Nearly 29 years after the demise of the 1976-1983 dictatorship in Argentina, successive democratic governments have failed to find a humane way of running the prison system. Preventable deaths, torture and appalling conditions for inmates continue to be reported.
Foreign non-residents, gay or straight, can now get married in the Argentine capital, thanks to a resolution that removed bureaucratic obstacles and streamlined the procedure.
Vast reserves of natural gas and oil trapped underground, whose exploitation would signify major environmental impacts, will be the greatest challenge facing YPF, the Argentine oil company that recently returned to state control.
For over 90 years, a law in Argentina has allowed women who become pregnant as a result of rape to have an abortion. However, hospitals often refuse to carry out the procedure, instead referring the women to the justice system.
China is looking to Latin America to experiment with the yuan, or renminbi, to replace the dollar, taking advantage of the growth in Chinese trade and investment in this region. But because the volume is still insignificant, it is not yet clear what impact the currency will have on economies in the region.
In Latin America, Argentina spends the most on healthcare. It has a vast infrastructure, highly qualified health professionals and the necessary material resources. But other countries in the region are achieving better and faster health outcomes with fewer resources.
The small restaurants and shops selling plastic sandals, tacky umbrellas, kitchen wares and paper lanterns in Buenos Aires's Chinatown do not give the impression of impending economic dominance.
The leaders of South America's Mercosur trade bloc decided to set up a committee to facilitate the incorporation of new members, adopt a mechanism to defend democracy in case of a coup, and ban vessels from the Malvinas/Falkland Islands from docking in member countries' ports.
Argentina could meet part of the rising world demand for "rare earth" metals, required for a variety of green technologies, advanced electronic devices and medical diagnostic equipment. The challenge lies in mining them in a sustainable fashion.
Transvestites and transsexuals in Argentina, who were among the most marginalised minority populations, have seen respect for their rights grow in recent years, especially since same-sex marriage became legal in this country a year and a half ago.