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News > Uruguay

Uruguay: Groups Protest G20 As Legislators Allow U.S. Troops In

  • Protests against U.S. President Donald Trump and the G20 in Argentina this September.

    Protests against U.S. President Donald Trump and the G20 in Argentina this September. | Photo: EFE

Published 15 November 2018

Uruguayan protesters rallied as the lower house ratified a Senate vote allowing U.S. military presence during the upcoming G20 summit in Buenos Aires.

Protesters in Uruguay voiced their dissent against the upcoming G20 summit and Parliament’s acquiescence to the United States, which requested permission to send military troops to the country ahead of President Donald Trump's visit to Buenos Aires, Argentina to attend the G20 summit.

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Uruguay’s Chamber of Representatives approved Article One of a temporary bill allowing the U.S. to deploy 400 troops and eight aircraft during the G20 Summit (Nov. 26 - Dec. 3) and rejected two other articles that outlined a broader authorization for possible requests from other G20 countries. Uruguay is not in the G20.

The Chamber of Representatives ratified the decision Wednesday. Some protesters with the "Coordination Against the G20" group, formed by students, union leaders, professors, human rights advocates, environmentalists, and feminists reportedly entered the Chamber to witness the debate.

They also blocked a street to distribute information on the G20 and the possible effects of U.S. military presence in the national territory.

"Uruguay must be a territory of peace, of sovereignty, of respect for human rights, which is not an operative basis for repression against a people," legislator Gerardo Nuñez of the Communist Party (PCU) said.

G20, or Group of Twenty, is an international forum comprised of the European Union and nineteen other countries formed in 1999. Only three Latin American countries are represented: Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico.

According to the forum’s website the group “is the main international forum for economic, financial and political cooperation: it addresses the major global challenges and seeks to generate public policies that resolve them.”

However, critics argue the group has strengthened international corporate power and does little to address climate change or uphold human rights. The G20 Wave of Protest, an opposition to the forum supported by 15 organizations, has criticized the forum, saying it "should do more to oppose social inequality in the world."

Resumen Latinoamericano, an activist-linked news site, lists other reasons for opposing the G20, including the promotion of unjust economic policies through the International Monetary Fund and World Bank's so-called structural adjustment programs, which favor austerity measures over social spending. 

"Cuts in social spending cause the unnecessary death of thousands due to the lack of resources in hospitals (and) forces students to abandon their studies," they argue. 

The coordination group announced a protest for Nov. 30.

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