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Argentina’s 2019 Budget Bill slated to be discussed in Senate on November 14; potential for violence

The Autonomous Argentine Workers’ Central Union (CTA) announced a nationwide strike on November 14 to protest against the 2019 Budget Bill slated to be discussed in the Senate. Left-leaning groups have also published statements calling supporters to take part in a protest outside Congress during morning and evening hours, while lawmakers debate the bill. Demonstrators are slated to gather at 11:00 (local time) at the intersection of 9 de Julio and Independencia avenues, from where they will march to Congress. Reports indicate that there will be heightened security presence in the vicinity of Congress. On October 24-25 violent unrest was witnessed in Buenos Aires’ city center while lawmakers discussed and subsequently approved the Budget Bill in the Lower-House. The bill contains steep reductions in government spending and tax increases.

Given that the upcoming sessions at Congress are likely to be lengthy, and that the Budget Bill is likely to be approved, we assess that there is high potential for unrest and localized violence in the vicinity of Congress, especially between afternoon hours of November 14 and early morning hours of November 15. As witnessed during debates on October 24-25, violent left-wing activists opposing the government are likely to infiltrate the protests and commit acts of vandalism against private and public property in the city center. In turn, riot police could potentially fire rubber bullets and tear gas at demonstrators.

Those operating or residing in Buenos Aires on November 14-15 are advised to exercise vigilance in the city center, especially in the vicinity of Congress, given high potential for unrest.

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