Friday, April 06, 2007


A teacher shot by Argentine police at close range with a tear gas canister on Wednesday died yesterday evening reports the Buenos Aires Herald.

Carlos Fuentealba, 41, was hit in the head from a distance of less than two metres when he was inside a car with four other people during the protest by Neuquén teachers, one of the several protests that teachers have been staging in many provinces to demand better wages.

Union leaders have called on teachers and other workers to take part in a nation-wide strike on Monday. Protests like today's in Buenos Aires, have already spread far beyond the borders of Neuquén Province. In Salta teachers tried to barricade state lawmakers inside the local legislature after an unsatisfactory vote on improving teacher's salaries. Police there attacked unionists with rubber bullets.

Argentine teachers who earn a base salary starting at US$333 (EUR250) a month complain that two years of double-digit inflation have eroded the purchasing power of their paychecks and call government offers to raise wages by 10 percent insufficient.

The following story is from BBC.

Argentine protest sparks clashes

Police in the Argentine province of Neuquen have used tear gas for a
second day against teachers protesting over pay and working

The clashes came as people gathered at a local government building
to protest against police action a day earlier.

One protester died after being injured by an exploding tear gas
canister during Wednesday's rally as police dispersed crowds
blocking a highway.

The main teachers' union is to strike on Monday in protest at the

The teachers are demanding higher wages, arguing that inflation has
reduced the spending power of their salaries.

The violence on Wednesday happened when police fired tear gas to
disperse the several hundred-strong group of demonstrators, some of
whom responded by throwing stones.

One protester, Carlos Fuentealba, was hit by a tear gas canister and
taken to hospital but later died of his injuries.

Fuentealba's death is only likely to further fuel what is already a
volatile protest over pay and conditions, says BBC Americas editor
Will Grant.

Other teachers' protests have been reported around the country.
Police fired rubber bullets at teachers in the northern province of
Salta after they tried to prevent lawmakers leaving the local
legislature after a vote on salaries, the Associated Press news
agency said.

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