Argentina's history of slavery: should there be reparations?

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sergio

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According to this https://www.oxfordbibliographies.com/view/document/obo-9780199766581/obo-9780199766581-0157.xml
Argentina did not completely abolish slavery until 1861, just two years before Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation.

Nowadays there is talk in the US of reparations for slavery. Just as Argentina was under Spanish colonial domination, thirteen North American colonies were ruled by Britain until Cornwallis surrendered in 1781. In Argentina's case independence was won in 1810 however slavery lasted for over half a century later. If reparations are to be paid, it would seem fair for the US to share the expenses with Britain and Argentina with Spain. According to the author of the article, the Society of Jesus (to which the current Pope belongs) also owned slaves in Argentina. Perhaps Argentina's Jesuits should also contribute to the payment of reparations. Any thoughts?
 

antipodean

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Yes however I think for Argentina, most descendants of African slaves are not aware of their lineage and today it would be very hard to identify or prove most of those actually eligible are eligible. Further there is little real organization of the community to focus reparations at a “program” level instead, which I think is an important first step. There were some other (heated) threads and articles about the history of slavery and the identity of Black Argentines on here recently.

My first focus would actually be on reparations and empowerment programs for indigenous persons whose peoples were robbed of their lands and subject to both genocide and slavery upon which the modern Argentine state is founded. Today these people still live very marginalized lives and are disproportionately affected by glass-ceilings and poverty which need to be remedied. I find it revoltingly ironic when “whites” living on “colonized” lands anywhere in the world complain about “non-white” immigrants, but if indigenous people start complaining about non-indigenous people ... cue the teary eyes and but I, me, my, I’m a victim too twist.

Regardless of my personal views, regrettably, the fact is that in this country with its euro-centric mindset and a load of more “immediate” issues to pay for, reparations or meaningful empowerment of “non-white” persons is unlikely to materialize anytime soon.
 

MatameBA

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I don't see Argentines voting to pay reparations - nor paying reparations if "demanded" to do so by another country. They don't pay their bills as is.

Besides, the people owed reparations passed long ago. If they were alive - yes, they should be paid. But that's not the case. Paying out reparations 150+ years after the fact is tricky.
 

Rich One

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According to this https://www.oxfordbibliographies.com/view/document/obo-9780199766581/obo-9780199766581-0157.xml
Argentina did not completely abolish slavery until 1861, just two years before Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation.

Nowadays there is talk in the US of reparations for slavery. Just as Argentina was under Spanish colonial domination, thirteen North American colonies were ruled by Britain until Cornwallis surrendered in 1781. In Argentina's case independyence was won in 1810 however slavery lasted for over half a century later. If reparations are to be paid, it would seem fair for the US to share the expenses with Britain and Argentina with Spain. According to the author of the article, the Society of Jesus (to which the current Pope belongs) also owned slaves in Argentina. Perhaps Argentina's Jesuits should also contribute to the payment of reparations. Any thoughts?
Some ideas

  1. Locate the slave descendants
  2. Determine the Amount of reparations US Billion/s?
  3. Consider it as a small National Debt on top the other Debt
  4. Issue 30' year bonds to pay the reparations
  5. The beneficiaries will sell to the Fondos Buitre? with a mayor haircut of the Value
  6. The Fondos will sue , Argentina will Default.
The Descendants get smaller a reparation, the bank bond issuer a commision ?, the Lawyers a bigger Commision
May get lands plus Casino licencees like the Navajo, Sioux.
 

FallenAngel

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Everyone has ancestors that were slaves. History is cruel by the standards of modern times. Atrocities committed 200 years ago are no more relevant than those committed 400 years ago or 800 years ago. Neither are atrocities committed against a group more valid than those against an individual. Every family line has ancestors that were disadvantaged at some point.

If all of the atrocities of the world were added together throughout all time we would discover that we all equal victim points. Any reparations would amount to everyone passing $100.00 to the person on their left and we would all end up with exactly the same amount.
 

Alpinista

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According to this https://www.oxfordbibliographies.com/view/document/obo-9780199766581/obo-9780199766581-0157.xml
Argentina did not completely abolish slavery until 1861, just two years before Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation.

Nowadays there is talk in the US of reparations for slavery. Just as Argentina was under Spanish colonial domination, thirteen North American colonies were ruled by Britain until Cornwallis surrendered in 1781. In Argentina's case independence was won in 1810 however slavery lasted for over half a century later. If reparations are to be paid, it would seem fair for the US to share the expenses with Britain and Argentina with Spain. According to the author of the article, the Society of Jesus (to which the current Pope belongs) also owned slaves in Argentina. Perhaps Argentina's Jesuits should also contribute to the payment of reparations. Any thoughts?
Given that Argentina is now on the doorsteps of a truly historical disaster (exonomically, socially, politically), this is probably priority number 178.

And another thought: if Argentina fails again and again to pay its “normal” creditors, why would they ever pay reparations for for slavery.
 

sergio

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Given that Argentina is now on the doorsteps of a truly historical disaster (exonomically, socially, politically), this is probably priority number 178.

And another thought: if Argentina fails again and again to pay its “normal” creditors, why would they ever pay reparations for for slavery.
Well they can acknowledge the grave offense of slavery and promise to compensate when they are in a better position. The acknowledgement alone would be something.
 

antipodean

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Everyone has ancestors that were slaves. History is cruel by the standards of modern times. Atrocities committed 200 years ago are no more relevant than those committed 400 years ago or 800 years ago. Neither are atrocities committed against a group more valid than those against an individual. Every family line has ancestors that were disadvantaged at some point.

If all of the atrocities of the world were added together throughout all time we would discover that we all equal victim points. Any reparations would amount to everyone passing $100.00 to the person on their left and we would all end up with exactly the same amount.
There are generally two types of reparations in a human rights-based case. Restitution (e.g. where those with illicit gains surrender them back to the victim) and compensation (e.g. to offset the damages that have been suffered by the victim) Any reparation needs to be clear in who was the criminal and who was the victim. This always needs to be supported by a public apology, commorations and guarantees of non-repetition. Statutory limitations for claims are another story but from my personal perspective, claims should focus on those alive today who have suffered damages that are clearly linked to a human rights event in which the state was involved.

In the US (which differs somewhat to Argentina) there are generations alive today who are still experiencing economic damages arising from slavery. While their (great)grandparents may have been set "free" 150 years ago, they were set free without money in their pocket to a society with a whole raft of racial segregation laws by the state designed to keep them disadvantaged and deprive them of certain resources. These laws continued to recent times affecting citizens who are alive today and experienced comparatively disadvantaged lives by design through no fault of their own. This for me is where reparation by the state to many descendants of slavery has a stronger case and also a stronger benefit since any monies received from reparations could be used to reduce the statistical "gap" between them and other citizens by creating capital to be able to achieve equal opportunity and thus balance the scales of justice.

In an Argentine slavery context, I think it is a little fuzzier since it may be harder to find subsequent laws that made life deliberately harder for the descendants of slaves, however, it may be possible to make a case to show the state as being responsible for systematically erasing their cultural identity, with the consequences still affecting living generations. In this case, I would imagine reparation could be best served on a collective level aimed at financing cultural awareness programs, which would make it possible for their descendants to learn about Afro-Argentine culture as easily as they could learn about Roman-Catholic European Argentine culture, for example.
 

Alpinista

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Well they can acknowledge the grave offense of slavery and promise to compensate when they are in a better position. The acknowledgement alone would be something.
I see where you are coming from and i don't say a compensation is per se wrong (although there would obviously be a lot of practical problems in allocating this money). All I am saying I cant see this happening. Certainly not now, but also not in the next decades.

In a country where you have 40% below the poverty line (and very likely to increase dramatically over the next years), the government announcing such a compensation is politically committing suicide.

From a beneficiary’s point of view: what would such a “promise to pay” be worth? We are talking about the world’s biggest serial defaulter.
 

Bajo_cero2

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You have some problems and differences.
While the enfranchisement for voting right regarding blanck people happened in Argentina in 1869, in the US did with the 1965 voting rights act.
Nowadays in Argentina you need an ADN test to know if your grand grand parents were from Africa. To lnow if they were slave is a different matter because since 1813 there is freedom of womb: children of slaves are free.
Slaves were able to demand freedom at Court and the May Revolution was made by poors public defendants, an euphemism for slaves.
Argentina had a Corsair fleed against slavery and since 1813 slaves who escaped from Brasil became free when they step on Argentine soil.
However, the problem with slavery was always to compensate the owner of the slave, this is why is commonly accepted that by 1860 there were no more slaves.
So, Argentina and the US differs a lot.
 
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