The Family International has maintained a presence in Argentina since the early 1970s. A report by Faith David dated January 1976 noted that "Watchman had helped to establish our first colonies in...Argentina." ("Viva South America!" --Faith David 1/76, No. 57, GP. pg. 14, paragraph 81). On May 12, 1975, members of the Family in Argentina legally registered an organization, Asociacion Los Niños de Dios Internacional, in the Fichero de Cultos no Catolicos y Disidentes (Registry of non-Catholic and dissident sects) of the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y Culto (Ministry of External Relations and Culture).
On February 10, 1977, in a resolution numbered 222/977 the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y Culto canceled inscription number 1595 belonging to Asociacion Los Niños de Dios Internacional for "systematic activities against the public order, morals and good customs." Thus, after February 10, 1977, the Children of God was an illegal and banned organization in Argentina. As a result of this and other legal problems, The Family abandoned Argentina for a brief period in the late 1970s. However, internal publications suggest that, even after the the organization was banned, some Family leaders believed they were a "legal association" and that the Family continued to operate in Argentina:
Court Cases and Legal Action
- 1976 — 20 members of the Children of God are arrested in Buenos Aires.
- 1977 — The Children of God encounters legal problems that include being banned.
- 1987 — The Family encounters legal problems.
- 1989 — The Family encounters legal problems.
- 1990 — The Family encounters legal problems.
- 1993 — At 2 o'clock in the morning on September 1st, Family homes are raided by police and 21 adult members are detained under preliminary charges that include child abuse, corruption of minors, kidnapping, reduction of persons to servitude, illegal privation of liberty aggravated by religious ends, illicit association, illegal retention and withholding of persons against their will, alteration of the civil status of a minor, forgery of documents and participation in an organization that promotes racial and religious discrimination.
- 2004 — The Family resolves some of its legal problems
The Family has had homes in the following provinces and cities in Argentina.