The Fall and Fall of Argentina

Amid hyperinflation and hunger, a nation drifts into chaos

The crowd began to gather silently last Monday afternoon on the streets adjoining the Boerio Supermarket in Rosario, Argentina's third-largest city. The tin-roofed grocery store had served its middle-class neighborhood for years, so manager Luis Nicastro recognized many of the well-dressed people outside the store as his regular customers. Some of the others were toothless, hungry folk in tattered clothes, who came from nearby shantytowns. By 2 p.m., a mob of more than 500 filled the parking lot. "I thought of closing the doors," Nicastro says. "But what good would it do? With all this glass, there was nothing we could...

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