50 years ago Argentina was considered by many the Europe of Latin America, given its abundant natural resources and its large and highly educated middle class. In the mid 1970s, however, a brutal military dictatorship wreaked havoc on the country, causing the death and disappearance of over 30,000 individuals. Democracy was finally attained in the 1980s. After almost a decade of hyper-inflation, the Menem administration enacted the neo-liberal economic policies of the IMF. Argentina became the poster child for the neo-liberal model. The economy seemed relatively steady, the peso was pegged to the dollar, and the Argentine people were told that they would soon become part of the "first world". On Dec. 20, 2001, however, the bottom fell out. All the banks were locked denying people access to their own accounts, and the people watched as the peso, along with their savings, was devalued to a third of its original worth. Citizens all around the country took to the streets banging their frying pans and chanting "que se vayan todos" or "get rid of them all" for the removal of politicians in the corrupt government.
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