Country of the World Argentina

About the country Argentina, its location, size, population, leaders and rulers.




Lay of the Land: Argentina is a wedge-shaped country occupying southeastern South America, between the Andes Mountains on the west and the Atlantic Ocean on the east. The central geographical feature of Argentina is the Pampa, where most of the population and all of the largest cities are located. A vast, treeless, grassy plain covering 293,000 sq. mi., the fertile Pampa is a key element in the country's livestock and agricultural production.

In the northeast lie the Chaco plain and the area known as Mesopotamia, a fruit-and rice-producing region. To the south is Patagonia, named after the Patagonian ("big feet") Indians. It is a region of high mountains and thick forests, of snowcapped volcanoes and many small lakes. Known as Argentina's Lake District, the area is home to a thriving tourist industry based in the small alpine town of San Carlos de Bariloche.

Although Argentina has a long coastline, it has few good natural harbors. The best one, at Buenos Aires, is actually an estuary of the Rio de la Plata.

Size: 1,072,156 sq. mi. (2,776,889 sq. km.).

Population: 26.3 million. Language: Spanish.

Who Rules: Argentina is nominally a federal republic with a constitution modeled after that of the U.S.

Who REALLY Rules: Since 1955 the country has been ruled mostly by military leaders.

A Dec. 22, 1977 report issued by the Washington-based Council on Hemisphere Affairs accused the Argentine government of being the "most flagrant violator" of human rights in Latin America. There are 18,000 people in prison in Argentina because of their political beliefs.

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