Argentines attend a campaign rally. (AP)

Argentines attend a campaign rally. (AP)


LatAm in Focus: Dollarization, Inflation, and Voter Frustration in Argentina

By Chase Harrison

Will Argentines reach for a dramatic option in October 22 elections? Reuters' Argentina correspondent Anna-Catherine Brigida shares views from the ground.

When Argentine President Alberto Fernández broke with tradition and decided not to run for reelection in April, he threw the door wide open for who would become his successor to run the country.

Now, weeks away from the October 22 election, three potential options have crystallized and each one offers a different vision for how to steer the country as it once again stares down annual inflation over 120 percent.

Two of the candidates, Javier Milei and Patricia Bullrich, are framing their candidacies in contrast to Argentina’s incumbent government. For Bullrich, a former security minister, that means focusing on plans to fix what she sees as an insecurity crisis in the country. Milei, meanwhile, is proposing something seismic: dollarizing Argentina’s economy—a step similar to the 1990s’ Convertibility Plan, which pegged the peso to the dollar.

Anna-Catherine Brigida
Anna-Catherine Brigida

“Many people—older people—have been talking about it and saying that they actually remember that era somewhat fondly because, while it worked, Argentina was in a bit of a better position,” said Anna-Catherine Brigida, a Buenos Aires-based correspondent for Reuters. While questions remain about the details and timeline of dollarization, the proposal has already shaken Argentina’s race. “In terms of a proposal that speaks to people, I think [dollarization is] resonating a lot with voters at this moment,” explained Brigida. It may be part of why Milei finished first in Argentina’s PASO vote in August. 

Facing off against Milei and Bullrich is Sergio Massa, the country’s current economy minister, who will represent Peronism. Massa, who assumed his role in August 2022, is defending his party’s record. Despite low approval ratings for the current president, Brigida warns to not underestimate the party. “It's very organized. It has a lot of power to mobilize different social groups—in particular unions and workers. So, there's definitely still a strong support there. We saw in the PASO that support is dropping, but I also think it's important to recognize that it is still there,” she said.

With three candidates polling above 20 percent, the race might come down to what happens in a potential runoff. But it’s not clear to Brigida how support might transfer from the unsuccessful candidate. "It can be a little bit surprising because there is actually some overlap between some former Peronists or people who were traditional Peronist voters and Milei voters,” she said. “I think we're seeing now that there is a break from some of the traditional parties and left-right, and now people are deciding on their vote in different ways,” she said.

This episode was produced by Luisa Leme. Carin Zissis is the host. 

Share feedback at: Learn more about and subscribe to Latin America in Focus.

The music in this episode is "El viento y las hojas" performed by Alejandro Brittes Baroque Ensemble. Watch the performance for Americas Society

Find out about upcoming concerts at

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed in this podcast do not necessarily reflect those of Americas Society/Council of the Americas or its members.