BUENOS AIRES – Some 10,000 protesters blocked the main road leading into Buenos Aires on Tuesday to protest the effects of the Argentine government’s economic measures on the poorest sectors of society.
The protests were organized by the grassroots Barrios de Pie organization and other groups, with people taking to the streets in the morning around the capital with banners, drums and pots and pans for a loud protest under the slogan “never hungry.”
Barrios de Pie representatives and 200 soup kitchen coordinators presented a request at 11:00 a.m. for a meeting with Buenos Aires province Gov. Maria Eugenia Vidal to discuss the situation in the neighborhoods.
“We want to ask the governor for the economic reforms needed for social protection, a package of measures to offset the impact of economic measures in the most vulnerable sectors,” Barrios de Pie national coordinator Daniel Menendez told EFE.
The government announced increases of up to 100 percent for public transit fares and more than 300 percent for gas and water service, while electric rates rose 600 percent in February and fuel prices have been hiked 6 percent since President Mauricio Macri took office.
The hikes in the cost of public services and transit fares are on top of inflation.
The number of children from Buenos Aires and the province going to soup kitchens has risen, Menendez said.
Figures provided by the Catholic Church show “1.5 million new poor people,” Menendez said.