Education International, the global teachers‘ federation which represents over 32 million members in 173 countries, has been informed by its Argentinian affiliate, the Confederación de Trabajadores de la Educación de la República Argentina of new anonymous threats against the SUTEBA General Secretary, Roberto Baradel.
We must not forget that a year ago, Baradel and his family received death threats and that on that occasion, the Argentinian president, Mauricio Macri, rather than addressing the situation with the severity it merited, preferred to play down its importance and even joke about it.
The latest threats include fragments such as the following:"You are warned not to go on criticising the government. We are going after you and your union."
"You could have formed part of this, but you decided to become our enemy, and now we will make you disappear."
"We control the city, the province and the country, we control judges and legislators, security forces and the law, mayors and governors, judges and the media, we have the support of the most powerful people in the country and we control public opinion."
"Nobody can stop us, all that‘s left for you is to keep your head down and don‘t get in our way and to pray we won't throw you in jail or worse. The time for you to keep silent is running out and we are running out of patience."
The fact that these threats are repeated at the start of 2018 is a clear indication of the continuing deterioration of the democratic system and a direct result of the attacks orchestrated by the government itself against teachers in public education and against union freedom.
The international community looks on increasingly worried as the shadow of the past, rife with persecution and death in times of dictatorships, spreads once more over Argentinian political and union life.
Ensuring respect of the rights already gained is the responsibility of the various governments, and the promotion of genuine dialogue, together with union freedom, is what can really lead to a solution to the conflicts. At a time when sources of employment are being lost and the purchasing power of salaries is dropping, the responsibility for finding solutions to conflicts is unavoidable.
From Education International, we demand once more that the national, provincial and municipal authorities of Roberto Baradel‘s home town take all necessary measures and carry out all investigations required to identify those who are again trying to hinder the inalienable right to defend workers‘ rights and fair demands.