Articles by: Marie Trigona
At May Day protests one hundred years ago today, Argentine police slaughtered 30 workers who were demanding an eight-hour work day and commemorating Chicago's Hay Market massacre. The repression deeply affected a young anarchist named Simón Radowitzky and unleashed a chain of events that would convert the young man into one of Latin America's most famous internationalists. For the next 100 years, Radowitzky's memory has helped fuel militant worker actions.
For some, it may come as a surprise that Buenos Aires's fashion industry relies on slave labor. Even with Argentina's miraculous economic revival, the practice of using undocumented immigrants as slave laborers in sweat shops continues. An estimated 400 clandestine shops operate in Buenos Aires. And tens of thousands of undocumented Bolivians work in these unsafe plants.
Wal-Mart's aggressive efforts to keep labor unions out of stores worldwide have come under fire across the hemisphere. Workers report how the retail chain systematically violates international labor laws protecting workers' rights to free association and union organizing. As the world's largest private employer, Wal-Mart has set a precedent for bad working conditions for employees in the United States and abroad.
Inside the BAUEN Hotel, one of Argentina's worker-run workplaces, janitors, repairmen, receptionists and maids sit in an assembly with worried but determined faces and sheets of paper in hand. Each of the workers, some of whom have been working at the hotel since it was built in 1978, hold a court ordered eviction notice, a judicial document notifying the workers they must abandon the hotel or police will force them to leave.
A much awaited human rights abuse trial is underway in Argentina. The accused is a Catholic priest charged with carrying out human rights abuses while working in several clandestine detention centers during the nation's 1976-1983 military dictatorship. The priest was arrested four years ago while living under an alias in Chile. This is the latest human rights trial of accused torturers since the landmark conviction of a former police officer for genocide in 2006.
The police killing of a public school teacher on April 4 in the southern province of Neuquén has sparked massive protests in Argentina and reawakened the slogan: "Que Se Vayan Todos" (Throw them all out!). Argentina's teachers and trade unions participated in a nationwide strike Monday, April 9, to protest police violence against teachers in Neuquén. Some say the province is at the brink of a wider rebellion, with a deep political crisis shaking up Patagonia.
Patricia Isasa has fought for justice and transparency for over 30 years. At the time of her kidnapping, July of 1976, architect Patricia Isasa was 16 years old. She was abducted by an Argentine commando group of the provincial police and taken to one of the 375 clandestine detention and torture centers set up during the dictatorship.
Argentina has opened several high profile criminal cases charging former military officers for human rights abuses during the 1976-1983 military dictatorship. For the first time in the nation’s history, an Argentine court sentenced a military officer to life for crimes against humanity earlier this month. As the South American country re-evaluates its dark history, new skeletons in the closet have reappeared.