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The Buenos Aires Institute is the main Institute of Argentina. It is currently headed by Joaquín Acosta Romero after the previous head, Clive Breakspear, was arrested for illegal experiments on female werewolves. This is where the Buenos Aires Conclave meet and very occasionally give assistance to mundanes and Downworlders in need of their help. After the original Buenos Aires Institute was destroyed in the Dark War, the local Shadowhunters relocated to an abandoned one in a crypt.
Unglamored, the Institute is described as an atrocious looking tall edifice painted a dull rusty color. One wing of the Institute was destroyed during the Dark War and is still a charred ruin. The paint of the Institute was mixed with blood while they were applying it. The inside of the Sanctuary looks like a church that has suffered a blast, with the long windows boarded up and the floor blackened. To mundanes, the building is said to look like a large crypt in an abandoned cemetery, in a profusion of ghost-like flowers.
After the Dark War, Shadowhunters were severely diminished in Buenos Aires. Clive Breakspear was sent by the Clave to rebuild and reestablish relationships with the Buenos Aires Shadow Market. However, though he accepted the occupation, he did not do as promised, and collaborated with a warlock in abducting female werewolves for experiments.
In 2012, Alec Lightwood and Lily Chen visited the Institute while they were on a mission to find the Queen of the Shadow Market. The Institute was very unwelcoming to them as they both had links to Downworlders, and the Institute at the time was allied to the Cohort. Alec found out about Clive's dark plans and put a stop to his tyranny. His role as head of the Buenos Aires Institute was given to Joaquín Acosta Romero.