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  • An activist holds a sign that reads "The WTO Kills" to protest the group

    An activist holds a sign that reads "The WTO Kills" to protest the group's 11th Ministerial Conference. | Photo: EFE

Published 13 December 2017

Protesters marched against President Mauricio Macri and his government's neoliberal economic policies.

Six Argentine protesters have been detained after demonstrating against the World Trade Organization, WTO, 11th Ministerial Conference held in Buenos Aires.

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The demonstration, which was attended by at least 2,500 people, was organized by the Confluencia Fuera OMC (No More Confluence With the WTO), a platform that gathers trade unions, socialists, feminists, environmentalists, campesinos and students. Protests began on Sunday, when the ministerial conference was inaugurated.

During his inaugural speech, President Mauricio Macri claimed that "during the last 20 years, the WTO has been a key piece in global governance and a source of growth and development."

"However, we know that the benefits have not yet reached all," he added.

Carlos Bianco, a leader of the Argentine Workers' Central Union, rejected Macri's remarks.

"Sadly, the proposed agenda, supported by Macri's government, is an agenda that has nothing to do with development," Bianco said.

"It is an agenda for corporations." 

The meeting took place as the Mercosur regional bloc is advancing trade talks with the European Union while Brazil and Argentina deepens neoliberal adjustment policies.

Confrontations between Argentine police and protesters sparked after "a small group of 50 hooded people, holding stones, blades and molotov cocktails tried violent actions," the Argentine Security Ministry reported.

Macri's government denied entry to over 60 representatives of NGOs and social organizations who planned to participate in the demonstrations. Protest events included academic panels and seminars on regional integration and economic alternatives to free market capitalism.

Activists march in Argentina against the WTO.  

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