Human rights watchdog Amnesty International published its annual international human rights report for 2022/2023. The report describes Argentina as “mired in an economic and social crisis” which aggravates challenges including gender-based violence, healthcare access, land rights, and police brutality.
“In a country with a deep socioeconomic crisis, violence is present in various ways — although Argentina has pioneered laws in terms of gender, health and diversity, their application has deep failures,” said Paola García Rey, Deputy Director of Amnesty Argentina.
Impunity was a strong throughline in the issues highlighted by the report. It cited Morris Tidball-Binz, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions, who found last year that Argentina did not “effectively investigate and prevent unlawful deaths.”
“Victims often belong to the most disadvantaged and vulnerable sections of the population, while those responsible enjoy impunity,” Tidball-Binz said.
In terms of gender policy and gender-based violence, the report highlighted that 233 gender-based killings were recorded in 2022, 91% of them in domestic settings.
“Despite the public attention paid to gender-based violence in Argentina, only 15.5% of sexual crimes presented to justice end in judgment,” according to the report. “That level of impunity sends a worrying message to women who dare to speak up about those crimes.”
The report also emphasized that “significant obstacles persisted in accessing abortion services” despite the law decriminalizing it in 2020 — obstacles for patients and healthcare workers who practice abortions continue across the country.
The disappearance of Tehuel de la Torre — a 21-year-old transgender man who went missing in March 2021— and the lack of investigation into the case was criticized.
“No independent, effective, impartial, transfeminist investigation into the case was carried out,” the report said.
State violence was also brought up in the report, particularly issues of impunity and excessive use of force by police. It highlighted the lack of progress in the cases of alleged security force killings such as Rafael Nahuel, Daiana Abregú, and Valentino Blas Correas.
Regarding the climate crisis, Amnesty highlights that Congress failed to pass the Wetlands Bill (Ley de Humedales). The bill — which seeks to protect wetlands and regulate their conservation and sustainable use— was developed by over 380 environmental organizations and activists, but the initiative has faced repeated delays without reaching the house floor.
In spite of the issue not being central to the local news agenda, the report includes a section on Indigenous peoples’ rights, citing that the National Institute for Indigenous Affairs only completed 43% of the survey of Indigenous territories. The survey was created under the country’s Emergency Law 26.160, which declared a territorial emergency, and Amnesty’s report points out that evictions continued despite being prohibited by the law.
“Formosa Province authorities denied the pre-colonial existence of the Nivaclé people and thus refused to issue birth certificates and identity cards to its people,” the report said. “About 30% of them remained without identity documents, violating their right to identity and putting them at risk of statelessness.”
Amnesty also expressed concern about the assassination attempt against Vice President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner.
“It shows the political polarization entangled by the exponential presence of hate speech on behalf of numerous sectors in the society, that put human rights in Argentina at risk”.
The regional context, according to the organization, is more worrying than it’s been for a long time. An estimated 201 million people were living in poverty in Latin America and the Caribbean in 2022, equivalent to 32.1% of the region’s population.
“This represents a 25-year setback, with an additional 15 million people living in poverty since the Covid-19 pandemic began,” said the report. “And an additional 12 million living in extreme poverty since 2019.”