Anarchism in Argentina, 1897-1950

Still from film 'Quebracho' (1974) that references Argentinian anarchism of the 1930s.

A short article with some information about anarchism in Argentina at its height in the early 20th century.

Submitted by Steven. on September 28, 2006


Political corruption in Latin America made anarchism appealing. Anarchist ideas were brought to Argentina by immigrants from Europe. Of the anarchist movements in Latin America, Argentina developed the most powerful. Being the most industrialized and urbanized country, Argentina's anarchist movement remained a predominantly workers' movement.

In 1901, due to the sudden rise of trade unions, the FORA or, Federación Obrera Regional Argentina was founded by Italian immigrant Pietro Gori. The unions within the FORA were known as sociedades de resistencia. The sociedades were in charge of propagating anarchism to the proletariat as well as conducting strikes.

By 1905, the Federación Obrera Regional Argentina emerged victorious over the Social Democrats. At the Congress of the Federación Obrera Regional Argentina, a resolution passed promoting the wide study of anarcho-communist philosophical and economic priciples. The Federación Obrera Regional Argentina also limited the rise of other trade unions, declaring that these unions were merely products of a capitalist society.

The Federación Obrera Regional Argentina also began a series of strikes. In 1909, an anarchist procession led in Buenos Aires was fired on by the police. In anger, a young anarchist man shot the Chief of Police. In 1919, with the membership of the Federación Obrera Regional Argentina reaching over twenty thousand, the country had begun heading toward the flag of revolution during what is known as the Tragic Week or Semana Trágica. Tragic Week followed a strike held by the Federación Obrera Regional Argentina where over a thousand people were killed and over fifty thousand imprisoned.

Like many countries in Latin America, the success of the Bolsheviks in Russia weakened the anarchist movement. However the Federación Obrera Regional Argentina had remained the largest working-class organization in Argentina. By the 1950's, it began to serve as a propaganda group. Argentinian anarchism has not been completely wiped out. Small anarchist groups continue to exist and an anarchist paper founded in 1897 called La Protesta is still circulated.

From the Anarchy Archives