Horses, tractors and hundreds of rural producers from all over the country gathered in front of the Uruguay Parliament on Thursday to denounce the problems that the agricultural sector is experiencing and criticize the government for not listening to the proposals of the Un Solo Uruguay (One Uruguay) movement. The political, non-partisan movement brings together producers and actors of the rural environment and the interior of the country.
The mobilization, in which hundreds of people and certain opposition figures participated, was interrupted when trying to move to the Presidential tower, as police pickets prevented the passage of trucks and tractors through one of the main avenues of Montevideo.
Earlier, the movement issued a statement denouncing that the police was not allowing vehicles to enter the demonstration that is set for today, something they say they had previously coordinated.
We repudiate this attack to the freedom of expression and manifestation by the Executive Branch, they said in a statement.
A spokesman for the agglomerated farmer read the proclamation in which he expressed the problems that the agricultural sector is experiencing and criticized the government for ignoring this situation, for which reason it was said that the movement will be opposed to those who do not assume errors due to political arrogance.
Among the claims of the movement, they report the loss of 70 thousand jobs and the disappearance of 16 thousand companies related to the industry since 2009.
”We are showing the tambo (Dairy farm) that closes, the farm that disappears and the transport that is in a beastly crisis, Marcelo Nogué, a member of Un Solo Uruguay, told El País.
The spokesman of the movement recalled that “twenty months trying to talk to the government about the problems we suffer from the different sectors that generate work and resources throughout the country. Twenty months calling on the government to address this situation that began to be generated several years ago.
Nogué compared the current situation of the industry with that of the financial crisis that hit the region in 2002. “A third of dairy farmers have been lost in recent years. A livestock producer abandons (the activity) per day and 50% of the truck fleet is stopped because it has no activity,” he explained.
The candidate for president of the far right-wing Cabildo Abierto party, Guido Manini Ríos, appeared and said that, if elected, he would give “a particular proclamation within the Republic. We did the first campaign act in the farthest capital of Montevideo and we understand that the great forgotten of the different policies that are always happening is the productive sector, the former commander in chief said.
The movement stressed that agriculture needs major changes and that of course are opponents of this way of leading the country's economy.
In the face of the (presidential) elections in October, we need to hear from the candidates if they understand it or if we will continue to be scammed, those who pay taxes, but we don't have much in return (...) we have no security, no good public education, no roads, no basic infrastructure, said the movement’s spokesman.
For his part, the Minister of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries, Enzo Benech, criticized Thursday the proposals of Un Solo Uruguay.
I think there are producers with difficulties and who deserve a lot of respect, but, that the country is in crisis? Far from that. Let's look at the region, look at the world and see the indicators, Benech said in statements to Radio Uruguay. The minister considered that the movement of producers is based on a wrong” diagnosis of the economic and productive reality of the country.