Unrestricted Capitalist Development and the International Monetary Fund: Their Economic and Social Effects on Buenos Aires. Argentina

Unrestricted Capitalist Development and the International Monetary Fund: Their Economic and Social Effects on Buenos Aires. Argentina

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Unrestricted Capitalist Development and the International Monetary Fund: Their Economic and Social Effects on Buenos Aires. Argentina

The day is Friday, December 21, 2001. After three days of massive riots the city of Buenos Aires looks like an abandoned battlefield. Its grand palm-lined avenues are strewn with burnt-out shells of cars, smashed glass, rocks, and twisted furniture. Unemployed people, pensioners, and women with babies climb through smashed supermarket windows searching for any food that looters left behind. Most banks and shops are closed, and dazed people wander the streets, confused and fearful of their nation’s state of affairs (Arie 11).

The “battle” started on Monday, December 17, with massive food riots and looting of trucks transporting food, led by thousands of poor families. The Argentine government said there were 20,000 looters in Buenos Aires alone, as citizens broke into stores and smashed shop windows, stealing items including food, clothing, and toilet paper (Gardner 9). Food riots erupted in the working-class belt surrounding the capital, such as Lanus, as well (Rohter 6). Television footage from Rosario, a city northwest of Buenos Aires, showed more than one hundred slum dwellers descending on an overturned cattle truck and slaughtering the animals with sticks and knives so they could carry off chunks of meat (Abel 20).

Silvia Tebez, an unemployed 27-year-old mother of three said, “a few hooligans made off with television sets and the like, but by and large these were parents who were hungry, with no money and no hopes of obtaining any” (Rohter 6). Hungry or not, the government, headed by President Fernando de la Rua, attempted to control the rioters by instituting a sta...


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...State University of New York Press, 1987.

Rodriquez, Alfonso. “Argentine Food Riots End, But Hunger Doesn’t.” The New York Times. 24 December 2001: 18.

Rohter, Larry. “Argentine Food Riots End, But Hunger Doesn’t.” The New York Times.23 December 2001: A6.

Soriano, Alex. “Argentine Police Smash Protest by Workers.” The Montreal Gazette.19 April 2002: 12.

Sparr, Pamela. Mortgaging Women’s Lives: Feminist Critiques of Structural Adjustment. London and New Jersey: Zed Books Ltd., 1994.

U.S. government. 12 April 2002: http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook.

Valente, Marcela. “Labor-Argentina: Workers Give New Life to Abandoned Factories.” Inter Press Service. 19 March 2002: 1-3.

Ximenez, Daniel. “Argentina People Throw the Bastards Out.” Labor Notes. 22 February 2002. http://www.labornotes.com.






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