If anyone did do anything this weekend, they probably got soaked in the process and spent the rest of their free time sniveling and sneezing (if they didn’t already have a cold by Friday in the first place).
Since reading the news probably isn’t the go-to for comfort, let’s take a quick look at what happened over the weekend.
- You probably don’t need the news to tell you that it rained torrentially over the weekend. One of the most affected areas was Comodoro Rivadavia in Chubut province: in fact, the highway (Ruta 3) which provides access to the city collapsed due to the fierce storms. The asphalt was so weakened the the weight of a truck caused it to split completely. Luckily, the driver suffered only minor injuries and within 24 hours the highway was fixed, so Comodoro Rivadavia wasn’t isolated from outside help for too long. All the same, many provinces are in dire straits: here are some pointers of what or where to donate.
- However, not all help was welcomed. Among the thousands evacuated from Comodoro Rivadavia were members of the Peronist youth movement La Cámpora, after angry neighbors yelled at them and kicked them out of one of the most affected areas. The reason? They were posing next to backhoe loader (the trucks used to remove massive amounts of mud) for a selfie wearing their Campora hoodies and aprons. In the video which went viral on Sunday afternoon, you can hear them saying “Take off that hoodie and put on some overalls!” “Stop breaking our balls!” and “Get some actual work done!”
- More evacuations took place over the weekend, but in places unaffected by floods such as the Congreso here in Buenos Aires City. Teachers protesting yesterday were kicked out of the Plaza de Mayo by police for trying to set up a “mobile public school.” The idea was to put up a tent for four days and then start moving it around the country “to kick-start a debate,” but several unions denounced that police tried to get them all out of the plaza and even arrested four teachers (who have since been released.) It would seem that there is no end in sight. Read more: Teacher’s Unions Win Latest Round In Protracted Wage-Conflict With Government
- In other protesting news, thousands of people across the country took to the streets, asking for justice for Micaela García, a 21-year-old girl who was raped and found dead last week in Gualeguay (Entre Ríos province). With signs reading “Ni Una Menos” and “Vivas Nos Queremos,” the march was also about disbarring Judge Alfredo Rossi, who allowed the main suspect, Sebastian Wagner, to leave prison on parole while serving a nine-year sentence on two accounts of rape. Wagner had served two thirds of his time and was thus “eligible for parole.” Details of the autopsy were also published over the weekend, which indicated that Micaela was strangled to death because “there were marks on her neck.”
- Aside from the outrage on social media and the marches, there were reactions from all over the political spectrum, including President Mauricio Macri, who said yesterday that “Argentina can’t have that kind of judge,” adding that judges “have to assume their power and responsibility instead of catering to their own ideological whims.” Justice Minister Germán Garavano also expressed his indignation, telling Infobae that “judges have to make sure that criminals serve their due time.” In addition, Pope Francis got in touch with Micaela’s father, who took to Facebook: “In the middle of so much pain, an immense joy. Pope Francis called me and we spoke for five minutes, and he also talked to Andrea. [Look] how far your fight and your message has gone, my beautiful darling. Thank you heavenly Father for your modesty and respect!!!!”
- In economic news, Cabinet Chief Marcos Peña, told La Nación that “the worst part of the recession is over […] there will be better news ahead not only regarding job creation but in salary increases.” However, according to the private consulting firm Ecolatina, Argentina is still one of the most closed economies in the world, despite that consumer goods imports have increased by 16 percent in the first two months of this year. According to the study, imports account for 10 percent of the country’s GDP whereas the regional average is 30 percent. Let’s hope there are really better times ahead and that this year’s “segundo semestre” will actually be better.
- There were, however, some instances of fun over the weekend despite the varied tragedies. One man in Mar del Plata, for example, made it to social media after deciding to surf around town, clearly fed up of waiting around for help during the flood.
Go forth and show yourselves to be well informed, my loyal Monday readers!