Tue, 05 Apr 2005

Memoria del saqueo

Yesterday, Kiko, Belén and I went to the cinema to see Memoria del saqueo (Social Genocide, in the English translation), a documentary film about how Argentina, one of the richest countries in South America, managed to go into total bankruptcy, ending in the popular uprise and rioting of December 2001.

As the story develops, from the times of Videla's dictatorship, and through the democratic presidencies of Alfonsín, Menem and De la Rua, you see how all the layers of the Argentinian society have systematically used their big or small powers for their own benefit, or to benefit corporations from other countries. From politicians to the labor-union leaders, and including judges, lawyers, businessmen or the Church, everyone did as much as they could to steal from the Argentinian people, during decades. Menem was specially incredible, as he didn't even care to hide anything, as you see in the YPF privatization process.

This is a crude film, and a feeling of impotence invades you from the very beginning. The description of how the thousands of middle-class families suddenly found themselves in poverty and without a job, and the poorer classes suddenly suffered from desnutrition had me thinking "hijos de puta!" during the two hours, specially during the description of the situation in Tucumán, where many children died of famine, in a country with capacity to feed 300 million people.

If you still wonder how Argentina could get in that hole 2 years ago, this is probably the perfect explanation.