Facebook Instagram Twitter YouTube

Argentina: Mass Protests Against Impunity for Genocidal Military

On Wednesday, 500,000 people took the steets in Buenos Aires to protest the “2×1” court decision that reduces prison sentences for genocidal military leaders.

Left Voice

May 13, 2017
Facebook Twitter Share

On Wednesday, 500,000 people took the streets in Buenos Aires, bringing the capital to a standstill. Thousands took the streets in other cities around the country. They were protesting the “2×1” decision handed down by the courts that reduce prison sentences for genocidal military leaders who were convicted of crimes against humanity committed during the military dictatorship of 1976.

The Argentine military dictatorship began in 1976 with the overthrow of Isabel Peron and kept in place until 1983. It was backed by US government, with support and guidance from Henry Kissinger. Leftists and those who opposed the dictatorship were disappeared; thousands were raped, tortured and killed.

The majority that committed these genocidal acts were never punished: the dead cannot bring their murderers to trial. Some who managed to survive the death camps have been able to identify their torturers, take them to trial and secure a conviction. However, most perpetrators receive only 15 to 20 years in prison–often tried for a single crime, as multiple crimes are difficult to prove.


Criminal law in Argentina allows prison sentences for minor crimes to be halved based on good conduct; each year in prison is worth two years’ time (hence the slogan 2×1). However, after the massive uprisings in 2001, this law was no longer applied to men and women convicted of genocide or crimes against humanity committed during the military dictatorship.

Recently, court justices applied the 2×1 law to someone found guilty of genocide, opening the door to all of those who disappeared people during the military dictatorship to cut their prison time in half.

Immediately before the massive protest last Wednesday, the National Congress passed a law that limited the 2×1 ruling, to ensure that those found guilty of crimes against humanity do not have access to it. However, a multitude took to the streets anyway. Human rights organizations, trade unions, student groups and political parties joined thousands of families who were touched by the dictatorship to say that there is no forgiveness, there is no forgetting and there is no reconciliation possible with those who carried out murder and torture during the dictatorship.


The grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo were at the forefront of the protest, speaking out against the judges who made the 2×1 ruling and applauding the parliamentary decision. They urged people to vote for those who will represent their voices, putting forward an electoral strategy to punish the perpetrators of torture and murder. They do not take into account that it was the 500,000 people in the streets that changed the 2×1 ruling, not the goodwill of the politicians. Furthermore, the same political parties who stopped the 2×1 decision voted for the judges who made the decision.

During the mobilization, left organizations formed an independent bloc with human rights groups that are not tied to Kirchnerism. The bloc’s statement read, “The complete rejection of the court’s ruling is so massive that the Macri government had to go back on the ruling. We do not trust the judges or the justice system. We trust mobilization.”

Myriam Bregman, a human rights lawyer and former vice-presidential candidate for the PTS (Party of Socialist Workers) said, “When three privileged judges think they can trample a 40-year struggle, they are wrong.”


Facebook Twitter Share

Left Voice

Militant journalism, revolutionary politics.

Latin America

Pro-abortion activists hold up banners reading "Legal abortion" and "Forcing gestation is torture" during a protest against abortion named "For the Life", a week after the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN) decriminalized abortion, in Monterrey, Mexico September 12, 2021.

Mexico Moves Closer to Decriminalizing Abortion, but the Fight Isn’t Over

The new ruling is an important step in advancing the decriminalization of abortion in Mexico. But we must fight for fully legal, free, and safe abortion across the country.

Joss Espinosa

September 14, 2023

The 1973 Coup in Chile, 50 Years Later: Lessons of a Revolutionary Process

50 years ago today, a U.S.-backed military coup overthrew the government of Salvador Allende in Chile, installing the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. Here, we share a series of articles to think about the lessons from the defeat of one of the most profound revolutionary processes in Latin America.  

Left Voice

September 11, 2023
Argentine presidential candidate of the La Libertad Avanza alliance, Javier Milei, reacts with Ramiro Marra, candidate for head of government of Buenos Aires, and Victoria Villarruel, candidate for vice-president, on stage at his campaign headquarters on the day of Argentina's primary elections, in Buenos Aires, Argentina August 13, 2023. REUTERS/Stringer

What Explains the Rise of the Far Right in Argentina?

The Peronists’ “lesser evil” strategy has failed to stop the rise of Javier Milei, the most reactionary major candidate Argentina has seen in decades.

Robert Belano

August 22, 2023

Building “A Real Alternative to the Bosses’ Parties”: Interview with Argentinian Socialist Congresswoman Myriam Bregman

Socialist feminist leader, congress member and presidential candidate Myriam Bregman spoke with Jacobin Latin America about the record of the Peronists in government, the new far right, and the necessity of a true alternative for working people.

Myriam Bregman

August 13, 2023


Neither Trump nor Biden Represent the Interests of the Striking Workers

Donald Trump skipped the second GOP debate to go to Michigan to speak on the UAW strike. This, one day after Biden became the first U.S. president to walk a picket line, represents the on-going fight between the parties to win influence over the working class.

Enid Brain

September 29, 2023

The Deadliest Year for U.S.-Mexico Border Crossings Occurred during Biden’s Administration

The humanitarian crisis at the border was created by capitalism. Voting for a lesser evil won’t save the Latin American working class; it will take international, political and strategic solidarity across borders to build a combative immigrants’ rights movement.

Paul Ginestá

September 28, 2023

The Big Three Are Using Layoffs to Punish the UAW and Undermine the Strike

The Big Three are retaliating against the UAW by laying off thousands of its members at plants across the country. Defeating these attacks will require the self organization and mobilization of all the workers.

James Dennis Hoff

September 28, 2023
President Biden visits striking UAW workers in Michigan.

Biden’s Picket Line Visit Doesn’t Mean He Is On Our Side

President Biden’s visit to the UAW picket line shows the strength of the strike — and why it should remain independent from him and the Democrats.

Tatiana Cozzarelli

September 27, 2023