Geographic and Governmental Profile of Argentina

Background
In 1816, the United Provinces of the Rio Plata declared their independence from Spain. After Bolivia, Paraguay, and Uruguay went their separate ways, the area that remained became Argentina. The country's population and culture were heavily shaped by immigrants from throughout Europe, but most particularly Italy and Spain, which provided the largest percentage of newcomers from 1860 to 1930. Up until about the mid-20th century, much of Argentina's history was dominated by periods of internal political conflict between Federalists and Unitarians and between civilian and military factions. After World War II, an era of Peronist populism and direct and indirect military interference in subsequent governments was followed by a military junta that took power in 1976. Democracy returned in 1983 after a failed bid to seize the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) by force, and has persisted despite numerous challenges, the most formidable of which was a severe economic crisis in 2001-02 that led to violent public protests and the successive resignations of several presidents.
Location
Southern South America, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean, between Chile and Uruguay
Geographic coordinates
34 00 S, 64 00 W
Continent / Subcontinent
South America
Area
total:
2,780,400 sq km
rank:
8
land:
2,736,690 sq km
water:
43,710 sq km
Area - comparative
slightly less than three-tenths the size of the US
Land boundaries
total:
9,861 km
border countries:
Bolivia 832 km, Brazil 1,261 km, Chile 5,308 km, Paraguay 1,880 km, Uruguay 580 km
Coastline
4,989 km
Maritime claims
territorial sea:
12 nm
contiguous zone:
24 nm
exclusive economic zone:
200 nm
continental shelf:
200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
Climate
mostly temperate; arid in southeast; subantarctic in southwest
Terrain
rich plains of the Pampas in northern half, flat to rolling plateau of Patagonia in south, rugged Andes along western border
Elevation extremes
lowest point:
Laguna del Carbon -105 m (located between Puerto San Julian and Comandante Luis Piedra Buena in the province of Santa Cruz)
highest point:
Cerro Aconcagua 6,960 m (located in the northwestern corner of the province of Mendoza)
Natural resources
fertile plains of the pampas, lead, zinc, tin, copper, iron ore, manganese, petroleum, uranium
Land use
arable land:
10.03%
permanent crops:
0.36%
other:
89.61% (2005)
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Irrigated land
15,500 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources
814 cu km (2000)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)
total:
29.19 cu km/yr (17%/9%/74%)
per capita:
753 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards
San Miguel de Tucuman and Mendoza areas in the Andes subject to earthquakes; pamperos are violent windstorms that can strike the pampas and northeast; heavy flooding in some areas
volcanism:
volcanic activity in the Andes Mountains along the Chilean border; Copahue (elev. 2,997 m) last erupted in 2000; other historically active volcanoes include Llullaillaco, Maipo, Planchon-Peteroa, San Jose, Tromen, Tupungatito, and Viedma
Environment - current issues
environmental problems (urban and rural) typical of an industrializing economy such as deforestation, soil degradation, desertification, air pollution, and water pollution
Argentina is a world leader in setting voluntary greenhouse gas targets
Environment - international agreements
party to:
Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified:
Marine Life Conservation
Geography - note
second-largest country in South America (after Brazil); strategic location relative to sea lanes between the South Atlantic and the South Pacific Oceans (Strait of Magellan, Beagle Channel, Drake Passage); diverse geophysical landscapes range from tropical climates in the north to tundra in the far south; Cerro Aconcagua is the Western Hemisphere's tallest mountain, while Laguna del Carbon is the lowest point in the Western Hemisphere
Country name
conventional long form:
Argentine Republic
conventional short form:
Argentina
local long form:
Republica Argentina
local short form:
Argentina
Government type
republic
Capital
name:
Buenos Aires
geographic coordinates:
34 35 S, 58 40 W
time difference:
UTC-3 (2 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time:
none scheduled for 2011
Administrative divisions
23 provinces (provincias, singular - provincia) and 1 autonomous city*; Buenos Aires, Catamarca, Chaco, Chubut, Ciudad Autonoma de Buenos Aires*, Cordoba, Corrientes, Entre Rios, Formosa, Jujuy, La Pampa, La Rioja, Mendoza, Misiones, Neuquen, Rio Negro, Salta, San Juan, San Luis, Santa Cruz, Santa Fe, Santiago del Estero, Tierra del Fuego - Antartida e Islas del Atlantico Sur (Tierra del Fuego), Tucuman
the US does not recognize any claims to Antarctica
Independence
9 July 1816 (from Spain)
Constitution
1 May 1853; amended many times starting in 1860
Legal system
civil law system based on West European legal systems; note - efforts at civil code reform begun in the mid-1980s has stagnated
International law organization participation
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
Suffrage
18-70 years of age; universal and compulsory
Executive branch
chief of state:
President Cristina FERNANDEZ DE KIRCHNER (since 10 December 2007); Vice President Amado BOUDOU (since 10 December 2011); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government:
President Cristina FERNANDEZ DE KIRCHNER (since 10 December 2007); Vice President Amado BOUDOU (since 10 December 2011)
cabinet:
Cabinet appointed by the president
elections:
president and vice president elected on the same ticket by popular vote for four-year terms (eligible for a second term); election last held on 23 October 2011 (next election to be held in October 2015)
election results:
Cristina FERNANDEZ DE KIRCHNER reelected president; percent of vote - Cristina FERNANDEZ DE KIRCHNER 54%, Hermes BINNER 16.9%, Ricardo ALFONSIN 11.1%, Alberto Rodriguez SAA 8%, Eduardo DUHALDE 5.9%, other 4.1%
Legislative branch
bicameral National Congress or Congreso Nacional consists of the Senate (72 seats; members are elected by direct vote; presently one-third of the members elected every two years to serve six-year terms) and the Chamber of Deputies (257 seats; members are elected by direct vote; one-half of the members elected every two years to serve four-year terms)
elections:
Senate - last held on 23 October 2011 (next to be held in 2013); Chamber of Deputies - last held on 23 October 2011 (next to be held in 2013)
election results:
Senate - percent of vote by bloc or party - NA; seats by bloc or party - FpV 38, UCR 17, PJ Disidente 10, FAP 4, other 3; Chamber of Deputies - percent of vote by bloc or party - NA; seats by bloc or party - FpV 134, UCR 41, PJ Disidente 28, FAP 22, PRO 11, CC 7, other 14
Judicial branch
Supreme Court or Corte Suprema (the Supreme Court judges are appointed by the president with approval of the Senate)
the Supreme Court has seven judges; the Argentine Congress in 2006 passed a bill to gradually reduce the number of Supreme Court judges to five
Political parties and leaders
Broad Progressive Front or FAP [Hermes BINNER]; Civic Coalition or CC (a broad coalition loosely affiliated with Elisa CARRIO); Dissident Peronists (PJ Disidente) or Federal Peronism (a sector of the Justicialist Party opposed to the Kirchners); Front for Victory or FpV (a broad coalition, including elements of the PJ, UCR, and numerous provincial parties) [Cristina FERNANDEZ DE KIRCHNER]; Justicialist Party or PJ [vacant]; Radical Civic Union or UCR [Mario BARLETTA]; Republican Proposal or PRO [Mauricio MACRI]; Socialist Party or PS [Ruben GIUSTINIANI]; numerous provincial parties
Political pressure groups and leaders
Argentine Association of Pharmaceutical Labs (CILFA); Argentine Industrial Union (manufacturers' association); Argentine Rural Confederation or CRA (small to medium landowners' association); Argentine Rural Society (large landowners' association); Central of Argentine Workers or CTA (a radical union for employed and unemployed workers); General Confederation of Labor or CGT (Peronist-leaning umbrella labor organization); White and Blue CGT (dissident CGT labor confederation); Roman Catholic Church
other:
business organizations; Peronist-dominated labor movement; Piquetero groups (popular protest organizations that can be either pro or anti-government); students
International organization participation
AfDB (nonregional member), Australia Group, BCIE, BIS, CAN (associate), CELAC, FAO, FATF, G-15, G-20, G-24, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, LAES, LAIA, Mercosur, MIGA, MINURSO, MINUSTAH, NAM (observer), NSG, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, Paris Club (associate), PCA, SICA (observer), UN, UNASUR, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNHCR, UNIDO, Union Latina (observer), UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
Diplomatic representation in the US
chief of mission:
Ambassador Jorge Martin Arturo ARGUELLO
chancery:
1600 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20009
telephone:
[1] (202) 238-6400
FAX:
[1] (202) 332-3171
consulate(s) general:
Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York
Diplomatic representation from the US
chief of mission:
Ambassador Vilma MARTINEZ
embassy:
Avenida Colombia 4300, C1425GMN Buenos Aires
mailing address:
international mail: use embassy street address; APO address: US Embassy Buenos Aires, Unit 4334, APO AA 34034
telephone:
[54] (11) 5777-4533
FAX:
[54] (11) 5777-4240
Flag description
three equal horizontal bands of light blue (top), white, and light blue; centered in the white band is a radiant yellow sun with a human face known as the Sun of May; the colors represent the clear skies and snow of the Andes; the sun symbol commemorates the appearance of the sun through cloudy skies on 25 May 1810 during the first mass demonstration in favor of independence; the sun features are those of Inti, the Inca god of the sun
National symbol(s)
Sun of May (a sun-with-face symbol)
National anthem
name:
"Himno Nacional Argentino" (Argentine National Anthem)
lyrics/music:
Vicente LOPEZ y PLANES/Jose Blas PARERA
adopted 1813; Vicente LOPEZ was inspired to write the anthem after watching a play about the 1810 May Revolution against Spain
Data source 1: All Above textual data, maps and flags were extracted from The World Factbook which was prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency and made available on the following link: The World Factbook. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsered or affiliated, in any way, by the US Central Intelligence Agency
Data source 2: Plots and Charts are constructed using the world bank public data catalog which can be viewed by visiting the following link: World Bank Data Catalog. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsored or affiliated, in any way, by the worldbank

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