The Country (Encyclopedia of Global Resources)
Argentina is a wedge-shaped country at the tip of South America. Physically, the nation has the largest territory and fourth largest population—after Mexico, Colombia, and Spain—of all Spanish-speaking countries in the world. In total area, it is four times the size of Texas and is the eighth largest country in the world. Its capital, Buenos Aires, is the largest city in the Southern Cone, which includes Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay. Argentina’s annual gross domestic product is consistently second in South America. Brazil, the largest country in the region, is always first. Argentina clearly has great wealth and greater economic potential owing to its natural resource base. However, the top 1 percent of the people have nearly all of the wealth and the bulk of the land, and the national debt is high. Additionally, growing crops for export and simultaneously producing food crops for domestic consumption constitute a challenge for Argentina. As world food prices have escalated, export critics have worried about Argentina’s ability to feed its own people at affordable prices. Thus, Argentina has natural resource problems for which the country’s diverse and educated people must eventually find solutions.
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Agricultural Land of the Pampas (Encyclopedia of Global Resources)
Agricultural land composes 47 percent of Argentina’s total area, and agricultural products account for about one-half the annual value of the country’s exports to the global economy. The bulk of Argentina’s agricultural exports come from the Pampas, which is the wealthiest rural area in South America. The region’s vast, open plains, deep, rich soil, and moderate climate are the physical bases for the wealth. The plains topography is conducive to raising large fields of fodder crops for livestock yards and for open field grazing. The climate of the Pampas area is much like that of the Middle Atlantic states of the East Coast of the United States. The Pampas has year-round precipitation, a relatively long growing season, and mild winter temperatures. The region’s best-known agricultural exports are hides (for leather), beef, wool, and wheat. However, its two most valuable commodities are animal feed (including unmilled cereals) and vegetable fats, oils, and oil seeds, which come mostly from soybeans and sunflower seeds. Argentina’s main trading partners for these products are China, India, Brazil, and Chile.
In addition to the land’s natural resources, outside influences were important in the development of Argentina’s export trade. During the late 1800’s, in addition to capital and business methods, the British transplanted technology that was especially suitable to the Pampas’ windswept,...
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Agricultural Land of the Interior (Encyclopedia of Global Resources)
Argentines often describe their population as composed of two groups, porteños and people of the interior. Porteños live in greater Buenos Aires, which corresponds to the city of Buenos Aires and its intertwining connections of highways, railroads, and cities in the Pampas region. People of the interior live outside the Pampas and are much more rural in their outlook and economy.
The climate and soils of Argentina’s interior lands vary from humid tropical and subtropical to desert and mountain. The Paraná Plateau, which is north of Buenos Aires, is the warmest and wettest part of the country. Coffee, tea, and yerba maté, a popular variety of tea in Argentina and adjoining areas, are the region’s chief export crops.
The Mesopotamia lowland is just west of the plateau, where the Paraná and Uruguay rivers flow parallel to each other. The lowland has a subtropical climate and exports spices (pepper, cumin, turmeric, nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger), tobacco, citrus, and cattle.
The semiarid Gran Chaco, which sits immediately west of Mesopotamia, exports some live cattle, cotton, and oil crops, especially peanuts and sunflower seeds. Still farther west is the Dry Chaco, which is truly a desert because it is in the rain shadow of high summits of the Andes Mountains. Nevertheless, the Gran Chaco’s fertile valley oases in the states of Jujuy, Salta, Tucumán, San Juan, and...
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Petroleum and Natural Gas (Encyclopedia of Global Resources)
Oil and petroleum-related products and natural gas make up Argentina’s second most valuable category of exports. Together, they amount to about 15 percent of the total value of the country’s exports. The main recipients are Chile, the United States, Brazil, and China, in that order. Most of Argentina’s production of these two products takes place in Patagonia, the country’s largest state, in the Neuquén and the Astral basins at the base of the Andes. Neuquén accounts for the bulk of the national production. Other long-standing producing basins are the Cuyo, San Jorge, and Magallenes. From 1980 to 2010, national gas production more than quadrupled.
Argentina is not a world leader in oil and gas exports, but it plays a relatively significant role supplying these products to its South American neighbors. The country was the second largest exporter of natural gas in South America in 2008. Only Bolivia exported more. In that year, Argentina ranked fourth in the exportation of petroleum in the South America region, behind Venezuela, Brazil, and Ecuador, in decreasing order. Argentina’s natural gas and petroleum exports are relatively important to the region, but Venezuela and Bolivia exceed Argentina by far in terms of totals for both resources in production and proved reserves. In 2008, the leading producing company in the country was YPF S.A., followed by Pan American Energy LLC, Petrobrás Energía S.A.,...
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Copper, Gold, and Silver (Encyclopedia of Global Resources)
Economists and geologists classify gold and silver as precious metals because of their relatively high value per unit of weight. In contrast, owing to the bulk of impurities of copper ore, copper is considered an industrial mineral or nonprecious metal. Argentina’s production of copper, gold, and silver has increased rapidly. Ores of all three metals can form in similar geological environments. For example, all three are hidden beneath the dry hills of the Puna region in the country’s northwest corner. The Puna also produces small amounts of tin, lead, zinc, and ferrous minerals. The grassy knolls of Argentina’s north-central region have gold and porphyry copper, but also small amounts of nickel-platinum and manganese. One-third of the mining is done in Patagonia, which makes up the southern third of the country. Scattered in the region are large epithermal gold and silver deposits as well as polymetallic lead-zinc deposits. The last setting is the magnificent Andes Mountains region, which has deposits of porphyry copper and gold as well as chromium. The Andes region is where most of Argentina’s mining takes place, although explorations by mining companies have indicated that great potential exists for expanded mining in the other three regions. Mineral exploration has increased because of direct foreign investment ventures by Canadian, Chinese, U.S., and British companies, in decreasing order of investment....
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Aluminum and Water Power (Encyclopedia of Global Resources)
The manufacture of aluminum requires the raw material alumina and massive amounts of electricity. Argentina’s alumina comes from smelting bauxite (alumina ore), which the country imports. Hydroelectricity is a necessary power source because it can be produced more cheaply than electricity generated by burning expensive fossil fuels. The refining of alumina is the last step in aluminum production, which begins with exploratory drilling to locate the ore, then removing overburden through blasting and the use of giant earthmoving equipment.
Aluar Aluminio Argentino S.A.I.C., or Aluar, is Argentina’s only producer of aluminum. The company is a privately owned stock-trading company that controls every aspect of the aluminum business. It converts alumina to primary aluminum and aluminum products for use in transportation, construction, electrical, medical, water treatment, and packaging industries. Aluar generates its own electricity at its dam on the Futaleufú River in the Andes Mountains. The company transfers the electricity via its own power lines to its aluminum factory near Puerto Madryn in Chubut Province. The company’s energy consumption has exceeded its capacity for generating hydroelectricity, so it has supplemented its needs with electricity from burning natural gas, an abundant and a relatively low-cost power source in Argentina. More than 80 percent of Aluar’s production is exported to other...
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Boron (Encyclopedia of Global Resources)
Argentina was the world’s third largest exporter of boron in 2006. Turkey and the United States were first and second, respectively. In that year, the country produced 15 percent of the total world supply. Boron is processed from borate ore, which formed in ancient lake beds at different times. The Puna region, which includes the northwestern corner of Argentina and adjoining areas in Bolivia and Chile, is the main area of borate deposits in South America. The oldest deposits in Argentina formed from 6 to 1.5 million years ago. The Puna is in the high desert of Salta Province, about 4,000 meters above sea level. The main producer of boron in this area is Salta Mining and Energy Resources, an Argentine company. Borax, an American company, mines boron in the Loma Blanca area southeast of the Puna region. Most of Argentina’s production is exported to South American customers. Boron-based compounds are used in the manufacture of such items as boric acid, cosmetics, soaps and detergents, flame retardants, glazes on ceramics, fiberglass, and glass fibers.
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Lithium (Encyclopedia of Global Resources)
In 2006, Argentina produced 12 percent of the total world production of lithium. Lithium is a rare earth mineral that forms during mountain building, when igneous activities enrich lithium-bearing ores in silicic and pegmatite rocks. The weathered products of these rocks are the most economical sources of lithium; they appear as lithium carbonate and lithium chloride in rare brine deposits of ancient lake beds. Lithium-bearing deposits are in northwestern Argentina, in the Puna, Loma Blanca, and Salar de Hombre Muerto areas. The lithium division of the FMC Corporation, an international and publicly traded company, established the first and largest commercially viable lithium-mining operation at Salar de Hombre Muerto. That mine produces lithium chloride from the brine of the salar (salt flat) using a patented ionic exchange process.
Refined lithium is used in the manufacture of ceramics, glass, batteries, lubricating greases, pharmaceuticals and polymers, air-conditioning, and primary aluminum production. Lithium use in batteries has expanded significantly because such batteries have a much longer lifetime than ordinary batteries do. As a result, lithium batteries have been used increasingly in portable electronic devices, such as laptop computers, and in home fire alarms and electrical tools. The greatest potential market is in batteries for plug-in hybrid vehicles. The potential market in the United States expanded...
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Other Resources (Encyclopedia of Global Resources)
Argentina is one of six Latin American exporters of lead and zinc, ranking second to Mexico in lead. Other metallic ores that are mined commercially include nickel, manganese, chromium, titanium, and molybdenum. The country’s marine resources also enter the global economy, as Argentine fishing companies catch crustaceans and shellfish that they export primarily to Spain, Italy, Brazil, and France, in descending order. A fair amount of agricultural land, which is a natural resource that depends on local climate and soil fertility, is planted with feed crops that support the production of dairy products and eggs to Algeria, Venezuela, Brazil, and Chile. Additional Argentine exports are timber products (logs, lumber, and pulpwood), mainly to Brazil, South Africa, and France.
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Further Reading (Encyclopedia of Global Resources)
Arnold, Guy. The Resources of the Third World. New York: Cassell, 1997.
Crooker, Richard A. Argentina. Edgemont, Pa.: Chelsea House, 2004.
Foster, David William, Melissa Fitch Lockhart, and Darrell B. Lockhart. Culture and Customs of Argentina. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1998.
Garrett, Donald E. Borates: Handbook of Deposits, Processing, Properties, and Use. San Diego: Academic Press, 1998.
Kogel, Jessica Elzea, et al., eds. Industrial Minerals and Rocks: Commodities, Markets, and Uses. 7th ed. Littleton, Colo.: Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration, 2006.
Lewis, Daniel K. The History of Argentina. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2001.
Rotolo, G. C., et al. “Energy Evaluation of Grazing Cattle in Argentina’s Pampas.” Agriculture, Ecosystems, and Environment 119, no. 3 (March, 2007): 383-395.
Central Intelligence Agency. The World Fact Book. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/index.html
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Country Profiles. http://faostat.fao.org/site/342/default.aspx
International Trade Centre. Countries. http://www.intracen.org/menus/countries.htm
U.S. Geological Survey. Aluminum....
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Argentina (Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity)
In the 1970s political violence in Argentina resulted in thousands of deaths, prolonged arbitrary arrest, unfair trials, pervasive torture, and cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment. The most salient feature of repression by the military dictatorship was the practice of disappearances: At least 15,000 (and possibly up to 25,000) were abducted by security forces, their detention unacknowledged. They were sent to one of 250 secret detention centers, where they were interrogated under barbaric methods of torture. Ultimately, the vast majority of the desaparecidos were systematically, but secretly, murdered. Their bodies were disposed of in clandestine gravesites or dumped from airplanes into the ocean. More than twenty-five years later at least 12,000 victims remain unaccounted for, despite efforts by their relatives and civil society to establish their fate and the whereabouts of their remains.
The repressive campaign was launched in March 1976, as the commanders-in-chief of Argentina's three armed forces ousted President Isabel Peron and proclaimed a de facto regime designed to eliminate once and for all what they called the Marxist subversive threat. Serious human rights violations had begun at least eighteen months earlier, and the military participated in them. Isabel Peron had been elected vice-president in 1973 and became president after the death of her husband, General Juan Domingo Peron, on July 1, 1974. Elements of her government organized secret death squads such as Triple A (Alianza Anticomunista Argentina) and Comando Libertadores de America. Years later it was established that some police and military officers were members of these squads, and that security forces and public institutions covered up their crimes. Their modus operandi included kidnappings, but within hours the victims' bodies would be found in visible places, often showing gruesome forms of mutilation. For this reason the regime of Isabel Peron was widely seen as increasing the insecurity felt by citizens, while making little progress in curbing the action of left-wing guerrilla movements. In that sense the coup d'etat of March 24, 1976, was an attempt to monopolize and intensify state violence and to expand its scope, while also hiding and denying it.
Unquestionably, official right-wing violence was a response to organized armed violence by several leftist revolutionary groups. As in other Latin American countries, Argentine guerrilla movements were organized shortly after the death of Ernesto Che Guevara in Bolivia in 1967. With some minor exceptions they employed urban guerrilla tactics; whether the violence reached the level of an internal armed conflict in terms of the laws of war remains an unanswered question. The largest of these groups was the Montoneros, formed by leaders emerging from student and working-class demonstrations in several cities in 1969. The Montoneros combined armed actions with political organization and mobilization, and considered themselves part of the Peronist movement. They had a commanding presence in the movement's large and actively mobilized student, rank-and-file labor, and grassroots wings. To the left of the Montoneros were several Marxist and Guevarist armed organizations, the most prominent of which was the Ejército Revolucionario del Pueblo (ERP). The Montoneros and ERP launched bold attacks on military and sometimes civilian targets, and occasionally engaged in terrorist actions. The aggregate effect of their actions provoked the police, the military, and right-wing death squads into a spiral of retaliatory violence.
On assuming control of the government, the military junta closed down Argentina's Congress, replaced members of its Supreme Court and most other judges, and intervened in all local and provincial (state) governments. Many prominent politicians and labor leaders were incarcerated for long prison terms without trial. In fact, the military utilized emergency powers to arrest nearly ten thousand persons and hold them indefinitely in administrative detention, pursuant to the state of siege provisions of Argentina's Constitution. The government refused to comply with the few judicial orders issued by its own judicial appointees, seeking to release some detainees because of the authorities' failure to establish a clear rationale for their continued detention. Many state of siege detainees spent between four and six years in prison. Others were subjected to military trials without a semblance of due process. A larger number were tried in the federal courts under counterinsurgency legislation of a draconian nature and with evidence largely obtained through torture.
The most terrifying and pervasive practice of the military dictatorship, however, was that of forced disappearances described above. Investigations and prosecutions completed after the return of democracy established without a doubt that disappearances were conducted pursuant to official (albeit secret) policy, and implemented and executed under careful supervision along the chain of command. The National Commission on the Disappearance of Persons, one of the earliest truth commissions of recent vintage and set in motion by president Raúl Alfonsín as soon as the country reestablished democracy in 1983, determined this critical fact without dispute. It was further proven through rigorous court procedures in 1985, when the heads of the three military juntas that governed between 1976 and 1982 were prosecuted for planning, executing, and supervising the reign of terror. General Jorge Videla and Admiral Emilio Massera were sentenced to life in prison for their respective roles as commanders of Argentina's army and navy.
By Videla's own admission the targets were not only the armed guerrillas: They included also their lawyers, priests and professors who allegedly spread anti-Western and anti-Christian ideas, labor leaders, neighborhood organizers, human rights activists, and in general anyone whos defined by the militaryent aid and comfort to the so-called subversive movement. Military leaders variously claimed that their war against subversion was a "dirty war." The deliberate, widespread, and systematic nature of the practice of disappearances, and the protection of its perpetrators from any investigation, qualifies the phenomenon, as implemented in Argentina, as a crime against humanity. To the extent that the targets were singled out because of ideology or political affiliation and did not belong to a racial or religious minority, the practice does not rise to the level of genocide as defined in international law. Nevertheless, many in Argentina, and significantly the courts of Spain exercising universal jurisdiction, consider it genocide insofar as it targets a distinct national group defined by its ideology and slated for extinction, in whole or in part, through mass murder.
Argentina's program to attain truth and justice about the crimes of the past was cut short when factions of the military staged four uprisings against the democratic regime. The laws of Punto Final (Full Stop) and Obediencia Debida (Due Obedience), enacted in 1986 and 1987 under the pressure of that military unrest, terminated the prosecution of an estimated four hundred identified perpetrators. Their legal effect was a blanket amnesty. Videla, Massera, and the other defendants in the only two cases to result in convictions were pardoned by Carlos Menem, who succeeded Alfonsín in 1989. In spite of these setbacks, Argentine nongovernmental organizations continued to press for accountability. They succeeded first in persuading federal courts to conduct truth trials designed to establish the fate and whereabouts of the disappeared for the purpose of relaying that information to their families and to society. Later, several courts found that the Full Stop and Due Obedience laws were unconstitutional for being incompatible with Argentina's international obligations under human rights treaties. In August 2003, at the initiative of president Néstor Kirchner, the Argentine Congress declared these laws null and void, and the prosecution of some cases has began again. In the matter of the abduction and illegal adoption of children of the disappeared, or of those born during the captivity of their mother, criminal prosecutions have been brought against Videla, Massera, and dozens of other defendants, because those crimes were specifically exempted from the pseudo-amnesty laws. Kirchner has lifted restrictions on processing extradition requests from Spain and other countries. He also expressed support for Mexico's decision to extradite an Argentine dirty warrior to Spain to stand trial there. In 2003 it seemed inevitable that Argentina would either prosecute the perpetrators of all dirty war crimes or extradite them to Spain or other countries exercising universal jurisdiction.
SEE ALSO Argentina's Dirty Warriors; Disappearances; Immunity; Torture
Americas Watch (1991). Truth and Partial Justice in Argentinan Update. New York: Human Rights Watch.
Centro de Estudios Legales y Sociales (CELS) (Argentina) (2000). Derechos Humanos en Argentina: Informe Anual 2000, Eudeba. Buenos Aires: University of Buenos Aires Press.
Fertlowitz, Marguerite (1998). A Lexicon of Terror: Argentina and the Legacies of Torture. New York: Oxford University Press.
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (1980). Report on the Situation of Human Rights in Argentina. Washington, D.C.: Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.
Marchak, M. Patricia, and William Marchak (1999). God's Assassins: State Terrorism in Argentina in the 1970s. Montreal: McGill-Queen's University.
Nunca Más: Report of the Argentine National Commission on Disappearance of Persons (1985). New York: Farrar Strauss Giroux.
Mignone, Emilio F. (1988). Witness to the Truth. Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis Books.
Osiel, Mark (2001). Mass Atrocity, Ordinary Evil, and Hannah Arendt: Criminal Consciousness in Argentina's Dirty War. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press.
Juan E. Méndez
Argentina (International Dictionary of Psychoanalysis)
Argentina is unlike other Latin American countries in that its population is in large part the result of the massive European immigration that took place beginning in the late nineteenth century. Between the last decades of that century and with the global economic crisis of 1930, the country experienced increased prosperity. During that interval, the cultural climate was infused with a number of avant-garde intellectual currents.
Psychoanalysis in Argentina can be broken down into five periods: 1) the pre-institutional period, 2) the pioneer period, 3) the institutional period, 4) the crisis of the seventies, and 5) the present.
After 1922, and during the pre-institutional period, Spanish translations of the first volumes of Freud's complete works began to appear in Argentina, although translations in other languages were known. As early as 1910, however, Freud's ideas about infantile sexuality, free association, and psychoanalysis had been presented in Buenos Aires by the Chilean doctor Germán Greve (quoted by Freud in The History of the Psychoanalytic Movement) during the International Congress of Medicine and Hygiene, and the Peruvian Honorio Delgado had published articles on psychoanalysis in several prestigious medical journals.
In 1922 Enrique Mouchet, who had been professor of experimental psychology and physiology for two decades in the Department of Philosophy and Literature at the University of Buenos Aires, made psychoanalysis part of his syllabus, although he was critical of it. In 1923 the Spanish doctor Gonzalo Lafora gave a number of talks on psychoanalysis at the school of medicine. In February 1930, two recognized psychiatrists left for Vienna to visit Freud: Gregorio Bermann and Nerio Rojas, who would later publish a report of his meeting in the widely circulated daily La Nación. During the thirties, inexpensive editions of Stefan Zweig's biography of Freud were printed, as well as a ten-volume series of popularizations of Freud entitled, Freud Made Easy, carelessly edited (pseudonymously) and containing long passages from the Spanish translation of Freud's works.
The journal Critica regularly published a column on psychoanalysis devoted to the interpretation of dreams. In 1936 one of the most serious literary reviews in the country, Sur, paid homage to Freud; the review Psicoterapia also devoted an issue to the founder of psychoanalysis. A group of writers invited Freud to move to Argentina. Jorge Thenon, a self-taught psychoanalyst, received a letter from Freud, to whom he had sent his thesis, "Psicoterapia comparada y psicogénesis" [Comparative Psychotherapy and Psychogenesis], in which Freud encouraged him to continue his work for future publication in an international psychoanalytic review. The letter appeared in La Semana médica in 1933.
In 1938 the arrival of the Hungarian psychologist Béla Székely in Argentina helped to spread psychoanalytic ideas along with the use of tests, especially Rorschach tests. During that same decade, Enrique Pichon-Rivière and Arnaldo Rascovsky discovered Freud's work; they devoted themselves to its study and its clinical application. Pichon-Rivière formed a working group with Arminda and Frederico Aberastury; Rascovsky, with his wife Matilde Wencelblat, Luisa Gambier (later Luisa Alvarez de Toledo), Simon Wencelblat, Teodoro Shlossberg, Flora Scolni, Alberto Tallaferro, and Guillermo Ferrari Hardoy.
In 1939, two psychoanalysts from Europe, the Argentine Celes Cárcamo, member of the Paris Psychoanalytic Society, and the Spaniard Angel Garma, member of the German Psychoanalytic Association, joined Rascovksy's and Pichon-Rivière's groups. Celes Cárcamo had been a friend of Pichon-Rivière for years. Angel Garma, who had wanted to leave Spain for Argentina, had met Cárcamo in Paris. A decision was made to found a psychoanalytic association as soon as a sufficient number of analysts could be brought together. Luisa Alvarez de Toledo, Luis Rascovsky, Guillermo Ferrari Hardoy, and Alberto Tallaferro began analysis with Cárcamo, while Arnaldo Rascovsky, Enrique Pichon-Rivière, and Arminda Aberastury started with Garma. The patients who were analyzed by Cárcamo were supervised by Garma and vice versa.
On December 15, 1942, Cárcamo, Garma, Ferrari Hardoy, Pichon-Rivière, Rascovsky, and Marie Langer founded the Asociación Psicoanalítica Argentina (APA), which marked the debut of the institutional period. Marie Glas de Langer, who had sought refuge in Uruguay in 1938, settled in Buenos Aires in 1942. Analyzed by Richard Sterba, she had been trained at the Vienna Institute of Psychoanalysis but, to complete her clinical work, she underwent a control analysis with Celes Cárcamo. Shortly after it was founded, the association received the provisional approval of Ernest Jones, then president of the International Psychoanalytic Association (IPA). The APA was recognized as a member society of the IPA at the Zurich Congress, in August 1949.
In July 1943, the first issue of the Revista de psicoanálisis appeared, and that same year the publisher Biblioteca de Psicoanálisis went into operation. This began a process of rapid expansion of the discipline both inside and outside Argentina. Therapists from throughout Latin America arrived eager for training, there were many foreign visitors, and Argentinian analysts traveled to present their work in other countries throughout the Americas and Europe. In 1953, the association had more than 68 members in all categories.
Angel Garma, who was analyzed by Theodor Reik and undertook his control analysis with Otto Fenichel, had an interest in a number of fields and in all of them he left his personal mark. He discussed Freud's theory of hallucinations in 1931, generalized the hypothesis of the traumatic genesis of dreams, and promoted psychoanalytic research and treatment in the field of psychosomatic disturbances. Celes Cárcamo was analyzed by Paul Schiff and had his control analysis with Rudolph Loewenstein and Charles Odier. He was interested in philosophy, religion, art, and especially therapy, and through his personal prestige and integrity helped introduce psychoanalysis to different social and professional milieus. During his early years, his writings primarily focused on psychoanalytic technique and psychosomatics.
The analysis of psychosis became a focus of interest through the impetus of Enrique Pichon-Rivière, along with Arnaldo Rascovsky's research on mania. Pichon-Rivière emphasized the "single illness" theory and proposed a psychopathology that centered on a central pathogenic kernel or "fundamental depressive situation." Rascovsky, in his work on fetal psychism, introduced the hypothesis of a prenatal maniacal position, prior to the introduction of the paranoid-schizoid position by Melanie Klein.
Arminda Aberastury and Elisabeth Goode de Garma specialized in the psychoanalysis of children and adolescents, basing their work on the theoretical contributions of Melanie Klein. Increasing demand and theoretical interest in this type of therapy helped stimulate the growth of group psychoanalysis. The work of Marie Langer, León Grinberg, and Emilio Rodrigué stands out in this field. The personality and the ideas of these pioneers affected the tenor of their theoretical work. There was a strong Freudian influence, of course, but Otto Fenichel, Hermann Nunberg, Wilhelm Reich, Paul Federn, and Melanie Klein were read as well.
Other important work was done by Marie Langer on femininity and by Luisa Alvarez de Toledo in her research on "association" and "interpretation," which contributed to the interest in language, a subject later taken up by David Liberman. Heinrich Racker made significant contributions to the study of the instrumental value of countertransference (concomitant with the work of Paula Heimann in Great Britain).
The tentative return to democracy in 1958, which coincided with one of the most brilliant moments in the contemporary history of the University of Buenos Aires, provided a favorable framework for the activity of new generations of psychoanalysts. It was during this period that there arose the personalities and ideas that would, to a large extent, define the identify of what came to be known as the "Argentinian school." Alongside the work of Rascovsky, Garma, Pichon-Rivière, and Racker, the names of León and Rebeca Grin-berg, Willy and Madeleine Baranger, Jorge Mom, Jorge García Badaracco, Mauricio Abadi, Edgardo Rolla, Fidias Cesio, José Bleger, David Liberman, Joel Zac, Horacio Etchegoyen, Salomón Resnik, Luis Chiozza, Isidoro Berenstein, and many others gained local and international recognition.
The dominant theoretical trends revolved around English authors, primarily Melanie Klein and her closest collaborators: Paula Heimann, Hanna Segal, Susan Isaacs, and later Donald Meltzer, Wilfred Bion, and Herbert Rosenfeld. When Klein's influence reached its peak, there were four dominant trends: dogmatic Kleinians, critical Kleinians (Baranger), those who deepened and extended her work (Grinberg, Bleger, Liberman, Etchegoyen, Zac), and those who responded to her theories with a refreshing (non-Lacanian) return to Freud.
During this period, the first non-IPA schools of psychoanalysis appeared, founded by members of the APA, to meet the growing demand for training and the limited opportunities for admission provided by the Association. Another important event that occurred at this time was the introduction of psychoanalysis in hospitals throughout Argentina. Also, during this ten-year period, a school of psychology was created in Buenos Aires. Psychoanalysis played a major role in the curriculum and a number of qualified psychoanalysts were on the staff. The school produced a large number of clinical psychologists. After 1986 they were able to join the APA once it removed the restriction that required practitioners of psychotherapy to be medical doctors.
The seventies were a period of increased tension. Changes around the world had repercussions in the country generally and on the psychoanalytic movement in particular. Passionate debates within the psychoanalytic community prevented any kind of consistent intellectual progress. During this confused period, a number of well-known analysts (Marie Langer, Diego and Gilou García Reynose, among others) left the APA and founded the Plataforma and Documento movements. Other forms of psychotherapy competed for the market of available patients, whose numbers continued to increase rapidly. This was somewhat muted by the economic inflation and the increasing social and individual malaise. Antagonisms among psychoanalysts concerning institutional attitudes and psychoanalytic training grew steadily, culminating in the schism that would divide the Argentine Psychoanalytic Association and give birth, in 1977, to the Asociación Psicoanalítica de Buenos Aires (APDEBA), officially recognized the same year by the IPA during its Congress in Jerusalem.
It was at this time that Jacques Lacan's ideas entered the sphere of Argentinian psychoanalysis. These ideas rallied legions of partisans, not only because of their inherent interest but because of the anti-institutional orientation that Lacan embodied within the range of the then current warring ideological positions. Lacan's followers were soon clamoring for positions in hospitals, universities, and on the pages of the leading reviews. The particular language used by Lacanians made it difficult to confront them or even exchange ideas on the basis of an alternate terminology, which effectively curtailed the traditional intellectual pluralism that had been the norm within psychoanalytic organizations.
At the time there were five psychoanalytic institutions affiliated with the IPA: two in Buenos Aires (APA and APDEBA) and three in the cities of Mendoza, Córdoba, and Rosario. Unlike the previous periods, psychoanalysis now had to struggle for its identity and avoid being diluted in a complex and confusing "world of psych." A number of non-IPA teaching facilities were established, but the level of teaching was inconsistent. In spite of the changing, and unfavorable, cultural context, which contrasted sharply with the climate of the previous periods, the output of the majority of psychoanalysts was considerable, the local associations remained consistently productive, with an abundance of publications of high quality, and Lacanian organizations were highly active, demonstrating the persistent vitality of the discipline in the country.
Psychoanalysis in Argentina was influenced by global trends. Willy Baranger, initially influenced by the ideas of Enrique Pichon-Rivière, engaged in a critical examination of key concepts in psychoanalysis, from Melanie Klein to Jacques Lacan. Because of the lucidity of his approach, Baranger's work became a key focus of psychoanalytic thought in Argentina, and has remained valid for the second generation of practitioners.
An indigenous line of thought focused on method soon developed in Argentina. It was based on the technical work of Heinrich Racker and its greatest representative was Horacio Etchegoyen, who perfected it through his many innovative contributions to the theory of psychoanalytic technique and his marked interest in the epistemological aspects of the discipline. Another local current came into prominence during the eighties and favored a diversification of practice in the psychoanalytic approach to group, family, and couples therapy. There was considerable interest in the social aspects of psychoanalysis, which led to the development of more committed positions among psychoanalysts and a psychoanalytic approach to social phenomena of violence. Developments in the field of psychosis, the diversification of applied psychoanalysis, and work in the field of psychosomatics reflect the range of contributions of contemporary psychoanalysis in Argentina.
ROBERTO DORIA-MEDINA JR. SAMUEL ARBISER MOIS KIJAK
Aberastury, Arminda, et al. (1967). Historia enseñanza y ejercicio legal del psicoanálisis. Buenos Aires: Omeba.
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