Argentina profile – Timeline

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A chronology of key events:

16th century – Spanish colonisation of the River Plate coast and inland areas begins.

1774 – Spain settled the Malvinas Islands.

1776 – Spain establishes separate Viceroyalty of the River Plate.

1806 – First English Invasion of Buenos Aires. British force of 1,500 men under Colonel William Carr Beresford occupied the city, for about six weeks until surrendering in mid-August.

1807 ( July) – Second English invasion of Buenos Aires. The British invasion force of 12,000 men under Lieutenant-General Sir John Whitelocke attacked Buenos Aires.

1810 – Spanish Viceroy overthrown, launching the war of independence.

1816 – Independence declared, followed by decades of turmoil, attempted foreign intervention, and civil war between centralist and federalist forces.

1832 – The British expelled the Argentines from the Malvinas ( called Falklands by the English) creating the controversy that remains till this day.

1880 – Start of decades of liberal economic and immigration policies that lead to rapid income and population growth as well as progressive education and social policies.

1908 – Argentina has seventh highest per capita income in the world.

1912– Full adult male suffrage introduced.

1916 – Hipolito Yrigoyen of the Radical party is elected president and introduces a minimum wage to counter the effects of inflation. Mr Yrigoyen is elected again in 1928. 

1930 – Armed forces coup ousts President Yrigoyen amid sharp economic downturn caused by Great Depression. Civilian rule is restored in 1932, but economic decline continues.

1942 – Argentina, along with Chile, refuses to break diplomatic relations with Japan and Germany after the Japanese attack on the US Pacific fleet at Pearl Harbour.

1943 – Nationalist army officers seize power in protest at stagnation and electoral fraud. One leading figures is Colonel Juan Peron.

1945 – Argentina declares war on Japan and Germany a few months before it ended.

The Peron Era

1946 – Juan Peron wins presidential election on a promise of higher wages and social security. His wife, Eva ‘Evita’ Peron is put in charge of labour relations.

1949 – A new constitution strengthens the power of the president. Opponents are imprisoned, independent newspapers are suppressed.

1951 – Peron is re-elected with a huge majority, but his support begins to decline after Evita dies the following year.

1955 (August-September) – Violent military uprisings drive President Peron to resign and go into exile.

1966 – General Juan Carlos Ongania seizes power after years of unstable civilian government.

1973 – The Peronist party wins elections in March, Peron becomes president in September.

1974 – Peron dies in July. His third wife, Isabel, succeeds him. Terrorism from right and left escalates, leaving hundreds dead amid strikes, protests and rampant inflation.

1976 – Armed forces seize power and launch ‘Dirty War’ in which thousands are killed on suspicion of left-wing sympathies.

The Malvinas War

1982 (April) – Argentine forces occupy the Malvinas Islands, over which Argentina has long claimed sovereignty but the British had occupied since 1832. British task force re-takes islands in June.

1983 – Junta, reeling from Malvinas fiasco, restores democracy. Raul Alfonsin becomes president.

1989 – Carlos Menem of the Peronist party is elected president. He imposes an economic austerity programme.

1990 – Full diplomatic relations with the United Kingdom are restored, although Argentina maintains claim to Falklands.

1992 – Argentina introduces a new currency, the peso, which is pegged to the US dollar.

1994 – A Jewish community centre in Buenos Aires is bombed, 86 people are killed, and more than 200 injured in Argentina’s worst terrorist atrocity. Prosecutors accuse Iran and its Lebanese Hezbollah allies of responsibility.

Recession bites

1999 – Fernando de la Rua of the centre-left Alianza opposition coalition wins the presidency, inherits 114 billion-dollar public debt after a year of recession.

2001 (July) – Much of the country is brought to a standstill by a general strike in protest against proposed government spending cuts. Country’s credit ratings slip.

Return of the Peronist’s

2001 (October) – The opposition Peronists take control of both houses of parliament in congressional elections.

Economic collapse

Unemployed protesters took to the streets of Buenos Aires

2001 (December) – IMF stops $1.3bn in aid, banks shut down. President De la Rua resigns after at least 25 people die in rioting.

2002 (January) – Congress elects Peronist Senator Eduardo Duhalde as caretaker president. Within days the government devalues the peso, ending 10 years of parity with the US dollar.

2002 (November) – Argentina defaults on an $800m debt repayment to the World Bank.

Nester Kirchner sworn in

2003 (May) – Mainstream Peronist candidate Nestor Kirchner wins presidential election.

The Power couple

2003 (September) – After weeks of negotiations Argentina and IMF agree on a deal under which Buenos Aires will only pay interest on its loans.

2005 (June) – Supreme Court approves amnesty law that had protected former military officers suspected of human rights abuses during military rule in 1976-1983. Congress voted to scrap the amnesty in 2003.

2006 (January) – Argentina repays its multi-billion-dollar debt to the IMF.

Christina Fernandez elected

2007 (December) – Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner is elected president, succeeding her deseasted husband Nestor Kirchner.

2009 (July) – Legislative elections result in President Fernandez’s Peronist party losing its absolute majorities in both houses of parliament.

Rows with Britain

2009 (December) – Argentine parliament passes law claiming once again the Malvina Islands.

2010 (February) – Argentina imposes new controls on ships passing through its waters to Malvinas Islands in response to plans by a British company to drill for oil near the islands in contested waters.

2011 (October) – Benefiting from strong economic growth, President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner wins a second term with a landslide 54% of the vote.

2012 (November) – Congress approves a law to lower the voting age to 16.

2013 (February) – Argentina becomes the first country to be censured by the International Monetary Fund for not providing accurate data on inflation and economic growth, under a procedure that can end in expulsion.

2013 – Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio a strong Peronist working with the poor in Buenos Aires is chosen as Pope. He is the first Latin American to lead the Roman Catholic Church,and takes the name of Francis.

2014 (July) – Argentina defaults on its international debt for the second time in 13 years, after failing to resolve its differences with US hedge funds that hold 1.3bn dollars worth of bonds, bought at a discount after the country last defaulted.

2015 (January) – Prominent prosecutor Alberto Nisman is found dead (allegedly murdered by Kirchnerites ), after accusing the government of a cover-up over the country’s worst terrorist attack – the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community centre in Buenos Aires that left 85 people dead.

2015 (November) – Conservative Mayor of Buenos Aires Mauricio Macri beats Peronist Daniel Scioli in run-off presidential election, takes office in December.

2016 (February) – Argentina agrees to settle a multi-billion-dollar dispute with US Vulture funds over bond repayments, which had restricted the country’s access to international credit markets.

2016 (December) – Britain and Argentina signed an agreement to identify the remains of 123 Argentine soldiers who died in the Malvinas War.

2017 (October) – Mauricio Macri’s coalition wins decisively in a parliamentary election seen as a referendum on his market reform policies. Kirchner has however passed him a poisoned challis. The economy has been sabotaged.

2018 (May) – Government raises interest rates dramatically in an effort to shore up the tumbling value of the peso currency.

2018 – The majority of the past Kirchner government is in jail or under prosecution for corruption.

2019 (October) – Election year for Argentina with a strong possibility of returning to a past Kirchner style government due to prolonged recession created by the fear of foreign investors of a return to the past.

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