Photographic book

Argentina in the 80s


El Palmar national park in Argentina
El Palmar national park in Argentina

By December 1983, as Alfonsín took power, military rule had been totally discredited. Throughout Argentina, a determination prevailed to make democracy successful. Despite his strong support, Alfonsín faced some daunting obstacles. The economy remained mired in recession, and the country faced a massive foreign debt. To pay the debt, the government had to restrict imports and create a large trade surplus, but in doing so it limited the recovery of the manufacturing sector by preventing the acquisition of necessary parts and supplies.

The government established a national commission to examine the fate of the desaparecidos of the mid-1970s. In 1985 the government supported indictments of the military leaders from 1976 to 1983. Lengthy trials ended in long prison terms for Videla, Galtieri, and several other former military leaders. However, the military opposed these trials, and military protests led the Alfonsín government to pass a law that granted amnesty to lower-ranking military officials for atrocities committed during the “dirty war.” Alfonsín faced growing opposition from the unions and the church, along with economic unrest. In 1985 the Alfonsín government introduced the Austral Plan in an effort to stop inflation by freezing prices and wages, but labor opposition gradually undermined the plan. Strikes forced the government into conceding higher wages, and inflation mounted once more. Alfonsín’s popularity drained away. "Argentina" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia

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