Latin America & Caribbean

Argentina profile - Timeline

A chronology of key events:

16th century - Spanish colonisation of the River Plate coast and inland areas begins.

1776 - Spain establishes separate Viceroyalty of the River Plate.

1810 - Viceroy overthrown, launching the war of independence.

1816 - Independence declared, followed by decades of turmoil, attempted foreign intervention, and civil war between centralist and federalist forces.

1861 - State of Buenos Aires finally reintegrated with Argentine Confederation after Battle of Pavon to form a united country.

1880 - Start of decades of liberal economic and immigration policies that lead to rapid income and population growth and progressive education and social policies.

Image caption First lady Evita, pictured with President Juan Peron, was a powerful figure and enduring icon

1908 - Argentina has seventh highest per capita income in the world.

1912 - Full adult male suffrage introduced.

1916 - Hipolito Yrigoyen of the Radical party is elected president and introduces a minimum wage to counter the effects of inflation. Yrigoyen is elected again in 1928.

1930 - Armed forces coup ousts Yrigoyen amid sharp economic downturn caused by Great Depression. Civilian rule is restored in 1932, but economic decline continues.

1942 - Argentina, along with Chile, refuses to break diplomatic relations with Japan and Germany after the Japanese attack on the US Pacific fleet at Pearl Harbour.

1943 - Nationalist army officers seize power in protest at stagnation and electoral fraud. One leading figures is Colonel Juan Peron.

1945 - Argentina declares war on Japan and Germany.

The Peron era

1946 - Juan Peron wins presidential election on a promise of higher wages and social security. His wife, Eva 'Evita' Peron is put in charge of labour relations.

1949 - A new constitution strengthens the power of the president. Congress passes legislation providing jail terms for anyone showing disrespect to the government. Regime opponents are imprisoned, independent newspapers are suppressed.

1951 - Peron is re-elected with a huge majority.

1952 - Evita dies of cancer. Peron's support begins to decline.

1955 September - Military coup succeeds after three days of fighting, during which thousands are killed. Peron resigns and goes into exile. The federal constitution of 1853, based on that of the United States, is restored.

1966 - General Juan Carlos Ongania seizes power after years of unstable civilian government.

Image caption The military seized power in 1976. The dictatorship of General Jorge Videla was characterised by the 'Dirty War' in which opponents were eliminated

1973 - The Peronist party wins elections in March, Peron becomes president in September.

1974 - Peron dies in July. His third wife, Isabel, succeeds him. Terrorism from right and left escalates, leaving hundreds dead amid strikes, protests and rampant inflation.

1976 - Armed forces seize power and launch 'Dirty War' in which thousands are killed on suspicion of left-wing sympathies.

The Falklands War

Image caption Argentina seized the Falkland Islands in 1982, sparking a 10-week war. British forces suffered setbacks, such as when troops were captured (pictured here), but they eventually retook the territory

1982 April - Argentine forces occupy the British Falkland Islands, over which Argentina has long claimed sovereignty. British task force re-takes islands in June.

1983 - Junta, reeling from Falklands fiasco, restores democracy. Raul Alfonsin becomes president. Argentina begins to investigate the 'Dirty War' and charge former military leaders with human rights abuses. Inflation is running at more than 900%.

1989 - Carlos Menem of the Peronist party is elected president. He imposes an economic austerity programme.

1990 - Full diplomatic relations with the United Kingdom are restored, although Argentina maintains claim to Falklands.

1992 - Argentina introduces a new currency, the peso, which is pegged to the US dollar. A bomb is placed in the Israeli embassy, 29 people are killed.

1994 - A Jewish community centre in Buenos Aires is bombed. 86 people are killed and more than 200 injured in Argentina's worst terrorist atrocity. Over subsequent decades of investigations, prosecutors allege Iranian involvement.

Image caption The bombing at Jewish community centre in Buenos Aires remains unresolved

1996 - Finance Minister Domingo Cavallo is dismissed. Economic hardship leads to a general strike in September.

1997 - A judge in Spain issues orders for the arrest of former Argentine military officers on charges of participating in the kidnapping and killing of Spanish citizens during the 'Dirty War'. Argentine amnesty laws protect the accused.

Recession bites

1998 - Argentine judges order arrests in connection with the abduction of hundreds of babies from women detained during the 'Dirty War'.

1999 - Fernando de la Rua of the centre-left Alianza opposition coalition wins the presidency, inherits 114 billion-dollar public debt after a year of recession.

2000 - Strikes and fuel tax protests. Beef exports slump after an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease. Soya exports suffer from concerns over the use of genetically modified varieties. The IMF grants Argentina an aid package of nearly 40 billion dollars.

2001 March - President de la Rua forms a government of national unity and appoints three finance ministers in as many weeks as cabinet resignations and protests greet planned austerity measures.

2001 July - Much of the country is brought to a standstill by a general strike in protest against proposed government spending cuts. Country's credit ratings slip.

Return of the Peronists

2001 October - The opposition Peronists take control of both houses of parliament in congressional elections.

2001 December - IMF stops $1.3bn in aid, banks shut down. President De la Rua resigns after at least 25 people die in rioting.

2002 1 January - Congress elects Peronist Senator Eduardo Duhalde as caretaker president. Within days the government devalues the peso, ending 10 years of parity with the US dollar.

2002 November - Argentina defaults on an $800m debt repayment to the World Bank, having failed to re-secure IMF aid. The World Bank says it will not consider new loans for the country.

Kirchner sworn in

2003 May - Mainstream Peronist candidate Nestor Kirchner wins presidential election.

2003 September - After weeks of negotiations Argentina and IMF agree on debt-refinancing deal under which Buenos Aires will only pay interest on its loans.

2005 March - President Kirchner declares the restructuring of the country's debt to be a success. Argentina offered to exchange more than $100bn in defaulted bonds.

2005 June - Supreme Court approves repeal of amnesty law that had protected former military officers suspected of human rights abuses during military rule in 1976-1983. Congress voted to scrap the amnesty in 2003.

2006 January - Argentina repays its multi-billion-dollar debt to the IMF.

Fernandez elected

2007 October - Former Roman Catholic police chaplain Christian Von Wernich is convicted of collaborating in the murder and torture of prisoners during the 'Dirty War'.

Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner is elected president, succeeding her husband Nestor Kirchner in the December.

2008 July - President Fernandez cancels controversial tax increases on agricultural exports which sparked months of protests by farmers.

2008 August - Two former generals are sentenced to life imprisonment for their actions during the period of Argentina's military rule - known as the Dirty War - during the 1970s and 1980s.

2008 November - Lower house of parliament approves government's controversial plan to nationalise pension funds. President Fernandez says the move is necessary to protect pensioners' assets during the global financial crisis.

2009 July - Legislative elections result in President Fernandez's Peronist party losing its absolute majorities in both houses of parliament.

Row with UK

2009 April - Argentina hands documents to UN formally laying claim to a vast expanse of the ocean, as far as the Antarctic and including British island chains.

2009 December - Argentine parliament passes law claiming Falkland Islands and several other British overseas territories in the area.

2010 February - Argentina imposes new controls on ships passing through its waters to Falkland Islands in response to plans by a British company to drill for oil near the islands.

2010 June - Argentina's creditors agree to new debt swap deal worth around $12bn. Under the new agreement, two thirds of the country's outstanding bad debt will be exchanged for new bonds.

2010 December - Exploration firm says it fails to find oil at Falkland Islands.

Former military ruler General Jorge Videla is sentenced to life in prison for crimes against humanity.

2011 October - Benefiting from strong economic growth, President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner wins a second term with a landslide 54% of the vote.

Former naval officer Alfredo Astiz and 11 other former members of the security forces are given life sentences for crimes against humanity committed during the 1976-83 period of military rule.

2011 December - As the 30th anniversary of Argentina's invasion of the Falkland Islands approaches, tensions with Britain increase after Buenos Aires persuades members of the South American trading bloc Mercosur to close their ports to ships flying the Falkland Islands flag.

2012 May - The European Union files a suit against Argentina's import restrictions at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in a row over Argentina's nationalisation of energy company YPF, which was majority owned by Spain's Repsol.

2012 July - Two former junta leaders found guilty of overseeing the systematic theft of babies from political prisoners during 1976-1983 dictatorship. Jorge Videla and Reynaldo Bignone sentenced to 50 and 15 years in prison respectively. Trial follows years of campaigning by rights group Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo, which says 500 children stolen and raised by families close to the regime.

2012 September - The International Monetary Fund warns Argentina it could face sanctions unless it produces reliable growth and inflation data by mid-December. Economists say annual inflation in Argentina is running at 24%, much higher than the official 10% figure.

2012 November - Congress approves a law to lower the voting age to 16. The government says it is an extension of democracy that will enfranchise more than a million young voters. President Fernandez is courting the youth vote, and critics say the change is designed to boost her party's chances in the key mid-term congressional elections in 2013.

2013 January - Argentina and Iran agree to set up a joint commission to investigate the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community centre in Buenos Aires, despite Argentine courts having blamed Iran for the attack in which 85 people died.

2013 February - Argentina becomes the first country to be censured by the International Monetary Fund for not providing accurate data on inflation and economic growth, under a procedure that can end in expulsion.

2013 March - Falkland Islanders vote overwhelmingly in favour of remaining a British overseas territory.

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires is chosen as Pope. He is the first Latin American to lead the Roman Catholic Church, and takes the name of Francis.

2013 November - President Fernandez appoints leftwingers to run the cabinet, economy, agriculture and central bank in a move to strengthen state intervention in the economy. Government reaches deal with Spanish energy company Repsol to pay compensation for the YPF firm nationalised in 2012.

2014 July - Argentina defaults on its international debt for the second time in 13 years, after failing to resolve its differences with US hedge funds that hold 1.3bn dollars worth of bonds, bought at a discount after the country last defaulted.

2014 September - Congress approves a bill to restructure the country's debt and sidestep a recent US court ruling that caused Argentina to default.

2014 October - Court gives life sentences to fifteen people for their involvement in the running of a detention and torture centre in the city of La Plata during military rule in the 1970s

2014 December - Reynaldo Bignone, Argentina's last military ruler already in jail for crimes against humanity, is sentenced for the theft of babies born during the years of dictatorship in the 1970s and 80s.

Image caption Mystery surrounds the death of prosecutor Alberto Nisman, who was investigating the 1994 bombing of the Jewish community centre

2015 January - Prominent prosecutor Alberto Nisman is found dead in mysterious circumstances, after accusing the government of a cover-up over the country's worst terrorist attack - the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community centre in Buenos Aires that left 85 people dead.

President Fernandez announces plans to dissolve the country's intelligence agency, and suggests that rogue agents were involved in Mr Nisman's death.

Image caption Pope Francis is from Buenos Aires and the first Latin American to lead the Roman Catholic Church

2015 February - Judge dismisses Prosecutor Nisman's case against President Fernandez for lack of evidence.