The level of arbitrary arrests and acts of intimidation in Argentina is “intolerable,” said social leader, Juan Grabois, of the Argentine Confederation of Workers of the Popular Economy (CTEP).
“We have suffered all kinds of ill-treatment, we have been arbitrarily detained, and we have been harassed because of our political and organizational affiliation,” Grabois said Tuesday following his arrest.
Grabois was detained after leading a peaceful demonstration outside the 187 Constitutional Commissariat in Buenos Aires protesting the arrest of six Senegalese street workers. Local media outlets reporting from the scene called the police response “excessive” after demonstrators were dispersed with rubber bullets and pepper gas.
"I came to exercise my role as a lawyer and was detained arbitrarily, with beatings, with insults, and we are here with Senegalese migrant workers, social activists," said Grabois who was released later that night.
"The level of the arbitrariness of the government has reached an intolerable degree. A group of young migrants came to defend the workers of the public road, who are trying to earn bread, in the context of a terrible economic crisis,” he said.
A staunch critic of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Grabois didn’t refrain from his harsh opinion of the organization’s controversial position in the country.
“Acts of intimidation that take place within a framework of our country in relation to the IMF, the looting of our resources and the hunger and misery of popular majorities. ...The xenophobia is returning, fascism is returning. What we are doing with our country is terrible,” Grabois said in a message on social media.
Demonstrations have erupted across the country among the labor and education sectors after President Mauricio Macri signed a US$50 billion standby financing deal with the IMF in June in exchange for severe austerity measures to public spending.