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Photo: Senate of Argentina (YouTube)

Argentina, Brazil, Colombia   

Ibero-American news: Argentine Senate approves Milei’s reform package, teachers strike against education law in Colombia, Brazil to invest in universities

Marina Vanni,  June 13, 2024

Argentina’s Senate approves Milei’s state reform law

In the early hours of Thursday, June 13, the Senate of Argentina gave its first major legislative victory to libertarian president Javier Milei. In a context of strong protests and clashes outside the Congress in Buenos Aires, the legislators approved with some changes the so-called "Ley de Bases", a package of economic and state reforms.

Among the highlights is the declaration of "public emergency in administrative, economic, financial and energy matters", which allows the Executive to take measures by decree. In addition, tax incentives are provided for large investments, the privatization of several companies is authorized, and changes in labor legislation such as the elimination of certain indemnities.

The country’s vice-president, Victoria Villarruel, was in charge of the tie-breaking vote that unlocked the decision. Now, the bill returns to the Chamber of Deputies to decide whether to approve the modified or the original version of the text.

Teachers’ strike in Colombia against an education law

An important teachers’ union started an indefinite strike as from Wednesday, June 12. It is the Colombian Federation of Educators (Fecode), which announced the measure in protest against the statutory law on education proposed by the government of Gustavo Petro, which is currently being debated in Congress.

The bill proposes changes such as the evaluation of teachers’ job performance, a point that generates controversy. In addition, the union complains about the commercialization of education and meritocracy at the higher education level, which may be detrimental to disadvantaged populations.

The entity informed that, if the text is not modified or eliminated, there will be massive demonstrations in Bogota on June 17.

Brazil announces massive investments for universities

On Monday, June 10, Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva confirmed investments of some US$ 1 billion to renovate federal university centers and build another 10 new campuses.

The new infrastructure will be located in small cities in the interior of the country to promote federalization and money will also be earmarked for new scholarships for native and marginalized populations.

The move comes as the leftist government faces strikes by teachers and staff, who are demanding better salaries and budgets.

Author: Marina Vanni

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