1) Copy of Department of State report and corresponding Critique; 2) Information on main issues since election of Carlos Menem; 3) Treatment of supporters of Alfonsin government by the Menem government [ARG3375]

1) Please find attached the requested copies of the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 1988 (Washington: U.S. Department of State, 1989) chapter on Argentina and its corresponding chapter of the Critique: Review of the Department of State's Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 1988, (Washington: Human Rights Watch, July 1989), pages 17-19.

2) The issues most often discussed among the sources currently available to the IRBDC since Carlos Menem was elected in mid-1989 include the presidential pardon granted to military and guerrillas convicted for crimes during the "dirty war" of the last decade, the severe economic crisis affecting Argentina, the corresponding measures adopted by the Menem government and the resulting social unrest.

Carlos Menem has created controversy by pardoning former guerrillas and military leaders involved in serious human rights abuses, prompting demonstrations and receiving strong criticism from the opposition and non-political sectors. [ "En Amérique latine, les militaires se tirent fort bien de leurs mauvais coups", in La Presse, 21 October 1989; in The Globe and Mail: "10 granted pardons for crimes in `dirty war'", 20 October 1989, p. A10; "Officers pardoned for role in dirty war", 9 October 1989, p. A4; "Les Argentines Manifestent", in Libération, 11 September 1989; Documentation Refugiés, 12/21 September 1989, p. 4 and 2/11 October 1989, p. 5.] The decision to privatise many public companies and services, which could result in massive lay-offs among the currently overstaffed state enterprises, was a cause of widespread unrest and disagreement between the government and the unions, some of which are affiliated with the ruling party. [ "Buenos Aires va privatiser des enterprises publiques et suprimer des subventions", in Le Monde Sélection Hebdomadaire, 14-20 September 1989; "Cut Again", in The Economist, 16 December 1989, pp. 43-44.]

Other unpopular measures have included an increase in taxes, particularly on farm exports, and the elimination of a number of subsidies. [ "Buenos Aires va privatiser..." and "Cut Again".] Further unrest has been created by Menem's announcement of the termination of food and money distribution programs for the impoverished population which started in 1983. [ "News Briefs", in Latinamerica Press, (Lima, Noticias Aliadas), 14 December 1989, p. 7.]

Other issues include Menem's reluctance to sign the Tlatelolco nuclear non-proliferation treaty [ "Menem against Nonproliferation Treaty", Buenos Aires Herald (Buenos Aires), (FBIS-LAT-89-226), 27 November 1989, p. 44.] and Argentina's weaponry development, including the long-range missile "Condor II", which has caused international controversy. [ "Air Force Displays Technological Advances", Noticias Argentinas [Buenos Aires, in Spanish], (FBIS-LAT-89-229), 30 November 1989, pp. 43-44.] 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.]

Recent sources currently available to the IRBDC do not report on the human rights situation in Argentina.

3) Information on particular treatment of supporters of the former Alfonsín government by the current Menem government could not be found among the sources currently available to the IRBDC.