On June 14 Argentine police in Entre Rios province removed a group of farmers and truckers who were blocking Route 14, an important link with Uruguay. Agents arrested 19 protesters, including Alfredo de Angeli, head of the provincial branch of the Argentine Agrarian Federation (FAA); he was released after four hours. The blockade was part of a new round of strikes and actions in a national protest agricultural producers have carried out in phases since March to protest increased taxes on soy.
The new actions have included farmers not associated with the main farmer groups—the FAA and the right-wing Argentine Rural Society—and some truckers who previously had opposed the strikes. The latest actions threatened to bring shortages to major cities; they also created major transportation problems for leftists trying to reach Rosario, in Santa Fe province, the birthplace of Argentine-Cuban revolutionary hero Ernesto (“Che”) Guevara, for celebrations of his 80th birth anniversary on June 14. (La Jornada, Mexico, June 15 from correspondent)
On June 11 Interior Minister Florencio Randazzo warned that in the new actions “there are sectors that are ready for anything.” He referred to an incident in Victoria, Entre Rios, when a van belonging to Jorge Bussi was involved in an attack on a convoy of trucks carrying fuel. Bussi’s uncle is former general Domingo Antonio Bussi, an official during the 1976-1983 military dictatorship. (LJ, June 12)
From Weekly News Update on the Americas, June 15