Buenos Aires is the capital and largest city of Argentina. The city is located on the western shore of the estuary of the Río de la Plata, on the South American continent's southeastern coast. "Buenos Aires" can be translated as "fair winds" or "good airs", but the former was the meaning intended by the founders in the 16th century, by the use of the original name "Real de Nuestra Señora Santa María del Buen Ayre". The Greater Buenos Aires conurbation, which includes several Buenos Aires Province districts, constitutes the fourth-most populous metropolitan area in the Americas, with a population of around 15.6 million. The city of Buenos Aires is the Province's capital. In 1880, after decades of political infighting, Buenos Aires was federalized and removed from Buenos Aires Province; the city limits were enlarged to include the towns of Flores. The 1994 constitutional amendment granted the city autonomy, hence its formal name: Autonomous City of Buenos Aires, its citizens first elected a chief of government in 1996.
Buenos Aires is considered an'alpha city' by the study GaWC5. Buenos Aires' quality of life was ranked 91st in the world, being one of the best in Latin America in 2018, it is the most visited city in South America, the second-most visited city of Latin America. Buenos Aires is a top tourist destination, is known for its preserved Eclectic European architecture and rich cultural life. Buenos Aires held the 1st Pan American Games in 1951 as well as hosting two venues in the 1978 FIFA World Cup. Buenos Aires hosted the 2018 the 2018 G20 summit. Buenos Aires is a multicultural city, being home to multiple religious groups. Several languages are spoken in the city in addition to Spanish, contributing to its culture and the dialect spoken in the city and in some other parts of the country; this is because in the last 150 years the city, the country in general, has been a major recipient of millions of immigrants from all over the world, making it a melting pot where several ethnic groups live together and being considered one of the most diverse cities of the Americas.
It is recorded under the archives of Aragonese that Catalan missionaries and Jesuits arriving in Cagliari under the Crown of Aragon, after its capture from the Pisans in 1324 established their headquarters on top of a hill that overlooked the city. The hill was known to them as Bonaira, as it was free of the foul smell prevalent in the old city, adjacent to swampland. During the siege of Cagliari, the Catalans built a sanctuary to the Virgin Mary on top of the hill. In 1335, King Alfonso the Gentle donated the church to the Mercedarians, who built an abbey that stands to this day. In the years after that, a story circulated, claiming that a statue of the Virgin Mary was retrieved from the sea after it miraculously helped to calm a storm in the Mediterranean Sea; the statue was placed in the abbey. Spanish sailors Andalusians, venerated this image and invoked the "Fair Winds" to aid them in their navigation and prevent shipwrecks. A sanctuary to the Virgin of Buen Ayre would be erected in Seville.
In the first foundation of Buenos Aires, Spanish sailors arrived thankfully in the Río de la Plata by the blessings of the "Santa Maria de los Buenos Aires", the "Holy Virgin Mary of the Good Winds", said to have given them the good winds to reach the coast of what is today the modern city of Buenos Aires. Pedro de Mendoza called the city "Holy Mary of the Fair Winds", a name suggested by the chaplain of Mendoza's expedition – a devotee of the Virgin of Buen Ayre – after the Sardinian Madonna de Bonaria. Mendoza's settlement soon came under attack by indigenous people, was abandoned in 1541. For many years, the name was attributed to a Sancho del Campo, said to have exclaimed: How fair are the winds of this land!, as he arrived. But Eduardo Madero, in 1882 after conducting extensive research in Spanish archives concluded that the name was indeed linked with the devotion of the sailors to Our Lady of Buen Ayre. A second settlement was established in 1580 by Juan de Garay, who sailed down the Paraná River from Asunción.
Garay preserved the name chosen by Mendoza, calling the city Ciudad de la Santísima Trinidad y Puerto de Santa María del Buen Aire. The short form "Buenos Aires" became the common usage during the 17th century; the usual abbreviation for Buenos Aires in Spanish is Bs. As, it is common as well to refer to it as "B. A." or "BA". While "BA" is used more by expats residing in the city, the locals more use the abbreviation "Baires", in one word. Seaman Juan Díaz de Solís, navigating in the name of Spain, was the first European to reach the Río de la Plata in 1516, his expedition was cut short when he was killed during an attack by the native Charrúa tribe in what is now Uruguay. The city of Buenos Aires was first established as Ciudad de Nuestra Señora Santa María del Buen Ayre after Our Lady of Bonaria on 2 February 1536 by a Spanish expedition led by Pedro de Mendoza; the settlement founded by Mendoza was located in what is today the San Telmo district of Buenos Aires, south of the city centre. More attacks by the indigenous
General San Martín Railway
The General San Martín Railway, named after the former Argentine general José de San Martín, was one of the six state-owned Argentine railway companies formed after President Juan Perón's nationalisation of the railway network in 1948. The six companies were managed by Ferrocarriles Argentinos, broken up during the process of railway privatisation beginning in 1991 during Carlos Menem's presidency; the FCGSM took over the 1,676 mm broad gauge British-owned company Buenos Pacific Railway. The principal lines departed from Retiro terminus in Buenos Aires to the west through the provinces of Buenos Aires, Santa Fe, Córdoba, San Luis and San Juan; the Buenos Aires and Pacific Railway had been established in London on October 10, 1882, with the purpose to build a railway from Mercedes, Buenos Aires to Villa Mercedes in San Luis Province, where the line joined to Ferrocarril Andino. The entering to the city of Buenos Aires was made through Buenos Aires Western Railway until the company built its own access to the capital city of Argentina.
After the World War II finished and French-owned railway companies in Argentina began proceedings with the purpose of selling their railways due to financial problems to operate those services. On March 1, 1948, all the foreign railway companies in Argentina were nationalised under the Juan Perón's administration, creating the State-owned company "Empresa de Ferrocarriles del Estado Argentino" renamed to Ferrocarriles Argentinos, taking over all the railway lines of Argentina, including passenger and freight services; the following broad gauge railway companies were added to San Martín railway network after the 1948 nationalisation: Notes: The BAP had acquired the Villa María & Rufino, Argentine Great Western Railway, Andean railways. By 1945 the English and French railway companies made the arrangements with the Government of Argentina to sell their railways. On November 1, 1947 the French companies became State-owned companies. On March 1, 1948, the Government took over the British railways, including the BAPR.
That same year the railway was named "Ferrocarril Nacional General San Martín", honoring General José de San Martín, the prime leader of South American wars of independence. By the beginning of the 1990s, the railway system in Argentina was showing a deficit of US$355 million per year. National Decree N° 520 created FEMESA, a State-owned company in replacement of Ferrocarriles Argentinos to operate the urban services in Buenos Aires. FEMESA would take over the passenger services. Ferrocarriles Argentinos only continued operating freight services. On Marc 10, 1993, the Government of Argentina closed all the services from Buenos Aires to the rest of the country; the San Martín freight service was given in concession to private company "Buenos Aires al Pacífico". The system included 120 locomotives and 8,500 freight wagons; the most of the material carried were oil and minerals. Between January 1994 and June 1995 the lines temporarily operated by FEMESA were privatized; the consortium "Metropolitano" took over the San Martín line.
After the National Government cancelled all the interurban passenger services, in 1993 the Government of Buenos Aires created the "Unidad Ejecutora del Programa Ferroviario Provincial" that began to operate some trains from the main terminus in Buenos Aires (Constitución, Retiro and Once to different cities within Buenos Aires Province. The San Martín line took over the service to Iriarte; the trains run on tracks that were used by the freight companies, apart of being in bad conditions with no maintenance. The UEPFP changed its name to "Ferrobaires". With the purpose of improving the passenger services in Greater Buenos Aires, Metropolitano acquired 15 locomotives by General Motors, although the devaluation of the Argentine Peso and the 2002 economic crisis made Metropolitano could not pay its debts and the rolling stock was retained in the customs due to a court order. By 2003 the quality of the service got worse due to the reasons given above; the critical condition of rolling stock and tracks led the Government to review the contract of concession.
Two years the users still criticize the poor conditions of the service so the Government decided to revoke the concession to Metropolitano for the San Martín urban services. As a result, a new consortium formed by the rest of private companies operating the urbain lines named "UGOFE" took over the Retiro-Pilar branch; the 1,100 employees of the company were hired by Ferrocarril Belgrano S. A. a residual company created in 1999. After UGOFE took over the services, new locomotives and coaches were added to the trains. By March 2006 a new service Retiro-Hurlingham was launched. In December 2012, the first locomotives and coaches by Chinese company CSR arrived to Argentina for the San Martín urban service. In Mendoza, a new light rail service named the Metrotranvía Mendoza began operation in 2012, using a former right-of-way and trackbed of the FCGSM. UGOFE operated the line until 12 February 2014, when the Minister of Transport, Florencio Randazzo, announced the San Martín line to be given in concession to "Corredores Ferroviarios S.
A.", a company of Grupo Roggio. Trenes Argentinos Trenes Argentinos Cargas y Logística Trenes Argentinos, railway operator
Belgrano Norte Line
The Belgrano Norte line is a commuter rail service in Buenos Aires, Argentina run by the private company Ferrovías since 1 April 1994, with some services operated by the state-owned company Trenes Argentinos from 2015. This service had been run by the state-owned General Belgrano Railway since nationalisation of the railways in 1948. Ferrovías formed part of the consortium UGOFE which operated other commuter rail services in Buenos Aires; the Belgrano Norte line service operates from Retiro station, in the centre of Buenos Aires, through the northern Buenos Aires suburbs to the town of Villa Rosa in Pilar Partido. The metre gauge line was built by the British-owned Córdoba Central Railway, bought by the State in 1939 and was integrated into Ferrocarril General Manuel Belgrano in 1948 when the entire Argentine railway network was nationalised. There are a total of 22 stations along the 55 km long railway line and the journey along the entire length of the line takes one hour and twenty minutes for the regular service and one hour and five minutes for the differential service.
During peak hours, trains run every 8 minutes and an estimated 42 million passengers are transported each year. The line was part of the Córdoba Central Railway the branch from the city of Rosario to Retiro, Buenos Aires; the CCR would become part of General Belgrano Railway network when the Government of Argentina nationalised French and British companies in 1948. In 1903 the company was authorised to extend rails to Boulogne Sur Mer in Greater Buenos Aires and the works began three years later. In 1909 the line was opened; the train departed from Rosario, finishing the journey in Villa Adelina, named in honour of Adelina Munro Drysdale, the General Manager's granddaughter. The train stopped in the other four stations in existence at the time. In 1912, the line reached Retiro in central Buenos Aires. Other stations were opened, such as Munro and "Kilómetro 14" renamed "Juan B. Justo" in commemoration of the former president of Argentina. Between Juan B. Justo and Retiro, tracks crossed over the Maipú Avenue in Vicente López Partido, so a bridge was built to solve the issue.
This bridge was named "Puente Saavedra". A short time after that, a new station, "Km. 12" was built near the bridge and renamed "Aristóbulo del Valle" in the 1920s. The current Florida station was opened as a simple stop along the way. In 1913, when the San Martín Avenue was paved, a storage property of the Narciso Agüero & Cía company was established there. For that reason, the stop was named "Parada Agüero" for a period. In 1931, the Juan B. Justo station changed its name to M. M. Padilla to avoid being confused with the station of the same name that belongs to the Mitre Line, only a few blocks from there. During the 1930s, the "Km. 18" station was established and many names were proposed until the National Academy of History suggested "Carapachay", chosen in 1946. While the line was operated by the State-owned company Argentine State Railway, in 1938 brand new Ganz Works railcars were acquired to serve on the Retiro-Villa Rosa and Don Torcuato-Campo de Mayo lines. Between 1947 and 1948, 50 coaches made at the Tafí Viejo workshops and 70 Whitcomb diesel locomotives were added to the Belgrano Norte's fleet, sharing duties with the Ganz railcars.
Due to Córdoba Central Railway's financial problems, the Government of Argentina took over the company and began operating the trains. In 1949 the line was merged into the then-recently created General Belgrano Railway, which incorporated all of the country's 1,000 mm rail lines. Local services were operated by Ferrocarriles Argentinos under the name "Belgrano Norte" to distinguish it from the Belgrano Sur Line. In 1955, 30 Werkspoor locomotives were acquired and as a result, Ferrocarriles Argentinos put the Ganz vehicles out of service in the Belgrano Norte line, sending them to Córdoba to serve local railways there. Four years a fleet of 21 English Electric locomotives arrived to replace Whitcomb and Werkspoor machines. In 1961 the Government led by President Arturo Frondizi closed several railway lines, with the Don Torcuato-Campo de Mayo line among them. In 1964, 27 coaches built by Aerfer, an Argentine subsidiary of FIAT Ferroviaria, were added to the line. Four years the fleet size was increased with the addition of 20 coaches built by local company Materfer, which replaced the old ones made in Tafí Viejo.
Therefore, the English Electric locomotives functioned with the Aerfer and Werkspoor coaches from on. In 1965 a group of residents collected the money to build a new stop, named "Km. 42" changed to "Manuel Alberti". In 1975 Materfer supplied more coaches for the line; that same year, some stations were remodelled. One year the first grade crossing signals and gates by General Railway Signal were installed in the main level crossings of the line. In 1972, the first G22 diesel locomotives manufactured by General Motors' Electro Motive Division were delivered to the Belgrano Norte line; these were the CU version, adapted to run on Metre gauge railways. The machines would be built by local licensee Astarsa in its factory at San Fernando. To strengthen local services to Villa Rosa, 20 brand new G22 were purchased in 1980; those locomotives were built by the Argentine company Astarsa, replacing English Electric locomotives which were sent to the Belgrano Sur Line. The last station to be inaugurated was Tierras Altas in 1990.
In 1991, the state-owned company FEMESA temporarily took over the Belgrano No
General San Martín Partido
General San Martín Partido is a partido in the Gran Buenos Aires urban area to the north-west of the Capital federal in Buenos Aires Province, Argentina. The provincial subdivision has a population of 422,830 inhabitants in an area of 56 km2, its capital city is named San Martín; the partido and its capital are named in honor of General José de San Martín, who led Argentina against the Spanish Empire in the Argentine War of Independence. The partido is home to Primera División football team Chacarita Juniors, to fifth Division football team Club Social y Deportivo Central Ballester. In rugby union San Martín partido is home to CEC Liceo Militar. Barrio Parque General San Martín Billinghurst Ciudad del Libertador General José de San Martín Ciudad Jardín El Libertador Loma Hermosa José León Suárez San Andrés Villa Ballester Villa Libertad Villa Lynch Villa Maipú These neighbourhoods have been absorbed into the municipality and are no longer used. Villa Ayacucho Villa Bernardo Monteagudo Villa Chacabuco Villa Coronel José M. Zapiola Villa General Antonio J. de Sucre Villa General Eugenio Necochea Villa General José Tomás Guido Villa General Juan G. Las Heras Villa Godoy Cruz Villa Granaderos de San Martín Villa Gregoria Matorras Villa Juan Martín de Pueyrredón Villa María Irene de los Remedios de Escalada Villa Marqués Alejandro María de Aguado Villa Parque Presidente Figueroa Alcorta Villa Parque San Lorenzo Villa Yapeyú José Hernández and poet Óscar Alfredo Gálvez, racing driver Pedro Opeka, Catholic missionary Zully Moreno, actress Fernando Siro, film director and screenwriter Roberto DeVicenzo, golfer InfoBAN San Martín Media related to General San Martín Partido at Wikimedia Commons San Martín news
Line C (Buenos Aires Underground)
Line C of the Buenos Aires Underground, that runs from Retiro to Constitución terminus, opened on 9 November 1934, it has a length of 4.3 km. It runs under such streets as Lima Sur, Bernardo de Irigoyen, Carlos Pellegrini, Esmeralda, la Plaza San Martín and Avenida Ramos Mejia, it not only connects to every other line on the system, but its termini at Retiro and Constitución connect it to some of the most important commuter rail networks in Buenos Aires, such as the Mitre and Roca lines and long distance passenger services. It is thus an important artery in Buenos Aires' transport system. At the same time, it is the shortest line in both terms of length and number of stations, it was the third line of the network to provide service to the public, after Line A and Line B. Up until 2007 with the aperture of line H, it was the only line in the system providing a North-South service; the line was constructed by the Compañía Hispano Argentina de Obras Públicas y Finanzas, headed by a Spanish nobleman, the Count of Guadalhorce after the Great Depression of the 1930s had meant the Anglo-Argentine Tramways Company pulled out of its construction.
The line was subsequently opened in 1934 and extended from the present terminus at Constitución to Diagonal Norte in the centre of the city. The stretch from Diagonal Norte to its present terminus at Retiro was opened in 1936 and marked the last expansion of the line, which remains the only line not to be extended since then. On opening, the stations were decorated with murals depicting rural Spain created by Argentine artists Martín S. Noel and Manuel Escasani, as well as some stations taking Moorish influences and were painted with gold powder, it had advanced technology such as Automatic Train Stop. When Line E was opened in 1938, its original terminus was shared with that of Line C at Constitución, however the route of Line E was altered in 1966 for the lines to meet instead at Independencia, where they still do so to this day. With the current extension of Line E and Line H, they will both meet Line C at Retiro, where all three will terminate. Siemens are modernising the signalling systems on the line, at a cost of $18 million which includes the use of Communications-based train control in order to improve the line's frequency and open up the possibility of automatic trains in the future.
The work is expected to be completed towards the end of 2016. Aside from the signalling system, the line will is having its stations refurbished, its rolling stock refurbished and ventilation improved, in part to compensate from the extra heat associated with the air conditioning units added to the trains. Major works are under way at Constitución railway station to provide better transfers between the Roca Line, Line C and Metrobus Sur in the area, which includes the construction of a new underground annex to the station. Large segments of track, as well as switches, are being replaced; when the line was first opened, it was served by Siemens-Schuckert Orenstein & Koppel rolling stock in its entirety until 2007. In 1999, trains were purchased from the Nagoya Municipal Subway but they ended up serving Line D, were sent to Line C in 2007 as Line D acquired more new Alstom rolling stock and Line H was opened, meaning that the Siemens O&K trains were needed there as temporary stock until newer Alstom Metropolis trains arrived there.
In 2015, refurbished Nagoya Municipal Subway 5000 series rolling stock began to arrive, adding 50% capacity to the line's existing Nagoya trains and reducing journey times. Though the rolling stock is in good condition and will be further refurbished, the purchase was criticised by the Minister of the Interior and Transport, Florencio Randazzo, who accused the Municipal Government of buying dated rolling stock in contrast to the brand new rolling stock purchased by the Ministry for Buenos Aires' commuter rail network and Line A of the underground. Along with the purchase, the existing Nagoya rolling stock will be refurbished with air conditioning. Subterráneos de Buenos Aires Metrovías S. A. Subte Operator Subterráneos de Buenos Aires, C Line System map
General Manuel Belgrano Railway
The General Manuel Belgrano Railway, named after the Argentine politician and military leader Manuel Belgrano, is a 1,000 mm metre gauge railway and the longest of the Argentine system. It was one of the six State-owned Argentine railway companies formed after President Juan Perón's nationalisation of the railway network in 1948. Retiro station is the railway's terminus in Buenos Aires, from which the railway runs to many provinces in the Centre and North of Argentina, such as Santa Fe, Córdoba, Tucumán, La Rioja, Chaco, Santiago del Estero and Jujuy. In the metropolitan section of the city of Buenos Aires, Ferrocarril Belgrano is divided into two lines, Belgrano Norte and Belgrano Sur operated by Private companies Ferrovías and Argentren respectively. Passenger trains of Norte Line are only run to Villa Rosa in Pilar Partido. From on, freight services run to the rest of the network, operated by State-owned company Belgrano Cargas; some short-distance passenger services are operated by another State company, Trenes Argentinos Operadora Ferroviaria, in Chaco Province.
Ferrocarril Belgrano ran passenger services to La Quiaca and to Bolivia although those branches were closed in the 1970s. There are projects to run passenger services between La Quiaca and San Salvador de Jujuy, both cities in Jujuy Province; the main lines departed from Retiro station in Buenos Aires to the north through the provinces of Buenos Aires, Santa Fe, Córdoba, Santiago del Estero, Tucumán, Formosa, Jujuy, San Luis, San Juan, La Rioja and Catamarca. In 1876, Ferrocarril Central Norte started services from Córdoba to Tucumán, it was the first metre gauge in Argentina due to economic reasons. It had been built by the Argentine State to expand Central Argentine Railway network, a British-owned company by then. By the beginning of the 20th century, the national government had built several metre gauge railway lines, most of them in the North of Argentina; the Argentine State Railway owned a 3,490 km length network. The most important were the Central Norte and Argentino del Norte, apart of other lines in Patagonia and Littoral regions.
In 1905 the Congress of Argentina authorised the construction of a line from Cerrillos to Rosario de Lerma in Salta Province as a railway projected to get access to the Puna de Atacama. One year after other project proposed to get access through Quebrada de Humahuaca was suggested, but works were not carried out. Projects were revived several times but it was not until 1921 when the Argentine State Railway company started the construction of a line. Works -directed by American engineer Richard Maury- continued until 1930 when the overthrow of Hipólito Yrigoyen caused their interruption with only a few kilometers built, while Maury was fired by the de facto government. Works resumed in 1936, reaching the cities of Olacapato and Tolar Grande. President Juan Perón encouraged works to continue. In January 1948 works were finished at last and the line was opened, joining Argentina and Chile in Socompa. Trains ran along 21 tunnels, 13 viaducts, 2 zig-zags and 2 spirals. In 1972 the line started to operate as a touristic service, under the commercial name "Tren a las Nubes" After the World War II finished and French-owned railway companies in Argentina began proceedings with the purpose of selling their railways due to financial problems to operate those services.
On March 1, 1948, all the foreign railway companies in Argentina were nationalised under the Juan Perón's administration, creating the State-owned company "Empresa de Ferrocarriles del Estado Argentino" renamed to Ferrocarriles Argentinos, taking over all the railway lines of Argentina, including passenger and freight services. From on, a restructuring of the entire Argentine rail network was carried out, given the lines local heroes' names; as a result, several former British and French companies, such as Compañía Gral. de Buenos Aires, Central Norte, Argentino del Norte and Provincial de Santa Fe became part of the same network, renamed "Ferrocarril General Manuel Belgrano" to honor Manuel Belgrano, hero of War of independence and notable for having been the creator of the National flag. The Patagonian railway owned by state became part of General Roca Railway and the Littoral lines were added to General Urquiza Railway. On the other side, the Provincial de Buenos Aires railway remained managed in an autonomous way until 1953 when it was added to Ferrocarril Belgrano.
The six companies were managed by Ferrocarriles Argentinos, broken up during the process of railway privatisation beginning in 1991 during Carlos Menem's presidency. The following metre gauge railway companies were added to Ferrocarril Belgrano network after the 1948 nationalisation: Note: The Central Northern had taken over North Argentine Railway in 1909. In 1937, while the Chaco War happened, governments of Argentina and Brazil had competed to extend their railway lines to Bolivia; the branch projected would run from Yacuiba to Santa Cruz de la Sierra but part of the path was being occupied by the Paraguayan Army. On February 25, 1938, governments of Bolivia and Brazil signed an agreement to build a railway line from Santa Cruz to Brazilian city Corumbá, which would allow Bolivia to have access to Atlantic Ocean; as for Brazil, the railway would facilitate an access to the oil-rich Eastern Bolivia region. On March 15 Bolivia ratified that agreement, declaring null the other contract signed with Argentina in November 1937.
The Congresses of Argentina and Bolivia ratified the agreement. On the other hand
Argentina the Argentine Republic, is a country located in the southern half of South America. Sharing the bulk of the Southern Cone with Chile to the west, the country is bordered by Bolivia and Paraguay to the north, Brazil to the northeast and the South Atlantic Ocean to the east, the Drake Passage to the south. With a mainland area of 2,780,400 km2, Argentina is the eighth-largest country in the world, the fourth largest in the Americas, the largest Spanish-speaking nation; the sovereign state is subdivided into twenty-three provinces and one autonomous city, Buenos Aires, the federal capital of the nation as decided by Congress. The provinces and the capital exist under a federal system. Argentina claims sovereignty over part of Antarctica, the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands; the earliest recorded human presence in modern-day Argentina dates back to the Paleolithic period. The Inca Empire expanded to the northwest of the country in Pre-Columbian times; the country has its roots in Spanish colonization of the region during the 16th century.
Argentina rose as the successor state of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata, a Spanish overseas viceroyalty founded in 1776. The declaration and fight for independence was followed by an extended civil war that lasted until 1861, culminating in the country's reorganization as a federation of provinces with Buenos Aires as its capital city; the country thereafter enjoyed relative peace and stability, with several waves of European immigration radically reshaping its cultural and demographic outlook. The almost-unparalleled increase in prosperity led to Argentina becoming the seventh wealthiest nation in the world by the early 20th century. Following the Great Depression in the 1930s, Argentina descended into political instability and economic decline that pushed it back into underdevelopment, though it remained among the fifteen richest countries for several decades. Following the death of President Juan Perón in 1974, his widow, Isabel Martínez de Perón, ascended to the presidency, she was overthrown in 1976 by a U.
S.-backed coup which installed a right-wing military dictatorship. The military government persecuted and murdered numerous political critics and leftists in the Dirty War, a period of state terrorism that lasted until the election of Raúl Alfonsín as President in 1983. Several of the junta's leaders were convicted of their crimes and sentenced to imprisonment. Argentina is a prominent regional power in the Southern Cone and Latin America, retains its historic status as a middle power in international affairs. Argentina has the second largest economy in South America, the third-largest in Latin America, membership in the G-15 and G-20 major economies, it is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, World Trade Organization, Union of South American Nations, Community of Latin American and Caribbean States and the Organization of Ibero-American States. Despite its history of economic instability, it ranks second highest in the Human Development Index in Latin America; the description of the country by the word Argentina has been found on a Venetian map in 1536.
In English the name "Argentina" comes from the Spanish language, however the naming itself is not Spanish, but Italian. Argentina means in Italian " of silver, silver coloured" borrowed from the Old French adjective argentine " of silver" > "silver coloured" mentioned in the 12th century. The French word argentine is the feminine form of argentin and derives from argent "silver" with the suffix -in; the Italian naming "Argentina" for the country implies Terra Argentina "land of silver" or Costa Argentina "coast of silver". In Italian, the adjective or the proper noun is used in an autonomous way as a substantive and replaces it and it is said l'Argentina; the name Argentina was first given by the Venetian and Genoese navigators, such as Giovanni Caboto. In Spanish and Portuguese, the words for "silver" are plata and prata and " of silver" is said plateado and prateado. Argentina was first associated with the silver mountains legend, widespread among the first European explorers of the La Plata Basin.
The first written use of the name in Spanish can be traced to La Argentina, a 1602 poem by Martín del Barco Centenera describing the region. Although "Argentina" was in common usage by the 18th century, the country was formally named "Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata" by the Spanish Empire, "United Provinces of the Río de la Plata" after independence; the 1826 constitution included the first use of the name "Argentine Republic" in legal documents. The name "Argentine Confederation" was commonly used and was formalized in the Argentine Constitution of 1853. In 1860 a presidential decree settled the country's name as "Argentine Republic", that year's constitutional amendment ruled all the names since 1810 as valid. In the English language the country was traditionally called "the Argentine", mimicking the typical Spanish usage la Argentina and resulting from a mistaken shortening of the fuller name'Argentine Republic'.'The Argentine' fell out of fashion during the mid-to-late 20th century, now the country is referred to as "Argentina".
In the Spanish language "Argentina" is feminine, taking the feminine article "La" as the i