Skip to main content

Chile Police Use Teargas to Break Up Strike Protests

By Nathan Gill and Sebastian Boyd
April 16 (Bloomberg) -- Chilean police used teargas and water cannons to break up demonstrations in Santiago as unions called a national strike to protest layoffs and demand higher taxes on the rich.

About 12,000 people marched today in support of the strike, according to Radio Cooperativa. Chile job losses may reach 250,000 this year and the unemployment rate may rise above 12 percent for the first time in 20 years, according to Santiago-based bank Grupo Security SA. Chile’s economy is shrinking at the fastest pace since 1999 as the global economic slowdown crimps demand for its exports.

Companies are firing more workers than necessary to weaken unions and undercut pay demands, Cristian Cuevas, a national secretary of the union umbrella group called Central Workers’ Unit said in a telephone interview.

“Workers shouldn’t pay for the crisis because the workers didn’t start it,” Cuevas sad. “Financial speculation” triggered the global economic crisis,” he said.

Police spokeswoman Carla Ortega declined to give details on the number of arrests, saying that some people who were detained this morning have since been freed.

Protestors also want a state pension system and a constitutional amendment allowing the government to intervene in companies that fire workers, Arturo Martinez, president of the Central Workers’ Unit, said yesterday. Chilean workers are obliged to contribute to the nation’s pension fund system.

“After this crisis the world has to organize itself differently,” Martinez told reporters in Santiago. “We can’t continue with the same labor laws.”


Popular posts from this blog

Moving to the Suburbs: Reducciones in Recent Latin American Historiography

In 1503, the Spanish monarchy issued its first decree for the resettlement of indigenous groups in the Caribbean so that they would “live together” and “not remain or wander separated from each other in the backcountry.”[1]

As the European conquest spread to North, Central, and South America, these new settlements – known as reducciones and congregaciones in Spanish and descimentos in Portuguese – became sites of forced labor, evangelism, experimental agricultural, and refuge. Through a series of imperial policies decreed over the next decades and centuries of colonial rule, Spanish and Portuguese officials attempted to reshape the New World, including its human and natural landscapes. How colonial historians explain this process and indigenous peoples’ reactions to it is the focus of this essay.

In a review of the recent historiography of reducciones, several trends emerge that signal a shift in our understanding of the practice. As this paper will show, one common element is that …

77-Year-Old Wall Street Favorite to Face Fujimori in Peru Runoff

By Nathan Gill and John Quigley April 12, 2016 (Bloomberg) -- The victory by Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, a former finance minister, for second place in Sunday’s Peruvian president elections sets up a showdown between two business-friendly candidates, part of a regional backlash against left-wing politicians.
Kuczynski, a 77-year-old Oxford-trained political economist who’s spent more than 50 years championing debt control and free trade, won 21 percent of vote with 96 percent of the ballots counted, according to the electoral office. He will face Keiko Fujimori, who won 39.8 percent, in a second-round vote on June 5.
Click here to read the full story on Bloomberg News.

Bailout Risk Grows for Ecuador After Worst Earthquake in Decades

By Nathan Gill April 19, 2016 (Bloomberg) -- Before a 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck Ecuador on Saturday, the South American nation’s finances were already in tatters as the government struggled to meet payments to municipal authorities, oil companies and even cancer hospitals. Cut off from global bond markets, President Rafael Correa must now find enough money to rehouse thousands.
As volunteers continue to rescue victims from the rubble of collapsed homes and buildings on Ecuador’s Pacific coast, doubts are growing about the country’s ability to pay for the reconstruction. The nation is already in its worst recession since the financial system collapsed in the late 1990s, and international reserves are at their lowest levels in almost seven years.
Click hereto read the full story on Bloomberg News.