Social Genocide

Synopsis: After the fall of the military dictatorship in 1983, successive democratic governments launched a series of reforms purporting to turn Argentina into the world's most liberal and prosperous...
Genre: Documentary
Director(s): Fernando E. Solanas
Production: Ad Vitam
  1 win & 3 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
120 min


To those who resisted

during all those years

To their dignity and their courage

Argentina, October 2001:

The government of the Alliance

loses the legislative elections.

President De la Ra

refuses to change his policies.

In 2 years of power,

his progressive program was replaced

by the plans of the IMF,

a continuation

of the policies of Carlos Menem.

The recession deepens

Millions are poverty-stricken

and unemployed

Massive flight of capital

Bank-accounts are blocked

The crisis worsens

December 19, 2001

In view of the situation,

I have decreed a state of siege

for the entire country,

and informed Congress of it.

Our country is going through

a difficult period...

Kick 'em all out!

Every one of them!

The government must resign

Together, we'll never be defeated!

After many years

of apathy in the country,

the insurrection exploded.

This spontaneous revolt

of "faceless" people

meant saucepans were being banged

in every neighborhood,

all the way

to the city's vital centers.

People took to the streets,

without getting any orders.

I've been out of work

for six weeks,

and I've slaved away

my whole life.

I don't want a state of siege,

or to be a pawn

of the International Monetary Fund.

It's an outdated economic model.

De la Ra must resign,

and all the swindlers with him.

December 20, 2001

We're dying of hunger!

"In glory we shall die!"

"In glory we shall die!"

"This square belongs to the Mothers,

"not to cowardly others!"

"This square belongs to the Mothers,

"not to cowardly others!"

You bastards!

We're not in a dictatorship anymore!

Bunch of idiots!

Armed baboons!

Who ordered you out?

Can you kill a woman?

Can you kill a whole nation

because you're ordered to?

Repression fails to empty

the Plaza de Mayo

Hundreds of citizens

rally to the movement

"The people won't clear out!"

And the people don't clear out.

They're workers, housewives,

employees, pensioners, students,

the heirs of those who,

for decades,

defied the dictatorships

and the persecutions,

put up with

the policies of austerity,

and were betrayed

by democracy.

What happened in Argentina?

How was it possible

that in so rich a country

so many people were hungry?

The country had been ransacked

by a new form of aggression,

committed in time of peace

and in a democracy.

A daily and silent violence

that caused

greater social disruption,

more emigration and death,

than the terrorism

of the dictatorship

and the Falkland Islands war.


Ever since Independence,

almost 200 years ago,

Argentina's foreign debt

has been a source

of impoverishment and corruption

and the biggest scandals.

Since the first loan

negotiated by Rivadavia in 1824

with the British bank

Baring Brothers,

the debt was used

to enrich Argentinean financiers,

to control the finances

and empty the country

of its wealth.

This foreign debt always

went hand in hand with big business,

and with the complicity

of nearly every government,

from Miter and Quintana,

to Menem and De la Ra.

The policy of indebtedness

gave rise in Argentina

to generations

of technocrats and bureaucrats,

who favored banks

and international corporations

over their own country.

Educated at Harvard, Chicago,

Oxford or Buenos Aires,

their portraits hang

in the official galleries.

There you can see

19th century lobbyists,

like Manual Garca and Belustegui,

or the latest heads

of the public banking system,

Pedro Pou,

Macarrone and Colombo,

administrators of a debt

that was born in the 1970s

under the military dictatorship.

We have turned the page

of government interventionism...

The present debt

was the illegitimate offspring

of the military dictatorship.

Even though the Courts

demonstrated its fraudulent origins,

the pressure of the Establishment

won the day.

From then on,

it dictated national policies

and depleted the public heritage.

All this is perfectly symbolized

by the statue of George Canning,

an advocate of colonial policies,

that was donated

by the British Government in 1857,

in recognition of the debt.

American defeat in Vietnam

Conservatives return to power

Crisis and rising oil prices

Petrodollars flood the world

Banks offer credit at 3%

Birth of the Third-world debt

Interest rates reach 16%

Bankruptcy of indebted countries

An alliance of foreign banks

and multinationals

comes to power in Argentina.

After 7 years

of neo-liberal policies,

the dictatorship leaves a country

bled dry, with a foreign debt

of 45 billion dollars,

of which half

is a private debt.

23 billion

is owed by multinationals

operating in the country

like Citibank, First Boston,

Chase Manhattan,

Bank of America, Banco de Italia,

Banco de Londres, Banco Espaol,

Banco Francs, Deutsche Bank,

Banco Ro and Banco Quilmes,

Banco Galicia and many more.

And by multinationals

like Esso, Fiat, IBM,

Ford, Mercedes Benz, Swift, Pirelli,

as well as local groups owned by

Prez Companc, Bulgheroni-Bridas,

Macri, Techint, Fortabat,

Pescarmona, Gruneisen, Soldati,

Cogasco, Celulosa and others.

An excessive private debt

that a top bureaucrat of the

dictatorship saddled the State with:

Domingo Cavallo.

A "super-Minister" of Finance in the

Menem and De la Ra governments,

he is responsible

of the unending growth of the debt

and the worst pillage ever suffered

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