Argentina recovered an original form of its 1816 declaration of independence from Spain. It is one of the 1,500 copies that Juan Martín de Pueyrredón sent to print on August 13, 1816 and that they were sent to different parts of the country and the world to announce their emancipation from the crown.

The national Customs acted quickly when the Ministry of Culture of Peru alerted about the theft of a handwritten book from the year 1772. Once the information was obtained, the agency filed a complaint with the Justice to be able to rescue the historical documents.

The handwritten declaration, signed by the representatives of the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata, had disappeared without trace. Copies –considered originals– bear a certifying imprint. In the last 200 years few have survived.

The historical document was presented last Monday during the inauguration of the building renovation of the Federal Customs Patio, at the organization’s headquarters. The event was attended by the Minister of Economy, Sergio Massa; the head of the Federal Administration of Public Revenues (AFIP), Carlos Castagneto; and the Director General of Customs, William Michelwho released the details of the find.

“It is clear that in the independence of the Argentine economy, Customs has a central role. Each customs office, each customs officer is the first arm of the State: they are showing us that they are at the service of our country.”Massa stressed.

After the exchange of information with Peru, Customs officials located the document from a virtual bookstore specialized in the sale of ancient texts based in Buenos Aires. “Each contraband that Customs detects is an act of defense of our Nation, of our homeland; of protection of our reserves”explained the pro-government candidate for the Presidency.

The Peruvian government had denounced the theft of a book from the year 1772 from the San Antonio Abad National University of Cusco, which was also found in the operation and returned to the Andean country. Books, paintings and even gold Rolex watches were also recovered, all lacking proper supporting documentation.

“The recovery of this document means an act of national sovereignty, care for the collective memory of our nation and is a primary source for historical research”Michel pointed out.

For his part, Castagneto took advantage of the presentation to outline a summary of the organization’s objectives: “We had to take measures as soon as we went up to accompany the Ministry of Economy in the collection, to say what we said from the beginning: that those who have to pay under strategic planning pay, under a program that we are complying with. It’s over that the one who doesn’t pay is alive. I believe that the joint work of Customs, DGI, Social Security is giving its results”.

In the same sense, Michel explained that he is “Doing from this body, from the AFIP and from the Minister of Economy is laying the foundations for a new form of management, with macroeconomic order. It will take time, but it will allow us to have the foreign currency for the development of our country without having to resort to a fierce debt as happened in the past”.

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