Argentines Protest Pandemic Lockdown, Corruption

  • The Protesters are complaining about the government's quarantine measures, rampant insecurity in the nation as well as controversial judiciary reforms.
  • The protestors mainly mobilized via social media networks.
  • Hundreds of protesters gathered in front of the residencies of the President and Vice President.

Massive Demonstrations were witnessed in various parts of Argentina on Monday as masses took to the streets to protest against the Alberto Fernández led administration. The demonstrations were the third ones during this period of quarantine against the coronavirus pandemic.

Alberto Fernández is an Argentine politician serving as President of Argentina since 2019. He won the 2019 general election with 48% of the vote, defeating incumbent President Mauricio Macri.

Earlier protests had been witnessed in the country on June 20 and July 9. The protesters are complaining about the government’s quarantine measures, rampant insecurity in the nation, and controversial judiciary reforms.

The protestors mainly mobilized via social media networks using the hashtags #17ASalimosTodos and #17ABanderazoporlaLibertad. Although not formally organized by the country’s opposition, several leaders of the liberal-radical coalition Juntos Por el Cambio, of former president Mauricio Macri, have publicly come out in support of the initiative.

The demonstrators, carrying Argentine flags, met in symbolic places, such as squares and monuments of the country. The protest was also massive in the suburbs and in the province of Buenos Aires. A long caravan of cars mobilized against the government on the Pan-American highway and Images of the caravan protesting by honking quickly went viral on social networks.

Hundreds of protesters gathered in front of the Quinta de Olivos, where President Alberto Fernández lives, and a smaller group on the corner of Juncal and Uruguay, where Vice President Cristina Kirchner resides. On the Vice President’s building, a neighbor hung a large Argentine flag with the words “Argentine Democratic Republic.”

Many relatives of victims of violence and insecurity gathered in front of the presidential residence carrying placards with the names and photos of family members killed for whom they are demanding justice.

On 3 March 2020, COVID-19 was confirmed to have spread to Argentina. As of 18 August 2020 a total of 305,953 people were confirmed to have been infected, and 6,048 people were known to have died because of the virus.

Among the most pressing issues that were repeatedly being lamented during the street demonstrations and on various social media platforms are; unfavorable judicial reforms backed by the government of the day, opposition to quarantine measures, the purported high levels of corruption in the country, and the issue of insecurity

In reaction, the federal government condemned the demonstrations, stressing that it is an attack on the health of Argentines because they happened at a time when there is a peak of infections and deaths from coronavirus in the country. President Alberto Fernández said that demonstrations are an invitation to contagion. Argentina, to date has, recorded 299,126 cases of COVID-19 and 5,814 deaths.

The justice reform contested by the opposition provides for the unification of corrective criminal justice and economic penal justice and the multiplication of federal courts in the country, in order to reduce the power and media coverage of judges. The reform also includes changes to the rotation of magistrates in the Supreme Court, the assignment of cases and some procedural aspects.

As for the quarantine in Argentina, it has been in effect since March 20, and only minimal easing measures have been applied since then.

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Vincent Ferdinand

News reporting is my thing. My view of what is happening in our world is colored by my love of history and how the past influences events taking place in the present time.  I like reading politics and writing articles. It was said by Geoffrey C. Ward, "Journalism is merely history's first draft." Everyone who writes about what is happening today is indeed, writing a small part of our history.

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