1) Information on the "Bloquista" party;2) Information on the "Cruzada Renovadora" party;3) Information on persecution of "Bloquista" members since 1976;4) Human Rights situation since the 14 may 1989 elections [ARG3046]

1) The "Partido Bloquista de San Juan" (translated by some sources as the San Juan Bloc Party [ Political Handbook of the World: 1988, (New york: CSA Publications/State University of New York), 1988, p. 29; Latin American Political Movements, (London: Longman Publishing Group, 1986), page 6.]) is a provincial party which won the San Juan provincial elections in August 1987 with 31 percent of the vote, competing against the Unión Cívica Radical (UCR) party and the Justicialista party (PJ, commonly known as Peronistas). Two years earlier, the Bloquista party came in third place with 20 percent of the vote in the 1985 provincial elections. [ Latin American Weekly Report, 20 August 1987, p. 11.] According to the Embassy of Argentina in Ottawa [As communicated through telephone on 22 December 1989.], the current Governor of the province of San Juan is Mr. Gómez Centurión, of the San Juan Bloquista party which, according to the source, is not allied to the UCR or the PJ and is the strongest in San Juan province. The same source stated that Mr. Gómez Centurión has visited Canada a number of times, and that his party has good relations with the Province of Québec. The book Latin American Political Movements describes the Bloquista party as having a "regionalist" orientation holding, at the time of the book's printing, all two seats representing San Juan province in the nation's Senate.

Although information on alliances between the "Bloquista" party and other political groups could not be found among the available sources, one source states that major national parties seek support from minor provincial parties because of the latter's participation in the national Congress. [ Latin American Weekly Report, 3 September 1987.]

Additional and corroborating information on the subject could not be found among the sources currently available to the IRBDC.

2) Information on a party called "Cruzada Renovadora" (Renewalist Crusade) could not be found among the sources currently available to the IRBDC other than those already available to the requester. One source [ Political Handbook of the World: 1988, pp. 28-29.] mentions the existence of a provincial party called "Partido Renovador de Salta" (PRS - Salta Renewalist Party), as well as a Buenos Aires provincial political group called "Frente Renovador, Justicia, Democracia y Participación" (Frejudepa - Front of Renewal, Justice, Democracy and Participation) described as a minor formation which allied with Christian Democrats and "oficialistas" of the PJ. The same source indicates a cleavage within the PJ occurred in 1985 with the faction called "Corriente Renovadora" (Renewalist Current or Trend), reportedly formed by "moderate unionists and students calling for a more democratic party structure", [ Ibid, p. 28.] and its rival "oficialista" faction presenting separate lists of candidates for the 1985 legislative elections. Please find attached a copy of pages 27-29 of Political handbook of the World: 1988 and pages 8-9 of Latin American Political Movements, which contain information on the Renewalists within the PJ and a reference to the "Bloquista" party.

Other sources repeat or corroborate some of the information contained therein. The Europa Year Book 1989, (London: Europa Publications, 1989), p. 358, states that the "Frente Renovador" (Renewalist Front, described as a reformist wing of the PJ) was formed in 1985 and is currently led by Carlos Menem and Antonio Cafiero. The Renewalist wing reportedly controls the PJ since 1987. [ Latin American Weekly Report, 22 October 1987, p. 11.] Renewalist union leaders were reportedly included in the recently installed Menem government, [ Latin American Weekly Report, 22 June 1989, p. 3.] although more recently labour sectors which originally supported the government have now split into Pro-Menem and Anti-Menem factions. [ Latin American Weekly Report, 21 December 1989, p. 4.]

3) Various documents report the banning of all political parties following the 1976 military coup and the legalization of most political parties under Gral. Bignone's government in 1982, although a degree of political activity was allowed since 1978. However, specific information on persecution of Bloquista members since 1976 could not be found among the sources currently available to the IRBDC.

4) The only major incident since the May 1989 elections in Argentina were the widespread riots and looting which followed a sharp increase in prices. This occurred in late-May and early-June of 1989, although under the Alfonsín administration. Various reports indicate about fourteen people were killed and about 100 were injured; the government declared a state of siege, with soldiers patrolling streets and arresting looters. Although many people were arrested for some time without trial, most were later released. Please find attached a copy of an article which summarises what is referred to as the "food riots": "3 leaders of left wing arrested in Argentina", from The Globe and Mail, 2 June 1989, p. A1. This article also mentions the arrest of three leaders of the Trotskyist Workers' Party, charged with inciting riots.

Another issue regarding Human Rights since the May 1989 elections were the presidential pardons granted to a number of military officers and guerrillas convicted for different crimes under the Alfonsín administration. This pardon, granted by Carlos Menem, has created a controversy widely reported by the press.

On 29 November 1989 the police reported the discovery and capture of two individuals and a large cache of weapons and military uniforms in La Plata, although political links reportedly could not be established. [ "Police Raid Uncovers Cache of Weapons, Uniforms", Noticias Argentinas [Buenos Aires, in Spanish], (FBIS-LAT-89-229), 30 November 1989, p. 44.]

Finally, the Argentine Jewish community has reportedly expressed concern over the support given to Menem by some groups such as "The Guard of Iron" as well as known anti-semite individuals. [ Latin American Weekly Report, 27 July 1989, p. 5.]

Other reports on the Human Rights situation in Argentina since Menem was elected President could not be found among the sources currently available to the IRBDC.