Thursday, March 29th 2012 - 04:24 UTC

Guess why Argentina restricts book imports: possible lead poisoning from ink

Argentina does not ban the import of books, the latest measures have been implemented to safeguard human health since handling books could entail dangers originated in the lead content of the inks with which they are published.

Watch out when you wet a finger with the tongue to turn a page

The remarks regarding the latest restrictions on books and graphic materials imports belong to Juan Carlos Sacco, member of the Argentine Industrial Union, UIA, board who said handling overseas books with inks containing lead in quantities above 0.05% and 0.06% are threatening.

Following on the latest ruling each book purchaser will have to check at the Ezeiza airport Customs office that ink for printing the books must not contain more than 0.05/0.06% in its chemical composition.

“Resolution 453 is environmental” said Sacco because handling books with lead contents above the limits established can be dangerous: “you handle the book and possibly wet your finger with your tongue to turn a page: that can be very serious for human health”, underlined the entrepreneur.

Sacco insisted that there are no restrictions or limits to the import of graphic materials.

“There is not the minimum mention in any part of the regulations which states a ban on the import of books or bringing books from overseas”, said Sacco who nevertheless admitted that the resolution yes, has the intention of promoting printing of books in Argentina.

“In the last five years book imports totalled 140.00 tons equivalent to 550 million dollars. And in 2011 the misbalance was approximately 78% which represents a deficit of 125 million dollars”, underlined Sacco.

The latest restriction is particularly cumbersome and fatiguing for Argentine who purchase their books through a courier, since they will no longer be delivered at home but they will have to be claimed at the airport.

Besides big importers such as editorials and bookstores will have to appeal to the services of a customs broker and must before hand, present their import sworn statement that as with all Argentine imports can be approved or rejected.

Likewise the ink’s lead content becomes effective next July when samples will be taken from the incoming books and analyzed at special labs.

The purpose of resolution 453 is “to safeguard the security of the population through several control mechanisms used to eliminate the risks which result from the use of inks with high contents of lead in graphic materials”.

However the resolution does not mention if similar controls on lead content in inks will be applied to the domestic printing and graphic industries.

The resolution has been questioned by several Argentine experts in constitutional law arguing it clearly violates enshrined rights such at the freedom of expression and the free circulation of ideas.

63 comments Feed

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1 Lord Ton (#) Mar 29th, 2012 - 05:30 am Report abuse
Smacks of censorship !
2 The Cestrian (#) Mar 29th, 2012 - 08:19 am Report abuse
Talk about micro management of a country but that just about takes the biscuit. LOL.
3 toooldtodieyoung (#) Mar 29th, 2012 - 08:22 am Report abuse
This is so funny........ Does anyone in Argentina read?

Are these “Peter and Jane” books???

Or are they dot-to-dot books that reveal a picture of the falklands and the words “These should be ours” underneath?
4 GreekYoghurt (#) Mar 29th, 2012 - 08:31 am Report abuse
Obvious censorship of supposedly damaging non-pro-government material is obvious.
5 The Cestrian (#) Mar 29th, 2012 - 08:33 am Report abuse
RG Land is quite obviously heading towards an isolationist policy. not sure if one of our esteemed members of La campora on here was joking when he said that RG Land is the next north korea. they are certainly heading in the right direction.

I note BTW that the latest rumour is that Fat Max is to run for the Presidency when the elections next take place. Thats RG Land knackered.
6 Teaboy2 (#) Mar 29th, 2012 - 08:55 am Report abuse
LMAO - They banning books because of the alleged risk the lead in the ink may be absorped into the body, where do these idiots get off? I don't suppose they realise that by having a tattoo do the ink, which contains more lead then printing ink, is basically being injected into the body. Not to mention the lead in the ink contained in printer Inkjet cartridges, which would pose much more of a risk, especially since the ink is usually still wet straight after printing and more likely to be absorbed by the body then dry ink. A licked finger is not moist enough or persistent enough moisture to make the ink on a page become moist it self. How about ink used on product labels, why have they not had import restrictions for products with labels printed using ink. Same with cardboard package, its all printed using ink.

Lol retards.
7 The Cestrian (#) Mar 29th, 2012 - 09:01 am Report abuse

”Argentines ought to be grateful. Their government has taken action against one of the hitherto little remarked upon hazards of modern life: reading.

Just think: Argentines – and probably many more worldwide – have been unwittingly exposing themselves to potentially dangerous levels of lead in the ink in the publications they peruse. No longer. Under thoughtful new rules, imported books and magazines will be held up by customs authorities while the lead levels in the ink are checked – all in the name of public health and environmental protection, its supporters say.

On Twitter, however, few cheer this latest measure, viewing it not as a safeguard by a nanny state but a new Kafkaesque measure by a government bent on substituting foreign-made things for things that could be made by Argentines. Free the books, is the Twitter hashtag.

Is culture being held hostage to Argentina’s trade policy? Widgets can be substituted, but can foreign books?

Readers fear that orders from Amazon will require a trip to the customs department of the Ezeiza international airport, some 40km outside Buenos Aires, for the bureaucratic delight of being allowed, for a fee, to pick up orders that in other countries plop straight through the letterbox without any problems. Amazon did not answer beyondbrics’ request about how it and its customers would be impacted by the new rules, and no one could be reached in customs at Ezeiza for comment.

One medical publishing house was sent a sample of a weighty $300 tome recently, an industry source told beyondbrics. At Ezeiza, the representative was asked to pay $80 to be able to take it away. He declined and said: “Destroy it.”

Note that you now have to pay a fee to get the book back from customs. I wonder where that money goes to?
8 Idlehands (#) Mar 29th, 2012 - 10:30 am Report abuse
Of all the idiotic stories we've recently been entertained with about the political machinations in Argentina this one has to be the current champion. They don't even pretend to disguise the purpose - they just assume the rest of the world accepts it's validity because Argentina has passed a law in relation to it.

Who would have guessed that reading your child a bedtime story can kill you?
9 Musky (#) Mar 29th, 2012 - 11:07 am Report abuse
This is a joke on the same par as the EU's banana shape rules.

10 yankeeboy (#) Mar 29th, 2012 - 12:11 pm Report abuse
Are adult Argentinians eating their books? That explains a LOT!
11 The Cestrian (#) Mar 29th, 2012 - 12:33 pm Report abuse

Chuckle, chuckle....
12 Boovis (#) Mar 29th, 2012 - 12:34 pm Report abuse
KFC probably saw The Name of the Rose and thought it was a documentary.
13 ptolemy (#) Mar 29th, 2012 - 01:09 pm Report abuse
It's funny they send you to Ezeiza airport Customs office to retrieve your books. It's known fact here that if your item(s) are at Ezeiza airport Customs office, you will spend a day trying to retrieve them and WILL pay fully double the new price of item. It is a total of 14 steps to complete the process, shuffling between different desks, in three offices. The whole process is designed to wear you down so they can keep whatever has been sent you. Any package sent by Fed-X gets stuck at Ezeiza. I went through this process 2 years ago because my brother-in-law sent something by Fed-X. That day, the guy next to me paid $129 USD for his own used jacket his mother had sent him....The customs office here is so corrupt, it's unbelievable.
14 jerry (#) Mar 29th, 2012 - 02:20 pm Report abuse
While the Riochuelo (river) remains one of the worst polluted, environmental disasters in Argentina, the K government worries about lead poisoning? I think that this official has either 1) lived for the past 1000 years in an unventilated room with imported books, or 2) has eaten 2 or 3 million pages of these books, or 3) BOTH 1 and 2. I say this because real lead poisoning must affect the brain.
15 Marcos Alejandro (#) Mar 29th, 2012 - 02:23 pm Report abuse
MercoStanley, Guess why you are so dumb?

”The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has announced Buenos Aires as the 2011 World Book Capital”
16 Frank (#) Mar 29th, 2012 - 02:26 pm Report abuse
Plumbophobia is a common argentinian complaint.... we saw that 30 years ago....

Now we have it combined with a fear of ideas....

17 The Cestrian (#) Mar 29th, 2012 - 02:59 pm Report abuse

Well doesnt that just make your decision even more fucking stupid. clown.
18 jdamiani (#) Mar 29th, 2012 - 03:21 pm Report abuse
Hello, toooldtodieyoung.
I found your comment both insulting and based on erroneous facts.
Most of the people in Argentina reads, and many of them have college education because it's FREE. I honestly hope your country gives you the same chance.
As you can tell, I'm also a pretty decent English speaker (accent or not). Can you speak two languages? (or more, since I also speak French).

Whether or not you endorse this decision by my government does not entitle you to call ignorant an entire country, and assume all we do is talk about Falkland. That's probably all YOUR Government wants YOU to know about us.
19 Teaboy2 (#) Mar 29th, 2012 - 03:40 pm Report abuse
@18 learn to spot homour when you see it, you sad person. You will find that the joke is on you. Toooldtodieyoung was merely mocking the the stupidty of the argentine government. But hey if you find his comment insulting, then all i can say is “Hey the truth hurts, doesn't!”

Oh and paid education equals better education, and no indoctrination either lol
20 Room101 (#) Mar 29th, 2012 - 03:54 pm Report abuse
No, be fair. Argentina is so conscious of its economic troubles, it must take account of the costs of air freight and other transport. Books with lead in them weighs heavier.
21 ElaineB (#) Mar 29th, 2012 - 04:15 pm Report abuse
@18 I think you are missing the point of this thread but to address some of the points you have made.

Yes, some college education is free and you have many eternal students attending. Most do not finish courses and the most common complaint I hear is that the professors at the free colleges fail to turn up, re-schedule at the last moment or are on strike. If they do manage to finish after 7 or 8 years, the degree is not well respected outside of Argentina. However, I give credit to the tenacity of the students who hang in there against the odds.

You are right that the majority of Argentines don't talk about the Falklands and don't care about the issue. The point is that the kind of people that do care are CFKC's key supporters. Thus the Argentine government keeps harping on about it.

Ugh, the language thing again. Argentines learn English to get better jobs but they are not unique in having English as a second language. And, for you information, most people I know in England speak at least three languages. Younger British people speak more because they travel so much; the world is their back yard. This opportunity is not so readily available to the majority of Argentines who complain to me about how hard it is for them to get visas even for holidays.

All that said, in my experience Argentines love to read and improve their minds. They must be pretty pissed off with the government right now.
22 ChrisR (#) Mar 29th, 2012 - 04:59 pm Report abuse
The real problem would be if books caught fire and the resultant lead in the atmosphere was ingested into the lungs (assuming lead in the ink).

Micronic lead is extremely dangerous, especially to children.

Given the Nazi tendency in Argentina I think we should encourage book burning on a large scale, especially in the Pink House. That really would make the Mad Bitch clinically mad / demented. :o)
23 Truth_Telling_Troll (#) Mar 29th, 2012 - 05:02 pm Report abuse
The Truth Telling Troll's Patented BULL-sheet Alert is ON!


“And, for you information, most people I know in England speak at least three languages. Younger British people speak more because they travel so much; the world is their back yard.”

Not according to neither the EU nor the Economist my dear:

Regardez / Schauen Sie an / Olha / Look/ Mire:

“No foreign language column” .... U.K:


“And there you have the results. Europe is becoming bilingual, except for Britons, who are becoming monolingual.”

(trust me dear, long term this is ruinous for you... because it is not just a matter of not knowing languages). If you don't even know you own country Elaine, how can you know mine? Is that trolling to question this? :)

And As I have said myself with different words:

”But Britain's unique (in the EU) refusal to study other people's languages still worries me. **Learning a foreign language teaches you humility, empathy and respect for others**.”

Pretty much explains away 90% of our British members behavior here.

BULL-sheet alert mode OFF.

*Threat succesfully neutralized*

(ps- Minor bullshit alert: Argentine passports are amongst the most accepted in the entire world with 150 countries not requiring visa. The USA has 160 and the UK 169... )


Back to regular programming (Greekyoghurt in 3,2,1...)
24 nerosaxo (#) Mar 29th, 2012 - 05:16 pm Report abuse
How about Dirty Money???
25 xbarilox (#) Mar 29th, 2012 - 05:34 pm Report abuse
@ 15 qué pobre defensa del “Modelo” fascista, peronista de mierda. Al menos se ve que te duele la cola, y salís a justificar lo injustificable. Argentina, país de mierda si los hay :)

@ 23 pobre loca, estás fuera de control.

Who could possibly believe the Falklanders wanted to be Argentines? Argentina is a waste of space.

“Guess why Argentina restricts book imports: possible lead poisoning from ink” poisoning ink hahaha Thanx, Peronistas.
26 Truth_Telling_Troll (#) Mar 29th, 2012 - 05:44 pm Report abuse

My response was about the language issue, not the Falklands. So obviously you are illiterate. If you manage to find in @23 any comment of mine that merits your “Falklands” interjection, I will give you a biscuit.

You are a waste of time, specially since you claim to live in Argentina which is story no one believes. I obviously “hurt” your feelings with a deep laceration because of what I wrote being the truth, about your country, the UK, which poured salt into your feelings of superiority. So now you are sulking on a corner and responded to me with the most pathetic counterpunch I have ever witnessed in Internet debate forum history.

Go cry at the Economist and the European Union statistical office, little boy. If you can't handle the truth, well you know.

Unless you are going to argue to me the Economist is NOT to be trusted LOL (hint: The Economist / FT is the weapon of choice to attack Argentina, so your call: good or bad?) hahaha
27 ElaineB (#) Mar 29th, 2012 - 05:56 pm Report abuse
@23. You know the people I know? I doubt that very much.
28 The Cestrian (#) Mar 29th, 2012 - 06:06 pm Report abuse

Do you think that the RG's are right to stop importing books due to the potential death trap from the ink?

What happens if the imported books are in braille?
29 Truth_Telling_Troll (#) Mar 29th, 2012 - 06:14 pm Report abuse
Ahh, the caviling about words and parsing prhases strategy when the main argument is irrefragably confuted. True and tried Elaine.

“And, for you information, most people I know in England speak at least three languages. Younger British people speak more because they travel so much; the world is their back yard”

“Younger British people” does not sound quite like your exclusive personal clique, is it? We all know what you implied, you got caught, admit it. No harm. Everyone gets caught by the Truth Telling Troll.

Ask xbarilox (about the indians), or Greekyoghurt (about the argie money abroad), or The Cestrian or Briton (about UK nuclear consent for nuking Japan), etc, etc...

I'm intelligent, or at the very least a cunning debater, no one here will deny it. I can tell many here are intimidated.

30 ElaineB (#) Mar 29th, 2012 - 06:31 pm Report abuse
@29 New paragraph “Younger British people”. Different paragraph and different point.

You certainly have a hugely inflated ego but not much else. Self praise is no praise.
31 xbarilox (#) Mar 29th, 2012 - 06:37 pm Report abuse
@ 26 sos homosexual, andá a joder a otro lado gay de mierda.

A cunning debater, yeah, your debates are so interesting. Thousands of words to say nothing at all.
32 The Cestrian (#) Mar 29th, 2012 - 06:46 pm Report abuse

I wouldnt call you a “cunning debater” I'd merely call you a c*nt.
33 Steve-32-uk (#) Mar 29th, 2012 - 08:00 pm Report abuse

I like many other Brits do not need to speak a foreign language as English is the only language I will ever need, any holiday resorts I visit always cater for English speaking people. For me learning a foreign language would be a waste of time as I would never need to speak it.

English is the universal language of communication, as your link proves. It is compulsory for most 'non English' speaking countries schools, to teach English. In international business English is a must.

So why do many English speaking countries inhabitants only speak one language? Because we don't need too, we already speak the universal language.
34 Marcos Alejandro (#) Mar 29th, 2012 - 08:18 pm Report abuse
23 Truth_Telling_Troll
35 The Cestrian (#) Mar 29th, 2012 - 08:22 pm Report abuse

Spot on.
36 Marcos Alejandro (#) Mar 29th, 2012 - 08:27 pm Report abuse

Yes Spot on...with your Brutish ignorance :-))
37 GreekYoghurt (#) Mar 29th, 2012 - 08:54 pm Report abuse
@36 There's nothing brutish nor ignorant about the fact that British people speak the most commonly used language, including the language that drives the internet.

There's nothing factually incorrect about the fact that you speak the language of poor corrupt countries.

Kartoffelkopf Alejandro, do you not have some Le Camping goose stepping to do? Shouldn't you be out there marching around your statue of Maximo shouting 'seig heil, seig heil, seig heil' like you're instructed to?
38 xbarilox (#) Mar 29th, 2012 - 09:22 pm Report abuse
@ 36 that's all you can do Malvinista.
The islands are British, bravo! :)
39 Troneas (#) Mar 29th, 2012 - 09:59 pm Report abuse
“Guess why Argentina restricts book imports...”

Sensationalist title if there ever was one. Gratz Mercopress.

For your information the Government has released a statement contradicting Mr. Sacco and that no bans will apply to foreign books or any printed material for personal use.
40 GreekYoghurt (#) Mar 29th, 2012 - 10:07 pm Report abuse
@39 That's not exactly true, because the original statement was that they were protecting the people from lead-based ink, which is rarely used. So suddenly they're not protecting the people from lead-based ink, or it suddenly became of no concern?

The fact is, they want to ban books because they spread dangerous non-'le camping' ideas, like 'where did Maximo put the $2.1 Billion?'.
41 Troneas (#) Mar 29th, 2012 - 10:16 pm Report abuse
@40. The statement came from the Industrial Union, which is not government.
42 jerry (#) Mar 29th, 2012 - 10:16 pm Report abuse
#39 - I do not understand your comment “no bans will apply to foreign books or any printed material for personal use ”. When did Argentina start importing anything which was not foreign.
43 xbarilox (#) Mar 29th, 2012 - 10:18 pm Report abuse
@ 39 Vos no vivís en Argentina, Malvinista hijo de puta ¿Creés que todos los argentinos viven en Buenos Aires y todos son millonarios y van a poder viajar a Ezeiza o pagar comisionistas a buscar un libro? Hijo de puta, te metés el federalismo bien el orto, ¿no? Y que los demás se caguen, todo sea por Malvinas jeje. Nunca van a tener esas islas, nunca. ¿comprendés? Ahora seguí disfrutando de ¿dónde vivís? ¿En USA?

For your information me cago en vos y en tu puta Cristina de Kirchner.

““In the last five years book imports totalled 140.00 tons equivalent to 550 million dollars. And in 2011 the misbalance was approximately 78% which represents a deficit of 125 million dollars”, underlined Sacco.” Will someone study Calculus from a book printed in Argentina? hahaha I don't think you.
44 Troneas (#) Mar 29th, 2012 - 10:28 pm Report abuse
@43. As I said, the ban was denied by the government. it is clear the industrial union wanted to protect their own national graphics sector and the government said no.

it has nothing to do with fomenting ignorance as some people here stated - curiously enough even if the article clearly stated the move came from an industrial union.

and i do hope you are not argentinean... your uncalled for foul language and attacks makes you look rather primitive and reflects badly on others here who want to discuss the articles in a serious manner.
45 The Cestrian (#) Mar 29th, 2012 - 10:35 pm Report abuse

Back tracking yet again when the lunatics see what a laughing stock their policies make them look like. Pathetic. Backward.
46 Beef (#) Mar 29th, 2012 - 10:35 pm Report abuse
The only think Argentina knows about books is how to “cook” them. They could probably teach my accountant a thing or two.
47 The Cestrian (#) Mar 29th, 2012 - 10:57 pm Report abuse

What a fucking shambles.
48 xbarilox (#) Mar 30th, 2012 - 12:18 am Report abuse
@ 47 yes, they have done that now. They are cowards, the restrictions were getting lots of criticism, and Cristina de Kirchner can't stand it. They are liars and cowards, they can't even defend their own decisions and when people criticize what they do, they will change their decisions. Remember that Cristina always says that Argentina is an example to the world in things like Human Rights and freedom, blah blah blahm and these restrictions are not an example of freedom exactly :)
49 Truth_Telling_Troll (#) Mar 30th, 2012 - 12:35 am Report abuse
Isn't it risibly absurd that on the one hand the British posters here are livid about Argentina's government banning books that are supposedly contaminated, out of some concern for academic pursuit, and in the next statement come out in defense for NOT learning languages and with pride confirm us they are monolingual? Can't make this stuff up.

The universal language is not English, fools. It is MATH. Which I doubt any of you know beyond adding like fractions and borrowing from tens, so much for using the time not spent learning languages wisely. You also don't learn much geography, as it is know Anglos suck at that too. History is not a forte either... so now that I think of it, do you guys actually learn anything in school? :(

I have never met a more rabid gang of over-egoes, I mean to be proud of being dummer and dimmer than the rest of the world, only the Anglos.
50 xbarilox (#) Mar 30th, 2012 - 12:40 am Report abuse
@ 49 how are you tobias, are you still a woman, or are you now a man again, and tomorrow you will be a tree?
51 Truth_Telling_Troll (#) Mar 30th, 2012 - 12:45 am Report abuse
And this Anglo@50 can't even English too good. What? A woman, a tree? A man and a tree? Is that some gay porn short story? I hear it kept you warm this last winter in the UK.
52 xbarilox (#) Mar 30th, 2012 - 01:00 am Report abuse
Cristina has saved the world today. She and her son, Máximo and the super potatoes from La Campora, fought bravely against the poisoning Ink and won the war. Now we are safe. Thank you Cristina, you are a Supah Ninja!

@ 51 qué pasa loca, ¿en pedo otra vez?
53 Cruzansailor (#) Mar 30th, 2012 - 01:02 am Report abuse
The ink is made in Argentina and shipped to Uruguay as is the paper.
54 xbarilox (#) Mar 30th, 2012 - 01:07 am Report abuse
@ 52 poisonous.

@ 53 Watch out, use gloves!
55 Truth_Telling_Troll (#) Mar 30th, 2012 - 03:02 am Report abuse
Anyway, very dissapointed in this decision, this is one of the few trade measures I actually agreed with fully. Why do we need to import ANY book? Make them all here!
56 GreekYoghurt (#) Mar 30th, 2012 - 07:29 am Report abuse
@55 Ah, the return of Tobias 'I love Le Camping' X. It didn't take you long to reverse your decision and come back again. Under orders from Maximo were ya?

Sure... why would you need any foreign books? Better just read the mindfurked nonsense that they print in Argentina where “1+1=KFC is glorious”.

I don't know why you think British people are upset about this, we're not. Were just laughing at your Nazi state and it's clearly Goebellian controls on people's minds.

Plenty more laughs where this one came from.
57 yankeeboy (#) Mar 30th, 2012 - 12:34 pm Report abuse
Whoops stupid RGs already back-peddling. It is their favorite sport and one they get a lot of practice. Too bad its not in the Olympics they would sure to get a gold.
58 Truth_Telling_Troll (#) Mar 30th, 2012 - 05:15 pm Report abuse
There are not good foreign books, seen the latest stuff? All badly written vampire drivel, or completely politicized hagiographies. I'll stick with local authors thank you.
59 Clyde15 (#) Mar 30th, 2012 - 06:47 pm Report abuse
I notice that the World Trade Organisation has condemned Argentina for its actions in trade restrictions against other members. The USA, EU, Canada, Japan and 10 other countries have all criticised Argentina over this.
I thought that the whole world loved your country and agreed with you over everything you did ?
60 Truth_Telling_Troll (#) Mar 30th, 2012 - 08:06 pm Report abuse
The world hates us, always has. That's why perhaps we don't like you too much. Your governments have for 100 tried to screw us over.
61 GreekYoghurt (#) Mar 31st, 2012 - 10:29 am Report abuse
@60 More reason for you to build a big wall and keep yourselves on the inside not having anything to do with the outside world.

Suits us fine.
62 Truth_Telling_Troll (#) Mar 31st, 2012 - 05:56 pm Report abuse
It works for us, difference we will be the innocent side and you the guilty dishonest, cheating, backstabbing, genocidal fools you have always been. History is history, sorry.
63 DJ56 (#) Apr 02nd, 2012 - 04:01 pm Report abuse
#62 - You are the sort of person who would be locked up as a holocaust denier in some countries, with your peculiar perversion of the truth. Or are you just stupid? Lets make it really simple:
1. “Dishonesty”: just go compare the respective positions of the UK and Argentina in the Transparecy International index;
2. “Cheating”: remember the “hand of God”?
3. “Backstabbing”: who bleats on about latin American solidarity, then causes real problems to countries like Uruguay and Paraguay by imposing protectionist trade restrictions which make a mockery of what Mercosur is meant to stand for?
4. “Genocidal”: remember the fate of the Mapuche Indians at the hands of your national hero Genaral Roca?
5. “Fools”: which country has repeatedly elected rabble rousing Peronist politicians who without fail lead the country up a blind alley?
6. “Innocent”: which country illegally invaded a small, peaceful and virtually undefended community, without any provocation, in 1982?

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