Latin America News: The Argentine Crisis

Though COVID-19 has left an indelible mark on the Argentine economy, it’s pending bankruptcy was in the works long before the arrival of the virus. In the country’s 200 years of independence, it has declared bankruptcy eight times (this looming one being the ninth), and it will soon hold the record for the largest national bankruptcy in history (measured in terms of total volume of debt). Currently, $1 is worth 67.15 pesos, when it was $1 to just over 15 pesos in early 2017.

Argentina defaulted on a $132 billion debt in 2001 and declared bankruptcy again in 2014. When current President Alberto Fernandez took office in December 2019, he inherited $320 billion in debt from his predecessors. The country has not made any bond interest payments since February 2020. If a deal or payment has not been made by May 22, Argentina will once again go into default.

Pray for Argentina. The country has seen much political corruption and economic upheaval over the last 20 years, and COVID-19 has only worsened an already stressful situation. Insecurity has become a way of life for many Argentines. But the need in Argentina goes far beyond political and economic stability. More than 90% of the country is nominally Roman Catholic, meaning that many have yet to hear a clear presentation of the gospel. Although Argentines have religious freedom, the vast majority are still bound in their sins. Pray for more laborers to come to this vast harvest and pray that God would use even the current economic and viral stressors to draw people to Him.

About the author

Travis Paver is a missionary to Chile working alongside veteran church-planting missionaries Jason and Lori Holt.

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