List Summary

Record Count: 7

The freedom of information campaign in Argentina

This article mostly focuses on the history and process of passing national laws. However, some anecdotes on information requests and why they are important are included. The first describes a situation in which a public hospital stopped giving medicine to transplant patients for unexplained reasons. To find out why, patients used the city's FOI law to demand an explanation from the hospital. Multiple requests surfaced evidence that the hospital was low on funds, giving the patients the necessary information to obtain their medicine through the legal system. The second is the story of journalist Sandra Crucianelli, who was involved with an information request to the city of Bahia Blanca regarding water quality, using the Buenos Aires province's FOI law (weaker than the city's). The request was turned down as the information was perceived as potentially harmful to the reputation of local companies, who were suspected of contaminating the supply. The third is about one of the country's leading environmental groups, Fundación Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (Environment and Natural Resources Foundation, FARN), who represented a Buenos Aires city resident concerned about the construction of a rainfall reservoir in his neighborhood. Under Law 104, he was able to see environmental impact reports on the project from the city government for himself, empowering him to learn about its effects on his home.

Access to legal abortion and contraception: information requests from the health ministry of Mendoza

This article concerns a recent information request on behalf of numerous organizations and Amnestry International to the Minister of Health in Mendoza. It asks for data on access to contraception, legal abortion and the overall health of women, adolescents and children throughout the province. Inquiries into the matter were all prompted by César Mosso Gianini, an advisor to Mendoza's government, who published a series of opinions on the "unconstitutionality" and "illegality" of abortion. Access to such information can be helpful in determining whether public officials are following the rule of law or letting their personal opinions sway their sworn actions.

Requests for information from Argentina's provinces on access to abortion

This is an article and a couple of reports on requests for information from Argentina's provinces on access to abortion. Many provinces did not receive any response from their Ministry of Health. In October 2012 & February 2013, the Association for Civil Rights (ADC) made requests to the provinces regarding the Program of Sexual Health and Responsibility and did not receive a response. By April 2013, only the provinces of Buenos Aires, Jujuy, Neuquen, Entre Rios, Corrientes, Missions, San Juan, Santa Cruz, and Buenos Aires (in total 9) had responded. Finally, ADC contacted Programs on Sexual Health in those provinces through email and phone between September and October 2013. Letters sent by ADC to the provinces in September 2013 were also not acknowledged. In September 2014, ADC made another round of requests to the Ministry of Public Health of each province — once again to to no avail. In February 2015, ADC called the ministries themselves, who told them that they had received a judicial notice the previous month that health providers ought to avoid administrative impediments so as to complete abortion procedures without delay. No data was received from numerous provinces, which is further detailed in the report — but the agencies' fear of open information is quite telling.

The government continues to turn its back on providing official data on poverty

This article describe's the Argentine government's refusal to provide official data on poverty rates. The last official index on poverty was published in 2013, but was discontinued due to problems with how its methodology determined levels of poverty. Although Argentina's National Statistics and Censuses Institute (INDEC) stated that there are about 6000 ways to calculate poverty, nothing was ever published regarding how this could be done. When Axel Kicillof, Argentina's Minister of Economy, was asked to explain why the data was not published, he didn't address the issue, but rather answered evasively. As such, the silence raises questions on how citizens can remain engaged in awareness and action around improving the standard of living for everyone when information on its metric is kept hidden from the public.

Shards of light: Freedom of information in Argentina

On March 26, 2014, the Supreme Court ruled that the government must release information related to the programs administered by the ministry of social development, including lists of beneficiaries. Requests for this information have been previously rejected on the grounds that such information affects vulnerable groups. The Center for the Implementation of Public Policies Promoting Equity and Growth (CIPPEC), an Argentine think tank, had its 2007 request for this information denied. When CIPPEC requested finanicial information in the same vein from 14 state-run companies, only three sent more than half of the requested data. In a similar move, the Asociación por los Derechos Civiles (ADC) sent 49 requests to various government departments, oh which only 47% were answered satisfactorily. The Asociación Civil por la Igualdad y la Justicia (ACIJ) sought to investigate the Executive Decree's power and submitted 44 requests of info between January 2012 and 2013: 14 were not answered, 14 were answered after 10 days, and 16 were answered on time. Regarding the quality of answers, only 12 answered completely and adequately as stated in the Decree. Reports of insufficient responses to information requests are rampant, and perhaps make the case for stronger consequences in the case of shoddy replies.

Transparency and budget analysis of mental health programming with a focus on rights

The National Direction of Mental Health did not respond to the Asociación Civil por la Igualdad y la Justicia's (ACIJ) requests for information. ACIJ made numerous requests on different aspects of mental health programming in several hospitals and health centers. These requests were also not answered.

Public information on the use of epidural pain killers

Since 2014 ,the Asociación por los Derechos Civiles (ADC) has asked for information access regarding the use of epidural painkillers when giving birth in hospitals of Buenos Aires. They asked 12 hopsitals in 2014 and 2015, with most hospitals responding to the request.