. Across the city, rioters smashed in store windows and ransacked buildings. Fires were set on street corner after street corner, in trash bins and at bus stops. Argentina's economy was wobbling under the weight of a $132 billion debt and skyrocketing unemployment, prompting protests Wednesday that quickly escalated to violence.

At least six people were killed and dozens wounded as rioters looted stores and set fires. Earlier, at an afternoon news conference, the president defended his economic policy. "I am acting in the sense of responsibility to introduce the changes that are necessary so we can meet the people's demands," he said. He also called for the cooperation of the opposition party to form a multi-party cabinet to pull Argentina through "these difficult situations." "We cannot be led by those people who provoke violence," he said. "We must secure peace, preserving stability for our state. This violence in the streets cannot continue. Danger is increasing."

The opposition Peronist party lawmakers in Argentina's lower house of Congress rejected De la Rua's proposal for a government of national unity, about an hour after his news conference, according to Reuters. "Peronism will continue to exercise its role as opposition and will not participate in any co-government," the Peronist bloc said in a statement. Down with the populist fascism, say the anarchists. De la Rua had said through a spokesman that he would quit if the Peronists declined to form the coalition.

II.Ochlarchy and looting

On Thursday, the protesters rallied outside De la Rua's presidential palace, where riot police on horseback repeatedly pushed them back with batons, water cannons, tear gas and rubber bullets. Hundreds more have been arrested. The protesters also called for the resignation of Economy Minister Domingo Cavallo, who tendered his resignation early Thursday. De la Rua accepted the resignation, and began a search for a replacement. De la Rua, trying to quell the violence, declared a state of siege, a 30-day declaration that suspends constitutional rights and gives the government wide-ranging power to quell the violence.

Rioters, who ransacked and set fire to grocery stores and other shops around the capital on Wednesday, said they are hungry and complained the government has not helped them. These actions, looting included, have of course nothing to do with anarchism or anarchy! Amongst the people fighting there were all sorts, from a couple of thousand leftists, old workers (people in their 50s and 60s with bandannas and rocks), people in suits and ties straight from work, to socker hooligans, everyone...

Responding to the protests and attempting to quell the violence, the government agreed to release $7 million to provide food for the most needy. On Thursday, the protesters waited impatiently for the food's distribution. Looting turned to protest late in the day as tens of thousands of people beat pots and pans, clapped, waved flags and took to their cars, honking horns to protest what they see as an insufficient reaction to the problems they are facing. Firefighters rushed to extinguish fires set off around the Presidential Palace by incendiary devices. The largest labor federation of Argentina called for a general strike.

The embattled Cavallo, author of the austerity measures put in place this summer, stepped into the Economy Minister's seat last March after two De la Rua-appointed ministers stepped down in succession. Hailed for stopping hyperinflation during a 1991-1996 stint in the same post under President Carlos Menem, Cavallo faced opposition for his reform measures this time from members of Menem's Peronist party. And in a further sign of Cavallo's troubles, a judge investigating allegations of arms tracking to Croatia during Menem's tenure ordered him not to leave the country while he, too, is investigated.

De la Rua planned to meet with Argentina's governors on Thursday in search of an agreement that would guarantee his ability to govern. Observers speculated that he would bow to opposition calls for a multi-party cabinet to save his post. The current cabinet was in emergency session as the protests rumbled throughout the city. Stumbling under a four-year recession, the Argentine government implemented stark austerity measures over the summer. But the International Monetary Fund has so far refused to release a $1.3 billion loan payment, saying Argentina has failed to balance its budget despite the plan. Argentina, where unemployment is near 20 percent, owes $132 billion, mainly to bond holders.

III. Cut bureaucracy costs

Economists say that without international help, there's little hope the South American nation can avoid history's worst debt default from a sovereign nation. Earlier in the week, people were swarming banks in an effort to withdraw their savings. The government is considering seizing pension funds and has already capped bank withdrawals to $1,000 dollars per month. President de la Rua had earlier called for the formation of a national unity government, saying he planned to stay in power to help Argentina through the crisis. Public fury worsened after the president called a state of emergency - giving the police special powers - in a bid to stem widespread rioting and looting, in which at least 20 people have died.

All the members of President de la Rua's cabinet have already handed in their resignations, although so far the Argentine leader has only accepted that of the Economy Minister, Domingo Cavallo."If Argentina works extremely hard, it can lay the groundwork for a recovery in 2003," said John Welch, Latin American economist at Barclays Capital. "But, right now, 2002 looks very difficult for Argentina." If Argentina cuts bureaucracy costs, it will recover more soon!

Possible solutions for Argentina, which is about $132 billion in debt, include more government i.e. the bureaucracy, belt-tightening, a plan to swap short-term debt for long-term debt and plans to change the country's currency. The task has been made more difficult by political unrest and the resignation of six economic advisers this year. In any event, most observers think Argentina's small size and isolation, among other factors, will likely keep a debt default from causing too much trouble for the rest of the world.

IV. Argentina is not a potential nightmare

"Argentina is not a potential nightmare," said Wells Fargo's Sohn. "It's a relatively small economy compared to Mexico and Brazil." Still, one of the lessons of 2001 is that no problem in the world is so small that it can be ignored forever. "There are no longer really state economic systems that can function by themselves," said Delos Smith, chief economist at the Conference Board. "Most of our largest corporations are in every major market in the world. We're intertwined."

The AIIS and AI/IFA/IAF will contribute to a libertarian, less plutarchical bureaucratic and corrupt development in Argentina, together with F.L.A., as far as there are resources. We have among other things, powerful economical models that can be used in planning of the new economy! Towards a liberating economy!

21.12.2001: Report on the social struggle in Buenos Aires; medical services (SAME: Servicio de Asistencia MEdica) have confirmed three deaths caused by the repression of the police "clearing" the Plaza de Mayo. The struggle is also symbolic. "Taking" the Plaza de Mayo represents the taking of an area where the national decisions are made. For this reason, both the government and the popular resistance give importance to taking this plot of land which is a symbol of the historically important decisions taken in Argentina. For the time being, this plaza (square) has been cleared of protestors. The last reports from Argentina talk about isolated protests in the areas known as "once", (eleven), "obelisco", (obelisk), "congreso", (Congress) and surroundings. In contrast to anarchists, that always are interested in real changes, these demonstrants are mainly interested in symbolic things. Argentina is a land full of resources, it has been ruined by plutarchical, oligarchical bureaucracy broadly defined. It is not a potential nightmare - it is a nightmare. However it should not continue to be so for ever.

V. State of emergency lifted

The state of emergency in Argentina has been lifted - just two days after being declared during steet protests that left more than 20 people dead. The decision was made by outgoing president, Fernando de la Rua, as the Argentine Congress prepared to meet to name his temporary successor and try to find a way out of the political and economic crisis engulfing the country. Ramon Puerta, the man expected to be named interim president following Mr de la Rua's resignation, has said he will remain in office "only for 48 hours". He said the constitution stipulated that Congress had to decide whether to name an acting president for a longer period, or call elections. Mr Puerta, who is first in line for power because he is president of the Senate, said provincial governors from his Peronist party were in favour of early elections. But with the country facing economic and political turmoil, correspondents say the next president's job could be a poisoned chalice. Mr de la Rua made a surprise return to Government House in Buenos Aires on Friday morning, blaming the crisis on the opposition Peronists for refusing his offer to form a government of national unity. His last act as president was to lift the state of emergency he had declared on Wednesday, in the midst of riots and impending economic chaos

On Thursday, Mr de la Rua left Government House by helicopter after a day spent watching battles outside between protesters and police. It was the worst unrest since Argentina's return to democracy in 1983, with hundreds of thousands of people taking to the streets to protest at economic hardship. At least 28 people were killed in the protests. Mr de la Rua's departure drew cheers from protesters and some danced in the streets. Earlier, police tried to restrain the crowds by charging them on horseback and pummelling them with water cannon and volleys of tear gas - often firing directly at protesters. More than 2,000 people were arrested nationwide. In Buenos Aires, one woman's toe was cut off when stamped on by a police horse, others were carried kicking and shouting to police vans. In other large cities, looters ransacked homes and supermarkets.

VI. Economic challenge

Public fury was sparked by government austerity measures aimed at reviving the economy, plagued by huge debts and unemployment at almost 20%. All the members of Mr de la Rua's Cabinet have already handed in their resignations, although he only accepted that of the Economy Minister, Domingo Cavallo. The BBC's Tom Gibb in Buenos Aires says urgent efforts are now under way to craft an alternative economic policy. One idea is to end the system tying the Argentine peso to the US dollar. That would mean a devaluation and almost certainly a default on the country's $132bn debt. The correspondent says the big problem is that many ordinary Argentines have mortgages and other debts in dollars, as do businesses and farms. The Peronists have not yet explained how they would fund the costly conversion of all of the debts into pesos. Protests had been escalating since the government halted pension payments and froze bank accounts in an attempt to deal with the massive debts. Savers only allowed to withdraw $250 a month; Pensions to 1.4m retirees delayed; Unemployment at 18%; 2,000 people drop below poverty line each day; Economy in recession for four years, are the keywords in this connection.

A default would in effect cut off any lifeline from the International Monetary Fund and send Argentina spiralling even deeper into economic crisis. Similar unrest marked the last financial crisis in Argentina in 1989, forcing the then president, Raul Alfonsin, to leave office early. Argentina has been in a recession for almost four years. Earlier this month, the IMF refused Argentina a further $1.3bn in standby loans, The credit ratings agency Standard & Poor's has warned that Argentina could default on its sovereign debt as early as next month, unless it balanced its budget for the year 2002. Mr Cavallo had put forward budget proposals slashing government spending by 20% - but only by cutting public sector wages and reducing pension provisions. The plutarchy in private sector is however a larger problem. 22.12.2001. The Argentinian Congress will elect an interim president on Saturday.

The man named Argentina's interim president - Adolfo Rodriguez Saa - has said he will pursue a strict economic policy to try and deal with the crisis in the country. "I am going to propose to the country a severe austerity plan", he says. Mr Rodriguez said he would keep the national currency, the peso, pegged to the dollar - and promised to announce his economic plan after he is confirmed in his post by Congress later on Saturday. Mr Rodriguez will serve as president until elections on 3 March. Mr Rodriguez was chosen by the Peronist party, which controls parliament, after the resignation of President Fernando de la Rua, following the violent street protests over the government's handling of the economic crisis, which left more than 28 people dead. Police action is now being investigated. Two judges have barred Mr de la Rua from leaving the country, as an investigation is launched into police conduct in dealing with the disorder. Police on horseback charged demonstrators and looters, pummelling them with water cannon and volleys of tear gas - often firing directly at protesters. More than 2,000 people were, as mentioned, arrested nationwide. Rodriguez; how long can he keep smiling?...the anarchists ask.

VII. US appeal and default fear

The announcement of an interim president came as US President George W Bush urged the country's new leader to push through an austerity programme proposed by the International Monetary Fund. Mr Rodriguez said he would impose "a severe austerity plan" and announce an economic programme which would be "very simple, made up of a few clear ideas". After a four-year recession, with official unemployment at 18%, (in reality it is more) Argentina is in danger of defaulting on its $132bn of debt. A default would in effect cut off any lifeline from the International Monetary Fund and send the country spiralling even deeper into economic crisis. Economy Minister Domingo Cavallo has resigned, and Oscar Lamberto appointed in his place - but it is unclear how long Mr Lamberto will remain in office.

About fifty-year-old Mr Rodriguez is governor of San Luis province, one of only two in the country that enjoys a budget surplus. "I hope everyone understands the job I am being given is highly difficult and comes at a very serious moment for the country," he said after his selection by the Peronists. The BBC's Tom Gibb says the big problem is that many ordinary Argentines have mortgages and other debts in dollars, as do businesses and farms. But they earn money in pesos - so any devaluation would only increase the size of their dollar debts. The Peronists have suggested converting these debts into pesos, but some newsmedia says that this would be massively expensive and no one has explained how it would be funded. The peso has been pegged one-to-one to the dollar for the past decade.

VIII. Emergency reimposed

In his last act in office, President de la Rua lifted the state of emergency imposed on Wednesday after the worst unrest since Argentina's return to democracy in 1983. An unofficial spokesman of the Argentinian people said: "If only the name of our president changes and not the course of our economy, then we will have lots more days like 20 December." But it was reimposed later on Friday in Buenos Aires province by acting President Ramon Puerta, after reports of some looting around the capital. This so called looting was mainly violent secret service ochlarchy, groups going from house to house, doing all sorts of crimes. By Friday evening, however, the country was reported calm. Mr Puerta was appointed to head the government for 48 hours after Mr de la Rua's departure. Argentina has been in a recession for almost four years. Earlier this month, the IMF refused Argentina a further $1.3bn in standby loans, unless it balanced its budget for the year 2002. The public fury had been sparked by government austerity measures aimed at reviving the economy. Under a complicated deal agreed between Peronist party leaders, Mr Rodriguez Saa will remain in office until presidential elections on 3 March next year.

IX. Ca 25% increase in total demand for national product is necessary as soon as possible say the anarchists

The anarchist economical law of employment, i.e. approximately the % increase in employment = % increase in total demand (nominally) - inflation % - % increase in productivity (i.e. average worker's productivity), must be fulfilled. As an example 20% increase in employment + 3% inflation + 2% increase in productivity = 25% increase in total demand, i.e summa % increase in consumption plus investment (public + private) and exportsurplus. It is a lot of slack in use of the capacity at the moment, so this should be realistic as a first approximation estimate. The right mix of devaluation, public deficit, cut in bureaucracry costs and redistribution of income from the plutarchist bureaucracy to the people, to stimulate demand and get the economical circulation going again at a reasonable level, the Argentinian politicians and organizations broadly defined must analyse and decide quick. The anarchists will continue to give comments on the development. It is of course necessary to leave the bureaucratical tie of the PESO to the US $.

1/3 of the population are below the powerty tresholds. Rodriguez a) announces a suspension, and this will trigger the biggest debt default in history, and b) indicates he will stick to an economic course that will benefit the Argentinian people. Mr Rodriguez Saa has said he will announce "very solid, simple ideas" for the economy once he has been confirmed in office. These are expected to include continuing an austerity programme, selling bonds to raise fresh funds, and providing food aid. The anarchists so far don't think this is enough to increase the demand ca 25%, and probably even more demand hike is needed, to do away with the severe unemployment and powerty problems. Thus, Mr Rodriguez Saa's proposals so far are neither necessary nor sufficient to solve the problems. The anarchist criticism will continue.

X. Mr. Rodriguez Saa - an anarchist criticism

Mr R. Saa is known as an authoritarian, populist, municipal, small thinking bureaucrat, basing his policy on primitive instincts, and without any real competence in economical political management of the society seen as a country, all in all, and in international perspective. Furthermore he has not in any way demonstrated perspectives and visions for the future of Argentina, necessary means and ends meeting the demands of the people. Some leftist groups demonstrated outside the congress 22.12.2001, reminding the politicians that the people were watching their impotent "work". The Peronists must not forget that they also are monitored by the Anarchist International; Southern and Northern, world wide, we are all united to support the Argentinian people in different ways. Furthermore the international newsmedia, and organizations and politicians all over the world are watching. Thus, the Peronists should know they are not operating in vacum. The international society may wery well take different kinds of actions if the statist and plutarchist ochlarchy and disorder are going to far! 23.12.2001. The Argentinian congress has decided to make mr R. Saa interim president.

An unofficial spokeswoman of the people said he was a demagog. This seems to be correct. One of the problems with R. Saa's concept is the vague term "surplus". An economy as a whole cannot be properly run similar to a private profitseeking firm. Thus, public sector surplus and exportsurplus (mercantilism) is not a proper aim, especially not in an economy with a lot of unemployment and slack in the use of the production capacity. This is mercantilism, and this kind of system is not considered as a valid way to run the economy. It was rejected already by Adam Smith (liberalist), Pierre Joseph Proudhon (anarchist), Karl Marx (statism-socialism) and Vilfred Pareto (authoritarian, later works adopted by the fascists as their ideology). Thus, mercantilism is an especially authoritarian ultra-fascist bureaucratic ideology, that cannot solve the economical-political problems of Argentina. Although mercantilism in a way is a negation of the present situation, with large foreign trade deficit, etc, it is a wrong, equally authoritarian concept, that as mentioned cannot be used as a proper policy in the present situation in Argentina.

XI. It could have been heaven, but a greedy plutarchist bureaucracy made it hell.

However, it may certainly take long time for Argentina to reach anything close to the anarchist quadrant on the economical political map, not to mention the anarchist ideal, with selfmanagement and co-operation without coercion on equal footing, minimal rank and income differences, maximal efficiency and fairness, etc. What may very well happen is the quite opposite, i.e. introduction of a mafia populist/fascist state, were the plutarchist bureaucracy in private and public sector not only is looting the people at home, but steal almost the whole amount from the people that have lent them money outside the country as well. By the way, the state of emergency must be lifted again as soon as possible, and the secret police ochlarchy stopped. The politically prisoned must be released.

Argentina is by now internationally knowned as "the land of mutual ochlarchy and looting," clearly below the 67% authoritarian degree on the economical-political map. Americans have called the Anarchy of Norway heaven. This is a bit exaggerated. But for sure the "system" in Argentina is hell; a country with an approximately optimal population, rich on almost all kinds of resources from oil and minerals to highly productive agricultural areas, but almost totally vasted and ruined by a greedy bureaucracy economical and political/administrative in private and public sector. Thus, it could have been heaven, but a plutarchist bureaucracy made it hell. Now it is getting worse, even more authoritarian, day by day.

The anarchists and the people of the world in general cannot accept that the blood shed by our fellows is assumened by the Partido Justicialista (Peron's followers), which, with great smiles, formed their new cabinet . These smiles may soon be stiffened. Mr R. Saa said under the appointment to be the new interim president that he relied on the help of "God". We can assure the newly fledged president it is better to listen to anarchists and the people, than to wait for an answer from above. More of the old Argentinian policy: Statism without plan and capitalism without markets, in a neo-mercantilist approach, will just make things worse. The path to socialism and freedom, i.e. a) public sector with plans and without statism & plutarchy, and socialist markets, i.e. regulated in a libertarian way without plutarchy & statism, is not broad and easy to travel, but it is the right way to go, step by step, without ochlarchy and looting. Excuses for a military junta must not happen. Furthemore, the leftists must not be given opportunity to take over. A new Cuba is not in the interest of libertarians and the people.

XII. F.O.R.A. has got new adress

Compañeros y compañeras: Estamos teniendo problemas con nuestra casilla de correo electrónico (, por eso hemos decidido abrir una nueva casilla de correos: A partir de ahora, todos los mensajes serán recibidos y enviados desde este nuevo mail. Por favor difundan esta información. Salud. Jesús Gil, secretario general. We are having problems with our e-mail (, for that reason have decided to open a new e-mail: From now on, all the messages received and envoys from this new mail. Please spread this information. Salud. Jesús Gil, Secretary General Federación Obrera Regional Argentina (F.O.R.A.) Coronel Salvadores 1200 167 Buenos Aires - Argentina. . Sacá tu cuenta de e-mail gratis en y pasá a ser parte de nuestra comunidad.

Compañeros y compañeras: Aquí va el informe que preparamos sobre lo ocurrido la semana pasada:


Desde la madrugada del martes 18 de diciembre se sucedieron 72 horas de respuesta popular a la decadencia política, al caos económico y a la desesperación social. Los sectores más empobrecidos tomaron los supermercados para sacar alimentos, lo cual rapidamente se extendió a varias provincias y municipios. Debemos destacar la influencia ejercida por los medios masivos de comunicación, sobre todo la televisión, que tergiversaba los hechos en todo momento, haciendo valer sus propios intereses. Mientras el canal oficial (canal 7) pasaba dibujos animados, otros canales mostraban como la gente ingresaba a los supermercados sin que la policía interviniera. Con el correr de las horas, las noticias se extendieron a todo el pais. A medida que se sucedian los saqueos, proporcionalmente iba aumentando la actividad policial, lo cual no impedia los saqueos, pero organizaron junto a los empleados de los supermercados, la entrega de pequeñas raciones de alimentos. Sin embargo esto no frenó la acción espontanea de la gente que salía de las villas miserias para continuar con los saqueos. Es significativa la no intervención policial ante los hechos ya que una semana antes se venían registrando saqueos en las ciudades de Rosario (provincia de Santa Fe), Concordia (Entre Ríos) y Mendoza; además existían informes de inteligencia que preanunciaban intensos reclamos sociales, los cuales habían sido elaborados en las provincias y enviados al Ministerio de Defensa el 15 y 16 de diciembre, antes de los saqueos masivos en la provincia de Buenos Aires. Se sospecha que la no intervención policial fue por motivos políticos, buscando desestabilizar al gobierno.

De esta forma se comenzó a cuestionar al gobierno de Fernando De la Rúa. Poco después el malestar se extendió a la clase media, que se horrorizaba de ver gente desesperada llevándose cuanto alimento puidiese cargar. Unos días antes del estallido, los pequeños y medianos empresarios organizaron un "cacerolazo", que consistía en salir a la vereda golpeando elementos de cocina; además, cada comerciante o vecino apagaba las luces de su negocio o casa. Esta "protesta" de la clase media se produjo a raíz de las últimas medidas económicas decretadas por el ministro de economía Domingo Cavallo (imposibilidad de sacar del banco más de 250 pesos por semana, bancarización compulsiva, tasas de interés usurarias, etc.). El miércoles 19 de diciembre la población esperaba el discurso presidencial, el cual iba a anunciar las medidas a tomar para reactivar la economía y calmar los ánimos, pero el discurso fue un balde de gasolina sobre el incendio, ya que no propuso ninguna solución e implantantó el estado de sitio, provocando la indignación que movilizó espontaneamente a la clase media. Así se generalizó el malestar en la población que fue masivamente a pie o en automóvil a Plaza de Mayo. En la casa de gobierno no había la cantidad suficiente de policías para controlar a las aproximadamente 70000 personas que en horas de la noche colmaban la plaza. Paralelamente, en los barrios aledaños de la Capital Federal la gente se reunia en las esquinas para protestar. Mientras los saqueos continuaban, la manifestación en Plaza de Mayo terminó en una fuerte e indiscriminada represión que más tarde generó el repudio desde distintos sectores al ya agonizante gobierno de De la Rúa. En pocos minutos la plaza quedó vacía producto de los gases lacrimógenos y las balas de goma y de plomo, lo que hizo que la gente se trasladara al Congreso.

La represión continuaba pero el pueblo siguió llegando, prolongándose las corridas hasta la madrugada. En ese momento un sector de retiró, continuando la lucha los más combativos. Por su parte, la policía cerró los accesos al centro del ciudad y a la Capital Federal, patrullando las calles y arrestando a miles de personas. La feroz represión no pudo doblegar al pueblo, que utilizaba unicamente piedras para defenderse. Mientras unos veían la durísima batalla por televisión, otros dejaban su vida luchando en las calles, desatándose más tarde una crítica ante la masacre. "Oficialmente" fueron asesinadas por la policía siete personas solo en el centro de Buenos Aires. Es significativo que cinco de estas muertes se produjeron por tiros en la cabeza. A nivel nacional hay veinticinco muertos, 440 heridos y 3300 detenidos. Através de la televisión y de testigos, detectamos gran número de servicios policiales infiltrados entre la multitud provocando desmanes y realizando arrestos en forma brutal. Mientras el microcentro se convertía en el epicentro de la lucha popular, la casa de gobierno y el congreso eran escenarios de la lucha por el poder político. El intenso reclamo del pueblo en las calles, los saqueos y la feroz represión que no daba los frutos esperados por el gobierno, más la falta de apoyo político del peronismo (partido opositor), debilitaron al gobierno de De la Rúa y al ministro Cavallo hasta hacerlos caer, debiendo renunciar ellos junto con todo el gobierno de la Alianza (UCR - Frepaso).

Por otro lado, las centrales sindicales fueron desbordadas por las circunstancias, convocando demagógicamente a un paro por tiempo indeterminado, pero a las pocas horas el paro fue levantado después de la renuncia de De la Rúa. Por ahora (23 de diciembre) los ánimos se han apaciguado, al menos aparentemente. Pero en cualquier momento, todo podría estallar de nuevo debido a que la situación económica y política no ha mejorado. En efecto, el gobierno provisional (de aquí a marzo, momento en que se convocará a elecciones), es del mismo signo político que la gente rechazó y rechaza gracias a la enorme corrupción organizada durante el gobierno de Carlos Menem. Sin ir más lejos, el justicialista Adolfo Rodriguez Saa, designado como presidente provisional, está envuelto en varias causas penales por hechos de corrupción. Hoy en día se vive una incertidumbre pacífica, pero luego de lo sucedido, la economía y la política del sistema se han derrumbado aún más. Todo este clima está empapado de un chauvinismo creciente, inentendible aun por las mismas personas que lo enarbolan, pero propicio para el surjimiento de un movimiento nacionalista. Aquí es donde nosotros debemos accionar por medio de la propaganda y la acción, llevando los ideales de la libertad, igualdad y solidaridad. Depende de nosotros saber aprovechar este momento en que el pueblo reacciona contra la explotación y la miseria sistematizada implementada ayer por la dictadura militar y hoy por la "democracia". Dándole un buen y justo cauce a tanta fuerza potencial, se podría crear un proyecto libertario que plantee una nueva sociedad pero repetimos que también está latente una iniciativa nacionalista que derrumbaría el esfuerzo por salir de la opresión y el autoritarismo.

Sociedad de Resistencia de Oficios Varios (Buenos Aires, Capital Federal) Adherida a la F.O.R.A. - A.I.T.

XIV. Mr. Rodriguez Saa is still far out and very authoritarian, the anarchists have some more advice

Argentina's economic crisis has become impossible to manage for the country's government, forcing its interim president Adolfo Rodriguez Saa to ask other governments for assistance. Mr Rodriguez Saa on Friday 28.12.2001 spoke with the first deputy managing director of the International Monetary Fund on the telephone, asking for "patience" and "understanding", he said. Also on Friday, the US President George W Bush said the US would offer technical assistance via the IMF to Argentina. Bush was also talking about a plan of the economy. The anarchists however say the "argentino" local money introduced by R. Saa is not convertible to other currency, and thus is far from compatible with anarchist NAT, "Normal-Arbeids-Times-anvisninger" i.e. Average Labor Credits, ALC, that are recommended, i.e. if local money units should be introduced on a larger scale. It is however possible to solve a lot of the economical problems without introducing local ALC, but stick to one single national money unit, PESO, but as mentioned, the ties to the US$ must be cut.

Furthermore local, municipal plans, must be coordinated on regional and confederal level. And redistribution of income from the plutarchists in private and public sector must be done fast. Means to reach these aims are taxation of property, expropriation and a land "reform", i.e. a revolutionary change in the distribution of wealth in a social just way. Furthermore, the anarchists remind Argentina that the public sector in fact has no budget restriction, it can make as much money as it wants. However this must be according to the production capacity, and also the mentioned redistribution of income and wealth, must be taken into account, to prevent a large inflation. The IMF does not understand much of real economics, they are to much occupied with Milton Friedmans monetarist ideology, which has very little to do with reality in the economy, and thus they are quite incompetent in this case. Thus, the Argentinians should not listen too much to the IMF, but to the anarchists. The Anarchist International world wide has full support for F.L.A. and F.O.R.A. in the present difficult situation. A little basic anarchist economics are found at

XV. Economic chaos and protests

The violence subsided for a few days, but returned to the capital on Friday when protestors set light to a train and damaged one of the main railway stations in Buenos Aires. Fire fighters arriving at the scene were pelted with stones and rubbish bins. Some analysts say the new populist government is searching for quick solutions to placate a population which has been plunged from a relatively wealthy society into economic chaos. "It is just too much," said one protester. "All the politicians are as corrupt as each other and all we can do is take to the streets to protest." BBC reports "The patience of many Argentines with their political leaders has now worn very thin."

Police in the Argentine capital Buenos Aires have used tear gas and water cannons to disperse thousands of protesters, less than a week after a new government came into office to deal with the country's economic crisis. Demonstrators broke into the Congress building in the early hours of Saturday, setting fire to curtains and breaking furniture. A bank and a McDonalds restaurant were also ransacked, and one of the main railway stations was attacked. Protesters were angry that the new government has maintained emergency restrictions on withdrawing money from banks. They also complained that some members of the new government had links with previous regimes' corruption. The protests triggered the first resignation from the new government when Carlos Grosso, newly appointed as chief adviser to the cabinet, stepped down.

XVI. Show of anger

Amid occasional violence, two policemen were reported to have been injured after police in riot gear cleared the plaza in front of the government building where protesters had gathered. However the Associated Press news agency reported that teenagers continued to throw stones at police once the crowd dispersed. Protesters are angry at months of recession. People had congregated in the early hours of the morning, bashing saucepans and drums. Waving the national flag, they came from all directions to gather in the Plaza de Mayo in the centre of Buenos Aires in front of the government house. Others headed for the nearby congress building waving their shirts in the air on a hot and humid night.

The demonstrators, in what appears to be a spontaneous show of anger, said they were demanding an end to corruption. Their anger is directed at the country's economic crisis and the interim Peronist government of President Adolfo Rodriguez Saa, who came to office following the resignation of former president Fernando de la Rua. Mr de la Rua resigned after street protests and rioting triggered by economic hardship left at least ca 28 people dead. Mr Rodriguez Saa announced new measures to control the economic crisis including a suspension of foreign debt payments and plans to provide cash to cope with poverty and unemployment. Argentina's economic woes are, as indicated above: Public foreign debts of $132bn; Unemployment at 18%; Economy in recession for four years; Savers only allowed to withdraw $250 a month in cash; 2,000 people drop below poverty line each day; Pensions to 1.4m retirees delayed

XVII. Interim government have offered to resign. Mr R. Saa shows further incompetence.

All the ministers in Argentina's entire week-old interim government have offered to resign following a night of violent protests over the country's financial turmoil. After spending a day in emergency meetings with the cabinet, the caretaker President, Adolfo Rodriguez Saa, said he had not yet decided whether to accept the resignations, the French news agency AFP reported. In a statement, he condemned Friday's violence, when tens of thousands took to the streets. Many demonstrators called for the resignation of several members of the new administration they perceived to be corrupt. The BBC reports the mass resignation will give Mr Rodriguez Saa space to manoeuvre, allowing him to choose whether to sack the least popular ministers.

The US President, George W Bush, telephoned Mr Rodriguez Saa shortly after a government spokesman announced the resignations. Mr Bush urged the Argentine leader to work closely with the International Monetary Fund, IMF, and other financial institutions to develop "a sustainable economic plan". The anarchists say this is a vague concept, with no real scientific value. Furthermore the IMF doctrine of Monetarist, Friedmanist, policy, is bureaucratic, and based on assumptions of a relatively stable circulation velocity of means of payment (money), which practically never is valid and especially not in this case. An urgent demand hike of at least 25% is necessary, as mentioned above. If mr R. Saa mainly prints fresh money "argentino", instead of transfers of income etc. from the rich to the poor, the inflation will increase more, say, about 25%, and the necessary demand hike must be approximately 20% + 25% + 2% = 47 %, to do away with the unemployment problem. This is not recommended by the anarchists!

With more meetings planned to thrash out rescue measures for the beleaguered economy, Mr Rodriguez Saa called on the Argentine people to be patient with his administration. The president's top adviser, Carlos Grosso, was singled out in Friday's protests, for alleged corruption during a stint as Mayor of Buenos Aires under former President Carlos Menem. Mr Grosso stepped down earlier in the day. The night's violence flared at the edges of a large, noisy rally in the Plaza de Mayo square. Twelve policemen were injured and 33 people were arrested as protesters ransacked shops, banks and a McDonalds restaurant. Police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the demonstrators, some of whom set fire to railway carriages and broke into the Congress building, smashing furniture and burning curtains.

XIII. Cash curbs and populist chaos economics are no solution

As well as protesting against corruption, the demonstrators railed against curbs on cash withdrawals of more than 1,000 pesos ($1,000) a months from banks. The new administration eased the policy on Friday, but did not abandon it. Employment minister Oraldo Britos said the banks did not have sufficient funds to ease the current restrictions. With continued fears that the currency will eventually be devalued or that the government will seize money held in banks, many account holders fear they will lose their savings. "I put my money in the bank for them to look after it - not to be stolen," read one protester's banner. The interim Peronist government has already announced new measures to control the economic crisis. Mr Rodriguez Saa has suspended repayments on the country's $132bn debt, announced plans to create one million jobs (this is in no way enough, the anarchists say) and promised to introduce a new currency, the "Argentino", in the hope of boosting consumer-spending. Some analysts say the new populist government has been searching for quick solutions to placate a population which has been plunged from a relatively wealthy society into economic chaos. Lawyer Diego Fumagalli, 45, protesting at the Plaza de Mayo, said the new administration had misread last week's unrest. "The message was that we want a new political system without corruption, and then they go and name all these corrupt politicians to the new government," he said. Again, Argentina should listen more to the anarchists, and analysis made with anarchist economics, than listen to R. Saa and IMF.

30.12.2001: Protesters accused cabinet members of corruption. NRK reports 3 young people were killed. Argentine interim President Adolfo Rodriguez Saa is considering whether to accept the resignation of his entire cabinet, in office for less than a week, after renewed protests about the collapsing economy. The ministers' offer came during an emergency session convened after police used tear gas and water canon early on Saturday to disperse thousands of angry protesters in the capital, Buenos Aires. Mr Rodriguez Saa, who appealed for calm, has been holding talks with the heads of the country's banks, and with regional governors, while he decides what action to take. He has urged banks to remain open for extended hours on Monday, to enable customers to withdraw salaries and pensions. The interim government was appointed after 27 people died in riots which forced the resignation of former President Fernando de la Rua. Many of the protesters believe that several senior members of the cabinet are responsible for the economic crisis, and are calling for their removal. BBC' reports the mass resignation may give Mr Rodriguez Saa space to manoeuvre, allowing him to choose whether to sack the least popular ministers. Some analysts believe the president may replace them with the regional governors. Anarchists say Argentina's authorities have tried quasimoney several times before, lecop and argentino are not new, only bureaucratic noncovertible quasimoney manipulations, similar to "peso argentino", "austral", "moneda nacional" and "ley". As mentioned, if a "third money" should be introduced, "hard currency" convertible NAT , i.e. Average Labor Credits, ALC, known from anarchist economics, are recommended.

XIX. Argentine interim President Adolfo Rodriguez Saa has resigned

31.12.2001: Argentine interim President Adolfo Rodriguez Saa has resigned, just seven days after taking office. In a dramatic late night televised address, he told the nation he had failed to win the backing of his Peronist party for a way out of the economic crisis. His departure came after renewed protests over the collapsing economy and corruption prompted a mass resignation offer by his cabinet. Power should have passed automatically to Senate Chairman Ramos Puerta, but he too resigned minutes later on grounds of ill-health. Mr Rodriguez Saa spent Sunday trying to hold emergency talks with Peronist provincial governors in the resort town of Chapadmalal, but most of them failed to turn up. He then flew back to his home province of San Luis to make his shock announcement. He said his resignation took effect immediately - he had been due to hold office until elections in March. "I did not have any other choice," he told stunned viewers. Mr Rodriguez Saa listed his achievements during his short time in office as suspending payments on the country's foreign debt and announcing new austerity measures. There are no obvious candidates to replace Mr Rodriguez Saa from his own party. Technically, however, the next-in-line after Mr Puerta is believed to be another Peronist, Eduardo Camano, who heads the lower house of deputies. Mr Camano would hold the post for two days to allow parliament to choose a new interim president, who has three months to call fresh elections.

Mr Rodriguez Saa did manage a breakthrough in talks with the country's banks. They agreed to remain open for extended hours on Monday, to enable customers to withdraw salaries and pensions. The agreement was "a contribution to civil peace". But a controversial 1,000-peso ($1,000) monthly limit on cash withdrawals remains in place. The streets of the Argentine capital were largely calm on Sunday after riots on Saturday left 12 policemen injured and led to 33 arrests. The demonstrators have railed against the curb on cash withdrawals as well as alleged corruption within Mr Rodriguez Saa's cabinet. Many account-holders fear they will lose their savings if the currency is devalued or the government seizes money held in banks. During his brief tenure, Mr Rodriguez Saa suspended repayments on the country's $132bn debt, announced plans to create one million jobs and promised to introduce a new currency, the Argentino, in the hope of boosting consumer spending. The protesters' accusations of corruption had already forced the resignation of his chief adviser, Carlos Grosso - a former mayor of Buenos Aires. Observers say there is a feeling in the country that it is ruled by an unsinkable political class and this at last has found a voice on the streets. R. Saa tried to please both the people and the bureaucracy economical and political/administrative in private and public sector. This populist/fascistoide policy of course didn't work in the present situation. There will be no peace between the people and the upper classes! Towards a less authoritarian system in Argentina!.. the anarchists say. The parliament will meet 01.01.2001 to elect a new interim president.

XX. New riots and new president

01.01.2002: Argentina's parliament meets in emergency session to name a new president, while demonstrators have been fighting running battles in the streets of the capital. The election comes after the resignation of interim President Adolfo Rodriguez Saa after only seven days in office. Mr Rodriguez Saa said he had no support. The successor that is elected is Eduardo Duhalde, a former vice-president and current senator of Buenos Aires province. The violence broke out between supporters of Mr Duhalde's Peronist party and the opposition United Left, Argentine radio said. Police used rubber bullets and tear gas to bring the stone-throwing rioters under control. Thousands of police had their leave cancelled ahead of the vote and extra guards were drafted in to protect the government palace and congress buildings, the scenes of violent demonstrations at the weekend. Some 45,000 police were on standby in and around the capital, with soldiers also helping guard the nearby government palace known as the Casa Rosada. The new frontrunner reportedly enjoys the approval of other congressional parties, which have indicated their agreement that whoever takes over now should remain in office until December 2003 - the official end of the term of President Fernando de la Rua, who was forced out by popular protests on 20 December. New presidential elections had been scheduled for March, but the MPs say they want the new leader to stay in power for longer, in the hope of bringing some stability back to the country. BBC's reports the election of Mr Duhalde may well meet with hostility from the public at large. They say he may be tainted by his close ties with former president Carlos Menem and other key Peronist Party figures, whom many blame for plunging Argentina into its current economic and social crisis. The anarchists repeat that a broad based council with workers' organizations, etc. and some of the least corrupt politicians (of course not corrupt at all are the best if possible), should be made, and a new economy based on anarchist economics, as indicated above, should be introduced.

There are indications that a "soft" devaluation of the Peso vs the US $ will be made. Anarchists think this (a devaluation) is necessary. Furthermore, a transfer of income in Pesos from the plutarchists to the people with large debt in US $ may be necessary. The demonstrations continue, and some rivaling between different factions of protesters may also be mentioned. These rivaling fights have mostly been between leftists and the Menemist's ochlarchical groups, under command of E. Duhalde. There are rumors that these ochlarchists of Duhalde also have used false anarchist flags, to make chaos and provoke. A broad based state council is discussed.

03.01.2002: Argentina's new President Eduardo Duhalde has been putting together the government team he hopes "will lead the country out of economic crisis". Mr Duhalde was sworn in at a brief ceremony on Wednesday, before immediately entering into talks on forming a cross-party cabinet which he says will deliver a "programme of national salvation". There have been five presidents in two weeks: Fernando de la Rua, Ramon Puerta, Adolfo Rodriguez Saa, Eduardo Camano and now Eduardo Duhalde. Perhaps Dualde should listen more to the anarchists, and form a broad based council rather than another corrupt government. The new economy minister will be Jorge Remes Lenicov, from the president's Peronist party, while Buenos Aires Province Governor Carlos Ruckauf is being suggested as foreign minister. Some senior Peronists have turned down posts in the new administration, unhappy that Mr Duhalde lacks the democratic credentials to govern. Mr Duhalde, who failed to win the presidency two years ago, was voted in by Congress to complete the term of the unpopular Fernando de la Rua, his then opponent, who resigned amid protests a fortnight ago. Argentines have been continuing to hold protests and government buildings remain under heavy guard, although the protests are smaller than those seen in previous days. The United States has urged Mr Duhalde to work closely with international financial institutions. A state department spokesman said he hoped Mr Duhalde would persevere in developing a sustainable economic plan. The anarchists say the "new model" should be based on anarchist economics, not bureaucracy economics and monetarism.

XXI. From the populist left. Expected devaluation

Unemployment in the country is as mentioned running at 18% and last week Argentina halted payments on its massive public debt, which figures out on Wednesday showed had risen to $141bn. Mr Duhalde - Argentina's fifth leader in two weeks of mutual ochlarchy and chaos - used his acceptance speech to pledge a "new model" to deal with the country's problems. He said he would announce his government's economic plans on Friday. There is growing speculation he might be forced to devalue the national currency, the peso, which is formally pegged at one-to-one to the US dollar. An unnamed adviser to ca 60 year old Mr Duhalde told that the peso could be depreciated by more than 30%, setting a new rate of 1.3 pesos to the dollar. This is probably not enough, the anarchists say. But experts say any devaluation would be extremely unpopular with the country's middle class. Their debts are mainly denominated in dollars and would become more expensive to pay off if the peso fell in value. Mr Duhalde, a senator from the populist left of Argentina's dominant Peronist party, blamed the crisis on a decades-old "model of social exclusion". He said government policies had pushed two million Argentines into poverty, destroyed the middle class and bankrupted industries. Perhaps Mr Duhalde is likely to last longer than his predecessors, having won the support of political colleagues.

But the Argentine people - who blame corruption and mismanagement by politicians for the crisis - have made it clear they want action not more promises. Anarchists mean Mr Duhalde sounds very much like another corrupt demagog, but perhaps not equally "mercantilist" as R. Saa. As mentioned, just to print "fresh" money will not put and end to the chaos economy. Transfer of income etc. as mentioned above must be done, quick, and demand must be hiked generally at least 25%. 02.01.2002 the people shouted: "Duhalde, garbage! You are a part of the dictature! Get out!" Anarchists usually don't use such language, but the demonstrants may very well be right. The unemployment has risen to ca 20% on average, and is about 40% several places. "Junk-jobs" renumerated with "junk-money", lecop" or "argentino", will not solve the problem. The "dirty civil war" 1976-83 where 20 000-30 000 people "disappeard"/were tortured and killed, and inflation hiked to 2340 % per year, must not be forgotten. The junta-killers are still out of jail. The people of Argentina demand efficiency, fairness and social justice. So far Mr Duhalde and his corrupt friends have shown no real signs to take the necessary grips. The people, anarchists, media and authorities world wide, are not very pleased with the situation, to put it mildly. We are all waiting for a broad based council as mentioned above, to take the necessary grips. Mr Duhalde may at best be a symbolic president for a while, similar to the president in the Swiss Confederation.

XXII. The measures of Mr Duhalde are not sufficient according to anarchist economics

04.01.2002: BBC calls the ochlarchy and chaos in Argentina "anarchy", and thus gets the first "Brown Card" from IAT in this case. The anarchists say the expected ca 30% devaluation of the Peso is not enough. About 70% is more realistic. Furthermore the prices have hiked 40% at some goods already. A ca 50% price hike means that total demand must increase ca 23 + 50 + 2 % = 75% to do away with most of the unemployment. It is now necessary that the Argentinian organizations and politicians plus the "president" that the people don't want, meet in a "general assembly" and "think BIG" according to anarchist economics as mentioned above, i.e. real transfers of wealth/income and a general demand hike.

04-6.01.2002: Mr Duhalde has done negotiations with the labor federations, etc. to deal with the chaos, but has not put up a broad based assembly that is able to take majority decisions in favor of the people, not the bureaucracy economical and political/administrative in private and public sector. The anarchists recommend such an assembley should be put up and mandated as soon as possible.The congress has also discussed the matter and the military leaders have also been involved.

07.01.2002: Argentina's Congress has approved a plan to grant the president sweeping powers to devalue the peso and tackle the country's deepening economic crisis. The upper house, the Senate, passed the bill after an eight-hour debate following its passage through the lower house, the Chamber of Deputies, early on Sunday morning. The crisis in Argentina is so deep that drastic measures are needed to even begin tackling the problem. Both houses are dominated by the Peronist party of the new president, Eduardo Duhalde. Mr Duhalde - who took office on Wednesday - says his new powers will enable him to overhaul the country's exchange, financial and banking systems, and restore the confidence of both Argentines and the wider world. The measures, which he is hoping to start implementing on Monday, appear to include:

  1. Devaluing the peso by 30-40% (not enough, say the anarchists).
  2. Converting debts of up to $100,000 into pesos at the old rate of one peso to the US dollar, to protect consumers from the full impact of devaluation. (not enough, say the anarchists, and how shall this be financed?)
  3. Setting price caps on fuel, medicines, and other utilities to avert hyper-inflation (not enough, and not according to anarchist economics, the anarchists say.)
  4. Fixing the exchange rate against the US dollar for strategic transactions, including essential imports (How shall this bureaucratic tie be financed?... the anarchists ask)
  5. Renegotiating Argentina's $140bn international debt (Looting the foreigners also? the anarchists ask.)
  6. Imposing a 180-day freeze on job layoffs and double compensation for workers made redundant ("Artificial breathing", not according to anarchist economics, the anarchists say).

All in all just some bureaucratic left populist "neo-mercantilist" chaos economics, i.e. "to piss in the pants to get warm" at more than 67% authoritarian degree "cold", see several maps at , the anarchists say. (see also link above for a "Short note on the general theory of anarchist economics" used to analyse the situation.)

I. Uncertainty ahead and conflicting interests

The devaluation of the peso will bring enormous hardship for many people, but the government believes lower labor costs and improved exports will boost the economy in the long term. "In the long term we are all dead", say the anarchists. There is widespread concern that the devaluation will diminish the value of people's savings, but the government says it will protect investments and limit the price rises of basic items such as petrol and medicine. "Things we'll like to see", say the anarchists. Mr Duhalde has warned business people not to raise prices to make up for earnings lost from the devaluation, amid reports that prices in some shops were already up by as much as 20% - 40%. Banks and big business have protested against some of the new measures. Mr Duhalde has insisted, in keeping with the populist tradition of his Peronist party, that the Argentine people must come first. Perhaps the "menemists" and the anarchists have a bit different interpretation of the concept of "people"? The people are fast losing faith with their politicians - and their financial institutions. The president is facing a race against time to rescue Argentina from the economic turmoil that triggered mass riots and looting in December and brought down President Fernando de la Rua's government. Do measures to hike the demand quick according to anarchist economics, the anarchists say!

The head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said it is ready to work with Argentina to solve the debt-ridden country's problems. But IMF managing director Horst Koehler said Argentina's difficulties were "home-grown" and finding a solution would involve pain. Argentina's president has devalued its currency by 30%-40% in a bid to tackle the country's economic problems, including its inability to repay $141bn of overseas debt. Anarchists say this is not enough. Argentina's crisis was triggered when demonstrators rejected austerity measures put forward by the previous non-Peronist government after the IMF refused a fresh loan of $1.3bn last month. Anarchists say the austerity measures were reactionary and would probably have choked economic growth, determined by the anarchist economical laws of employment and full employment.

XXIV. Worried savers and 'home-made crisis'

President Eduardo Duhalde, who is the country's fifth president in two weeks, met on Monday with leaders of the workers' federations and the popular protests that turned into riots and brought down the previous administration shortly before Christmas. The streets are quiet again, though Argentines were queuing up at banks before the weekend to withdraw their savings. The government has imposed a two-day bank holiday from Monday. More protests may happen. Following the devaluation on Sunday, the IMF chief and other international financial leaders have expressed support for Argentina's new course but stressed the country must solve its own problems. "What Argentina needs now is growth and growth requires savings, investment, and a working banking system", said the IMF's Mr Koehler, who was in the Swiss city of Basle for a meeting of the Bank for International Settlements. "But one also must recognise that without pain, it won't get out of this crisis, and the crisis — at its root — is home-made," Mr Koehler told Reuters news agency. An IMF technical mission was due in Buenos Aires on Monday. Anarchists say a large hike in total demand is necessary to do away with the unemployment. Total demand is summa investment, consumption and exportsurplus. Growth is determined by the anarchist law of employment, i.e. employment = total demand/(productivity x pricelevel), i.e. production volume = total demand/pricelevel = productivty x employment.

XXV. 'No quick fix', but new business taxes?

The Bank of England's govenor, Sir Eddie George, who was chairing the Basle meeting, said "it is not going to be a quick fix" for Argentina. He said the "good news" is that Argentina's economic problems do not appear to have spread to the rest of South America. The current chair of the European Union's finance ministers was similarly non-committal, saying Argentina was "on the right path" but needs to find "maximum consensus with national and international investors." Rodrigo Rato of Spain said he was sure European finance ministers would have "a positive role to the light of Argentina's problem at the moment." Spain is the European country whose firms have most exposure to Argentina. Spanish firms - such as oil company Repsol - could bear the brunt of the Argentine government's attempts to pass the costs of devaluation onto banks and private firms while cushioning consumers. Argentina's economy minister plans to tax petrol exports to cover the $15bn cost to banks of converting the dollar denominated debts of ordinary Argentines into pesos. Economy minister Jorge Remes Lenicov is expected to meet with foreign investors on Monday. Anarchists say looting of the foreigners will reduce foreign investment in Argentina. The "fix" of the necessary demand hike combined with a moderate development in pricelevel and productivity must be done quick!

Inflation fears, unemployment hike?

To protect consumers and stave off further unrest, the economy minister is now grappling with the threat of inflation and has urged local firms not to hike prices in the wake of the devaluation. "We spoke with supermarkets yesterday and they promised to only mark up imported goods," he said. Although the protests have calmed down, one fear for the government now is that many middle class Argentines will start to quit he country. Some financial analysts warned the devaluation could make the country's economic problems worse. "We have to be very cautious: considering the long recession and people's lack of cash, we could be provoking more recession and inflation, the opposite of what the plan aims to achieve," said stock broker Alfredo Ferrarini. One risk is that international investors will quit the country. French auto parts firm Valeo said on Monday it will close its Argentine plant at Carmen de Areco and switch production to Brazil to improve its competitiveness in South America. The plant employs 90 people. Anarchists say price hike, without demand hike, will reduce employment, according to the anarchist economic law of employment. A mob protests against Duhalde's policy, and say they are "tired of being treated like dirt". 08.01.2002: More protests by the people. The scavengers have dumped garbage in front of governmental buildings to demonstrate what they mean about it.

XXVI. The F.L.A. reminds about the fight for a less authoritarian society in Argentina is not new:

Memoria y presente de la lucha social

By two militants of FLA (Federación Libertaria Argentina)

La memoria es una de las herramientas más nobles y eficaces de la resistencia . La persistencia en la memoria popular de las luchas por la dignidad humana, es el desafío contra el ocultamiento que ejercen los poderosos, es la confrontación entre la resistencia cultural de los de abajo y el afán de impunidad de los que a lo largo del tiempo con arteras maniobras, pretenden borrar las huellas de la rebeldía. El viernes 4 de enero desde las 21 hs. en el local la Federación Libertaria Argentina se desarrolló un acto por la memoria y contra la impunidad, el recordatorio de la Semana Trágica de 1919. Un panel en el que Roberto Guilera de la FLA, Carlos A. Solero de la Biblioteca y Archivo Alberto Ghiraldo de Rosario (Adherida a la FLA), Raquel Dissenfeld del Colectivo Mujeres Libres, Cecilia Moretti de la Biblioteca Popular José Ingenieros y Juan Carlos Espinoza (Independiente), expusieron su visión de los acontecimientos de enero de 1919 y de cómo se entrelazan con las protestas callejeras del pueblo de Argentina en estos días.

R. Guilera dió comienzo a la actividad, que contó con una importante concurrencia, explicando que desde hace cuatro años junto a los vecinos de los Barrios de Nueva Pompeya, Parque Patricios y San Cristóbal se realizan muestras de artistas plásticos, exposiciones y debates para recordar la gesta proletaria del '19. C. Solero, orador en nombre de la FLA, reseñó los antecedentes y los hechos que desembocaron en la huelga de los obreros de la fábrica Vasena y la solidaridad de los sindicatos de la FORA (Federación Obrera Regional Argentina), el protagonismo de los anarquistas y la represión policial, militar y para policial del gobierno de Yrigoyen a través del Gral. Dellepiane y la liga patriótica, que realizó el primer pogrom en el Barrio de Once.

Raquel Dissenfeld, del Colectivo Mujeres Libres, leyó dos testimonios de mujeres que protagonizaron la lucha popular del '19: Salvadora Medina Onrubia de Botana y Juana Rouco Buela; y realizó el análisis de esas jornadas y las recientes manifestaciones populares como los cacerolazos y movilizaciones callejeras. Cecilia Moretti explicitó los objetivos de Mujeres Libres y su accionar por la construcción de una sociedad sin racismo ni exclusiones, donde la solidaridad social reemplace al egoísmo y la autogestión al poder patriarcal y autoritario.

Juan Carlos Espinoza expuso sus reflexiones sobre el acontecimiento y leyó su poema Romance de los obreros de Vasena. El debate entre el público asistente y los oradores se prolongó hasta la medianoche. Las jornadas recordatorias de la semana de enero de 1919 continuarán el próximo sábado 12 de enero cuando, desde las 19 hs., partan las columnas de militantes anarquistas junto a vecinos, organizaciones sociales, culturales y políticas, desde la esquina de Pepirí y Amancio Alcorta hasta la Plaza Martín Fierro, donde estaba la empresa Vasena. Han transcurrido más de ocho décadas desde la trágica semana de enero, pero como dijo alguna vez Van Gogh: el molino ya no está, pero el viento sopla todavía. Quedan aun muchas luchas que librar para que la libertad y la justicia tengan vigencia en esta latitud.

XXVII. New mass protests

Mass protests have erupted in the Argentine capital Buenos Aires hours before currency markets reopen and the peso's devaluation becomes a reality. Demonstrators overturned cars, lit fires in the street and threw stones at police, who responded with tear gas and rubber bullets to force about 1,000 people back from the presidential palace. Tens of thousands of demonstrators converged on the central square, in the first major protest since Eduardo Duhalde became president on 2 January. President Duhalde faces his first big protest. The peso is expected to plunge when trading resumes at 1000 (1300 GMT) on Friday following a three-week freeze imposed to prevent volatile trading. The government has put an end to 10 years of enforced parity with the US dollar in a bid to save the collapsing economy. The protests began in neighbourhoods across Buenos Aires when people came onto their balconies bashing pots and pans and saucepan lids - anything that would add to the ear-splitting noise. Then, in what appeared to be a spontaneous move, the demonstrators marched to the Plaza de Mayo, the main square in front of Government House. Old-age pensioners, families and people in wheelchairs were among their ranks as calls were made for the resignation of the government and supreme court judges.

New devaluated peso

Thursday night's protests seem to have been provoked in part by the government's announcement of its short-term plan to protect banks from mass withdrawals by panicking depositors. Banks must switch current accounts above $10,000 and savings accounts above $3,000 into fixed-term deposits. Dollar deposits will only be returned to savers from Jan 2003. Smaller accounts will be able to convert dollars into pesos at the official exchange rate of 1.4 pesos to $1. Smaller accounts can be accessed, but will be subject to withdrawal limits Bank loans and mortgages of less than $100,000 will be converted into pesos. Banks must re-negotiate a cut in interest rates on all foreign currency loans

Trading in the devalued peso had been due to restart on Thursday but the central bank said the government had been too slow in implementing the last details of its economic plan. A dual exchange system is being introduced whereby the peso will have a fixed exchange rate for government and international operations, and a value set by the markets for all other transactions. Currency operations were suspended and banking restrictions introduced after the former president, Fernando de la Rua, resigned at the height of the protests over austerity measures aimed at ending the economic crisis. Under the new currency system, the peso - which was previously pegged at one-to-one to the dollar - will be devalued by ca 30% for a beginning. The devalued peso will stand at 1.4 to the dollar for international transactions, but Argentines will be forced to purchase dollars at a freely floating exchange rate. Some analysts believe the system is flawed, and investors had become increasingly nervous while the currency market remained closed. The anarchists remind of their former advice. Nothing sufficient is changed.

XXVIII. Reducing foreign trade deficit - more ochlarchy

Devaluation is expected to ease pressure on Argentina's exporters by making their products more competitive on the international markets. Importers, however, will be hurt by the ca 30%devaluation of the currency - although the controlled exchange rate is designed to prevent the price of imported goods from rising in an inflationary spiral. The government will allow people to convert any dollar loans or mortgages under $100,000 into pesos to protect them from the devaluation. But for ordinary Argentinians, the near future looks bleak. "If the government doesn't solve this situation soon, there will be violence," said an unofficial spokeswoman for the people in Buenos Aires. Violence will not do anything good, especially as long as the armed forces and the police support Duhalde; the anarchists say. Ochlarchical violence will probably just start a second "dirty war". 11.01.2002: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said Argentina will have to introduce a "coherent" economic recovery plan before it offers the country any more assistance. The comments came on the day trading in the Argentine peso restarted after a three week break.

The rate for international money transfers has been fixed at 1.40 pesos to the US dollar. But trading in the free floating rate saw the peso weaken immediately, and by the close of trade it took 1.70 pesos to buy one dollar. Speaking to reporters, IMF First Deputy Managing Director Anne Krueger said the new dual exchange rate system was "unsustainable" in the medium term, and that the IMF would prefer a fully floating currency. But she said that if the government were to introduce the right polices, the Fund may be able to offer more help. The IMF is to travel to Buenos Aires on Monday for talks. The Argentine government halted foreign exchange trading just before Christmas, to give itself more time to work out an economic reform plan. But only hours before trading restarted, riots had erupted again on the streets of the capital Buenos Aires. Demonstrating ochlarchists overturned cars, lit fires in the streets and threw stones at police, who responded with tear gas and rubber bullets. The anarchists say such utopian radicalist marxist ochlarchy probably will not affect the rulers significant in a progressive way, and if it escalates it will only provoke an even more authoritarian regime.

More news and information about anarchism, the Anarchy of Norway, The International Anarchist Tribunal, etc. at the Anarchist International Information Service:

The economical political map and anarchist principles used for analysis are presented at:

General information about the International Journal of Anarchism, the mandate and history, at:

The electronic issues of the International Journal of Anarchism are updated every time there are significant more informations about the different events and cases. But unless special cases, they are not redistributed by e-mail when they are updated. Also the IAT and other pages are updated almost every day. Thus, to be updated on the news and comments about anarchy, anarchist(s) and anarchism in different connections, it is necessary to visit the AIIS-web sites every day.

Articles to IJA may be written in any language, and should be provided with an English summary. If the article is short and written in English, the summary can be omitted.

Feel free to forward this issue of IJ@ to people or organizations you think may be interested in anarchy, anarchist(s) or anarchism, but include when you are forwarding, and don't use blind copies, so possible double distribution may be avoided in the long run. It's a small world.

Argentina |