Part I Military Dictatorships, 3 Argentina’s Security Sector Reform: Democratization before Constitutional Transition
Sandra Elena, Julia Pomares
Edited By: Zoltan Barany, Sumit Bisarya, Sujit Choudhry, Richard Stacey
This chapter details the security sector reform (SSR) in Argentina. Argentina is one of only two countries in which a democratic transition was prompted by a defeat in war. After seven years of the cruelest military dictatorship, democracy in Argentina was restored in 1983. Raúl Alfonsín's victory in presidential elections in October marked the beginning of the now longest period of uninterrupted democratic governance since the creation of the Argentine state. The first administration of the transition faced a very difficult challenge; namely, the need to restore democratic institutions amidst a fragile social and economic situation. Against this background, the Alfonsín government set two key objectives: establishing strong civilian control over security and military forces, and prosecuting human rights violations committed during a half-century of military interventions in civilian governments.