Argentina, Neuquén: Three months after the repression

Massive march for Carlos Fuentealba

July 09, 2007

By Graciela Frañol, teacher from Neuquén and delegate to the CTERA
union congress

July 4 marked three months since the public shooting of our comrade
Carlos Fuentealba [a teacher and union activist]. Last week,
assemblies were held in all the sectional divisions of ATEN [Neuquén
teachers’ union, Asociación de Trabajadores de la Educación de
Neuquén], where a strike and mobilization were approved for July 4,
demanding trial and punishment of all those materially and politically
responsible.

We gathered beginning at 10 a.m, a big number of educational workers,
women and men, at the monument to San Martín, together with the
Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, HIJOS [children of victims of state
terrorism in Argentina], CeProDH [human rights organization], high
school students, the Centro de Estudiantes de Bellas Artes, the
Federación Universitaria del Comahue, the Sindicato Ceramista (which
carried out a strike in the four factories), ATE [government
employees’ union, Asociación de Trabajadores del Estado], Sadop [union
of teachers in private schools, Sindicato Argentino de Docentes
Privados], Judiciales, CTA [workers’ central union, Central de
Trabajadores de la Argentina], and leftist parties like the PTS, PO,
and MST.

The march ended at government house, where Alejandro López of the
ceramics workers’ union, Fernández from the CTA, Izquierdo from
Judiciales, Guagliardo from ATEN and Sandra Rodríguez,
Fuentealba’s companion, concluded the demonstration.

During the previous weeks, CO.CA.PRE (Comisión Carlos Presente),
carried out different activities, such as a campaign to gather
signatures, painting slogans and putting up stickers throughout the
city, selling ceramic tiles about Carlos Fuentealba, donated by the
workers of Zanon to raise money for the campaign, and selling
different CD’s for the same purpose.

From the Negra group in ATEN we published a poster announcing the
march, where we denounced the impunity that exists in the country, and
repudiated the anti-terrorist law recently approved by Deputies and
Senators, on orders by Bush; we asked leaders and rank and file
members of the ATEN union to call an assembly to discuss the program
and candidates for a national united opposition list against Yasky in
the national elections of CTERA [another teachers’ union,
Confederación Trabajadores de la Educación de la Republica Argentina].

We also met with sectors of the opposition in the ATEN union, to march
together, under a single banner with the following slogans, "Justice
for Carlos now. Overturn the anti-terrorist law. No to these parity
commissions."

In Buenos Aires as well

In the framework of the day of struggle 3 months after the crime
against Carlos Fuentealba, a big march took place, organized by union
delegates and workers’ activists, who met in the Hotel Bauen. After a
ceremony in the Casa de Neuquén, they marched to the human rights
secretariat, to demand dropping the charges against militants, and
finally to the Ministry of Labor with a number of demands from unions.
The comrades of the Casino Buenos Aires, and the Hospital Francés,
workers’ delegations from Zanon [ceramics factory under workers’
management], SUTEBA [Buenos Aires teachers’ union, Sindicato Único de
Trabajadores de la Educación de Buenos Aires], Brukman [textile
factory in Balvanera, Buenos Aires, recovered and run by its workers],
LAN Argentina [airline workers], Hospital Garrahan, Correo Argentino
[postal workers], Subte [subway workers] and the Lista Violeta of
Telefónicos, all participated. Union delegates from the Mafissa
textile plant, from La Plata, coming from a big victory, joined the
march. The organizations FTC-MAS, PO, PTS, MST, Izquierda Socialista
and the PCR [parties of the left] also participated. In the call for
the march, the comrades set forth that "we workers in struggle see the
need to get organized and coordinate [our activities] powerfully
against the policy of exploitation supported by the Kirchner
administration and the union bureaucracies, the same people that have
guaranteed impunity [of officials and the violent right wing] and kept
silent for the 9 months since the disappearance of Jorge Julio López
[a victim of, and witness against, the repressive actions by the
military dictatorship in Argentina (1976-1983)].

Translation by Yosef M.