Protests and demonstrations against unemployment, high levels of urban crime, poor housing and other social concerns are widespread. A monthly allowance for each child, payable to unemployed or low-income parents or those working in the informal sector, was established by the government in an attempt to tackle social exclusion.
Indigenous Peoples' rights
Indigenous communities continued to face eviction orders in breach of international standards and of a 2006 national emergency law temporarily suspending the execution of eviction orders or the removal of Indigenous communities from traditional lands. Lack of progress regarding the nationwide land survey led Congress to extend the applicability of the 2006 law until November 2013.
Indigenous communities were denied their right to free, prior and informed consent in projects involving exploitation of natural resources on Indigenous lands.
Around 150 Mapuches faced criminal charges in connection with protests over land rights and against judicial eviction orders in Neuquén Province.
Impunity – justice for past violations
There was progress in bringing to justice key perpetrators of past human rights violations. However, insufficient resources led to protracted delays. According to the Prosecution Co-ordination Unit, more than 600 people were facing criminal proceedings for human rights violations, including enforced disappearances, at the end of the year. Trials resulted in more than 30 convictions during the year.
Threats against witnesses
There were further reports that witnesses in trials relating to past human rights violations were threatened, particularly those living in isolated rural areas, despite protection programmes.
Poor conditions, violence, overcrowding, lack of adequate health services, torture and other ill-treatment were reported in prisons and detention centres in Santiago del Estero and Mendoza provinces. The national authorities failed to set up a mechanism for the prevention of torture as required by the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture.
Violence against women and girls
Gender-based violence remained a serious concern. Legislation to prevent and punish violence against women was enacted in April. This provides for free legal assistance for women who experience violence and sets out protocols for the collection and systematic recording of official data on gender-based violence. However, at the end of the year, the law had yet to be implemented.
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The sentencing of a former Argentinean military leader for his role in hundreds of enforced disappearances in the context of a region-wide intelligence operation must open the door to further investigations to bring all those responsible to justice, said Amnesty International.
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Ahead of the President Obama’s trip to Cuba next week -- the first by a sitting U.S. president in 90 years -- as well as his trip to Argentina, Amnesty International urged that human rights be at the forefront of discussions with both Cuban President Raul Castro and Argentine President Mauricio Marcri. The organization issued an open letter to all three presidents outlining its top concerns in each country including the detention site at Guantánamo Bay, the U.S. economic embargo on Cuba, migrant rights and the rights of Indigenous Peoples.
On the launch of its 2015 State of the World report, Amnesty International USA urged President Obama to use his last year in office to bring U.S. laws and policies in line with international human rights standards.