Paraguay: Trade unions suffer brutal repression

On 28 August, workers and trade union leaders calling for better pay and the investment of 7% of GDP in education in Paraguay were met with brutal repression.

The International Trade Union Confederation has condemned the brutal repression suffered by trade union leaders from the education sector. On 28 August, education workers were holding a peaceful demonstration calling for better pay and the allocation of 7% of GDP to education under the nation’s general expenditure budget.

Several trade union leaders were injured by police during the demonstration, including Silvio Piris, president of the Federación de Educadores del Paraguay (FEP), Santiago Ortiz, general secretary of the Sindicato de Periodistas del Paraguay (SPP) and Juan Gabriel Espínola, general secretary of the OTEP-Auténtica.

"The police’s incompetence, lack of professionalism and repressive culture stand as a reminder that the repressive apparatus built up during the dark years of the dictatorship in Paraguay remains firmly in place," said Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of the ITUC.

In a letter to the President of Paraguay, the ITUC urged the Paraguayan authorities to take immediate action to safeguard the health of the injured trade union leaders.