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Municipal organizations in Latin America : a collection of reprints online

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INTERNATIONAL BUREAU OF AMERICAN REPUBLICS

JOHN BAR REIT T. DIRECTOR
FRANCISCO J. YANES. SECRETARY



MUNICIPAL ORGANIZATIONS IN LATIN AMERICA

BUENOS AIRES
ARGENTINE REPUBLIC



(Reprint of an article from the Monthly Bulletin of the International
Bureau of American Republics, November, 1908)




WASHINGTON, D. C.

GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE

1909



INTERNATIONAL BUREAU OF AMERICAN REPUBLICS

JOHN BARRELTT. D I R El C T O R
FRANCISCO J. ^ANES, SECRETARY



■^



MUNICIPAL ORGANIZATIONS IN LATIN AMERICA

BUENOS AIRES
ARGENTINE REPUBLIC



(Reprint of an article from the Monthly Bulletin of the International
Bureau of American Republics, November, 1 908)




WASHINGTON, D. C.

GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE

1909



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BUEXOS AIRES.

THE city of Buenos Aires, capital of the Argentine Republic,
on June 30, 1008, had 1,140,865 inhabitants. The rate of
increase has been close to 5 per cent from year to year, and
promises to rise above this owing to circumstances that are
naturally and artificially adyantageous. This groAvth of the city is
^i high as compared to other important cities of both Europe and
America, surpassing eyen every city in the United States except
Chicago. The reasons for this increase can be traced to three causes.
The first is the steady stream of immigration which flows from other
"^ countries toward the River Plate: in 1007, 320, 122 individuals landed
^ at the port ; of these 200,103 were immigrants arriving for settlement
, within the country. The nationality of these embryo citizens is of
great interest ; Italy and Spain send the largest proportion, but
Russia, Syria, France, Austria, Germany, Great Britain, and Portu-
^ gal each sends over 1,000; every country in Europe otfers some con-
^ tribution, all divisions of Africa and many of the Latin- American re-
^ publics are represented, while North America, China, and Japan and
^ Africa help to swell the total. Not all of these immigrants become
residents of Buenos Aires, some going fartlier into the interior, and
Q a measurable proportion returning to their oversea homes (of course
>^ this does not imply that the same individuals come and go, but immi-
^ gration usually surpasses emigration by certain fairly accurate accu-
^ rate figures) ; the result, however, is that upward of 100.000 immigrants
are added each year to the population. The second cause is the high
birth rate enjoyed by Bunos Aires: for several years this has been
steadily maintained at close to 35 per 1.000. This is twice as high as
that of Paris, half again as high as that of London, higher than that
of New York, and surpassed by the birth rate of Xuremburg (Ger-
many) only. The third cause is the low death rate of the city, in
which respect it compares very favorably with all the cities of the

821



822 IXTERXATIOXAL BUREAU OF THE AMERICAN REPUBLICS.

ciA-ilized Avorkl, being louver than that of Paris and New York, and
higher than that of London. Edinburg. Berlin, and Hamburg. The
results in the reduction of the death rate are due unmistakably to the




HOTEL METKOPOLE, BUENOS AIRES.

One of the many splcnilid hotels of Buenos Aires, situated on Avcnida de Mayo, in the lieart of the
business seetion of the Argentine eapital.

great progress made by the nnuiicipality of Buenos Aires in all details
of ini))roving the hygiene of the city.



MUNICIPAL ORGANIZATION IN LATIN-AMERICA. 823

Buenos Aires is both a municipality and the capital of the Argen-
tine Republic, and as such has an organization as a city as well as an
intimate connection with the Federal Government. The latter asso-
ciation is maintained by means of an official called the Intendente
(Municipal), who i^ appointed by the President (Poder Ejecutivo)
of the Eepublic, subject to the approval of the National Senate, for
a term of four years, and who receives a salary. He performs to a
great degree the function of Mayor in any (North) American city,
and is to a large extent amenable to the rules of the deliberate council.
Through him municipal matters are presented to the National Assem-
bly whenever necessary, and he likewise, as representative of the
nation, is empowered, acting thus through the Minister of the Inte-
rior, to present to the municipality whatever business has originated
in Congress, Other manifestations of this dual character of the city
are to be found in the direction of the police and fire departments,
which are under the control of, and the expenses of which are met
by, the Federal Government. Certain factors of the educational
system, and likewise the sanitary regulations of the city, carried out
by means of a national department of hygiene and a municipal de-
partment of public service— the Asistancia Publica — are partly na-
tional in character. These institutions will be examined later.

The city, municipality itself, is divided into 20 parishes (Parro-
quias), corresponding to the wards of a (North) American city.
From these parishes, on a basis of population, representatives are
chosen by ballot of the citizens to form a body called the Concejo
Deliberante, corresponding in most details to our Common Council.
These officials serve without pay for a term of four years, one-half of
their number being elected every two years, however. This so-called
deliberative body chooses from among its members a President, a
First and Second Vice-President. These officials serve as provisional
substitutes for the Intendente whenever occasion requires.

The great departments of the municipal government may be classi-
fied as follows : Finance, which includes the functions usually under-
stood in such a department ; Public Works, having charge of munic-
ipal buildings, water supply, sewers, streets, paving, repairing and
opening of streets and alloys, administration of building laws, control
of public markets, bridges, parks, squares, and monuments; Security
and Hygiene, giving particular attention to buildings like theaters,
where public meetings are held; street cleaning, food supplies, regula-
tion of weights and measures, certain authority over hospitals and
asylums, prevention or control of epidemics, and the municipal side
of the public relief service. Rules for the preservation of public
morality are enforced through this department. A Law Department
is also maintained.



824 INTERNATIONAL BUREAU OF THE AMERICAN REPUBLICS.

Buenos Aires is located geographically at 34° 3G' 21" south lati-
tude, and 58° 21' 33" west longitude from Greenwich. It is prac-




_ ^ Buenos
.■merited by
is noted for



i'wiJ* K l)hl'AKTMKNT, JU JCNu.S AlKES, AliGKNTlNK KErrBLIC.

This handsome building is the central station of the 32 police precincts into which the city of
Aires is divided. The police force, consisting of about 4,000 ofticers and men. is suppleme
a mounted sfiuiidron oflOO gendarmi's. The police department is well organized, and is iv
the


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Online LibraryPan American UnionMunicipal organizations in Latin America : a collection of reprints → online text (page 1 of 6)