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Argentina Fighting Tax Evasion, One Geolocated Cow At A Time

Grazing Positioning System?
Grazing Positioning System?

BUENOS AIRES — Facing the risk of billions of dollars of debt claims, the Argentine government is looking to maximize its revenues — whichever way it can.

Argentina's tax agency AFIP has decided to start keeping an electronic tab of all the country's livestock beginning next year, tracking their movements and making sure their owners are paying all required taxes. This would not be the first time the government of President Cristina Kirchner seeks to squeeze the farming sector for revenues — it is, well, one of Argentina's main cash cows.

The idea concocted by the agency's chief Ricardo Echegaray is to implant a microchip or electronic tracking device in Argentina's 51.4 million livestock. Through a new system called SIFTA (in English, the Animal Traceability Fiscal System), it would be able to track every bovine's personal history: birth, death, transfer, industrial usage, sale and other taxable procedures needed to obtain a report of its entire history, according to a government document outlining the plan.

SIFTA will also allow AFIP to form enterprises to supply chips and other digital tracking devices. "A new business venture for Echegaray?" quipped Miguel Schiariti, head of the Meat Industry Chamber (CICCRA).

Schiariti said the new measure was "unnecessary" as the country's food safety agency SENASA already has a tracking system AFIP can use. Many cows were also already identified with Allflex tags.

The new digital tagging procedures are slated to begin in January.

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FOCUS: Israel-Palestine War

The Gaza Ceasefire Is Over, With Western Diplomacy Weaker Than Ever

Diplomacy has failed to stave off a resumption of the war in Gaza. Yes, Israel made clear its goal of destroying Hamas is not complete. But the end of the truce is also one more sign that both the U.S. and Europe hold less sway in the region than they once did.

Smoke rising from a building after an Israeli strike on the city Rafah the in southern Gaza strip.

December 1, 2023: Smoke rising from a building after an Israeli strike on the city Rafah the in southern Gaza strip

Source: Abed Rahim Khatib/ZUMA
Pierre Haski


PARIS — Unfortunately, the end of the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas was predictable. In a previous column this week, I wrote that the question was not whether the war would resume, but rather when (and how) it would resume. Israel has made it clear in recent days that it has not yet achieved its goal of destroying Hamas in Gaza, and that it still intends to do just that.

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Still, international diplomacy has not been idle. U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken arrived in Israel on Thursday: the United States was putting pressure on Israel so that, once the conflict resumed, it would inflict fewer civilian casualties — a more “surgical” war.

It is obviously too early to know if Blinken’s words have been heard. The only question is whether Israel will apply the same massive strategy in the south of the territory as in the north, or if the country will carry out more targeted operations, in a region with a very high population density.

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