Producers in Argentina make ‘tratoraço’ in protest against the government

A group of rural producers marched this Saturday, 23, through the center of Buenos Airess, some of them on tractors, to protest against the government’s policies Argentina that they consider harmful to the agricultural sector.

The caravan, made up of 30 tractors and hundreds of cars, motorcycles and other vehicles, advanced along the avenues in the north of the capital until reaching the iconic Plaza de Mayo, in front of the Casa Rosada, headquarters of the Argentine Executive.

More than a thousand people gathered there to end the protest, which spread to other cities in the country, such as Córdoba, Tucumán and Rosario.

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Rural producers drive tractors through the streets of Buenos Aires in protest against the government
Rural producers drive tractors through the streets of Buenos Aires in protest against the government
Photograph: Matias Campaya/EFE

This “tratoraço” did not have the institutional support of the so-called Mesa de Enlace, formed by the four largest rural employer associations in Argentina, although it had the support of some regional agricultural organizations and sectors of the political opposition.

The reasons for the protest are diverse: in addition to rejecting any additional tax pressure on the rural sector, the organizers called for better public administration of resources, less political spending and greater investment in productive infrastructure, among other points.

Likewise, a large number of citizens took the opportunity to take to the streets and express their rejection of the national government, with slogans against political corruption and in favor of tax cuts.

In recent days, the government of Alberto Fernandez questioned the protest, arguing that its claims “are not very clear”.

“We have no doubt that this is an absolutely political march and that it has to do with interests other than the defense of the legitimate rights of farmers in the countryside,” said presidential spokeswoman Gabriela Cerruti at a press conference on Friday. .

For his part, the mayor of Buenos Aires, opposition leader Horacio Rodríguez Larreta, called on the national government to “respect” these protests, instead of “promoting confrontations” between workers.

Protest of farmers and rural workers take to the streets of the Argentine capital
Protest of farmers and rural workers take to the streets of the Argentine capital Photograph: EMILIANO LASALVIA / AFP

“Given the expectation of the announcement that they want to increase taxes, how are they not going to manifest, how are we not going to support them? This is Argentina’s engine and future,” Rodríguez told TN.

The protest takes place in the context of a sharp rise in international prices of raw materials since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which favors agro-exporters in Argentina, one of the world’s largest producers and exporters of grains and derivatives, but which has directly impacted an acceleration domestic inflation, particularly on food.

In addition to this situation arising from the war in Ukraine, the Argentine agricultural sector has had a difficult relationship with the Kirchnerist governments since 2008, mainly due to high rates of export taxes on grains and derivatives, an important source of revenue for the Argentine Treasury./EFE

About Abhishek Pratap

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