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Montevideo, December 11th 2018 - 08:06 UTC

Night of fire and violence in Ushuaia as protestors are evicted from Government House grounds

Wednesday, June 1st 2016 - 08:51 UTC
Full article 6 comments
The strikers had been camping for almost three months outside Government House, limiting access, to protest an amendment to the pensions' scheme The strikers had been camping for almost three months outside Government House, limiting access, to protest an amendment to the pensions' scheme
“The clearing of the camp was done with utmost professionalism and when most tents were empty”, said Ezequiel Murray head of provincial Security Department. “The clearing of the camp was done with utmost professionalism and when most tents were empty”, said Ezequiel Murray head of provincial Security Department.
As to the tents on fire, Murray said that his men have the incident on security cameras, and it was the protestors, forced to leave that set them on fire As to the tents on fire, Murray said that his men have the incident on security cameras, and it was the protestors, forced to leave that set them on fire
Governor Rosana Bertone received the full support of the Macri administration in her struggle with the 80-day strike Governor Rosana Bertone received the full support of the Macri administration in her struggle with the 80-day strike

Ushuaia suffered a night of violence, tear and pepper gas and fire when riot police dislodged an 80-day protest camp and tents of striking teachers and government employees next to Tierra del Fuego Government House. Seven people were reported injured including a policeman and a fireman, when tents were set on fire, and unions claimed it was a savage and brutal display of government repression

 The report says that five strikers were assisted in hospital because of the tear and pepper gas, while the policeman was injured in the head and the fireman suffered a foot injury when the stepped on planks with nails.

The strikers had been camping for almost three months outside Government House, limiting access, to protest an amendment to the pensions' scheme proposed by Governor Rosana Bertone and approved by the provincial Legislative assembly last January.

“The clearing of the camp was done with utmost professionalism and when most tents were empty”, said Ezequiel Murray, head of Tierra del Fuego Security Department.

This was so because “80% of occupants were at a round of talks, discussing different issues relative to the strike”, added the officer.

“When riot police and dogs moved in it was only natural that there were some scuffles, because they refused to abandon the camp. Some suffered from pepper spray, and some light injuries. But one of my men had eight stitches in the head and the fireman stepped on a nail, I don't want to think the wood planks with nails were intentional”.

As to the tents on fire, Murray said that his men have the incident on security cameras, and it was the protestors, forced to leave that set them on fire, and “we are going to file a complaint in a criminal court”.

However the teachers' union Sutef, announced a full day strike in all Tierra del Fuego schools, to protest the violent police repression.

“At two in the morning and despite the presence of hundreds of our comrades, the riot police marched with extreme violence against the workers, as under the dictatorship. The policemen set the tents on fire and ignored for twenty minutes a woman-worker who suffered an epilepsy fit and was lying on the floor”, added the union.

The dispute over the pensions amendment basically puts an end to a retirement scheme which allowed government staff and personnel to retire at full salary with 50 years, an uncontainable erosion to the province's finances. Furthermore the central government warned there was a limit to financial support given the provincial budget deficit.

Although Tierra del Fuego is ruled by the opposition Victory Front, which theoretically responds to Cristina Fernandez, the Interior minister from president Macri administration visited governor Rosana Bertone in a display of support to her position contrary to the strikers.

Categories: Politics.

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  • ChrisR

    I looked and looked but I cannot see what the problem is: it looks just as I imagined it would look, full of crap (still no repairs to the sewers) and dead-headed people.

    No change there then.

    Ha, ha, ha. I shouldn't laugh. Ha, ha, ha, but I just can't help it.

    Jun 01st, 2016 - 10:58 am 0
  • Clyde15

    Argentina's national sport !

    Jun 01st, 2016 - 12:43 pm 0
  • Marti Llazo

    The extravagant “ social benefits” that these workers receive in Tierra del Fuego would make even a Greek blush. Workers who spend just 25 years in Ushuaia can retire early with benefits -- as early as age 45. And people here in Tierra del Fuego don't pay tax on their earnings, so..... who is paying for those benefits? Well, naturally the government in Tierra del Fuego can't ask the people to actually pay for their government benefits, so the governor is trying to get a big loan (some US$350 million) by floating another one of those famous high-interest foreign bond sales. And we all know how well that is going to work out. Tic-tock....

    The government here is changing the retirement age to 60. And the protesters aren't having it. In fact in both Tierra del Fuego and Sta Cruz provinces, the protesters have laid siege to government buildings -- for provincial governments that are bankrupt. I do so love the smell of burning tyres in the morning.

    Remember that many of the protesters in Ushuaia are the local teachers, who have gone for 80 days without giving classes, and this will likely result in about a third of the local adolescents losing an entire school year.

    Jun 01st, 2016 - 03:03 pm 0
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