Uruguayans demonstrate against a key government law amid the pandemic

Hundreds of Uruguayans ignored the recommendation to isolate themselves by COVID-19 and crowded this Thursday before the Legislative Palace, in Montevideo, to demonstrate against a law promoted by the Government, which they consider deepens punitive measures and increases social control.

Social organizations called to demonstrate against the Urgent Consideration Law (LUC), a package of more than 500 articles that include health, education, housing, security measures, among other things, and which was the Government's flagship during the electoral campaign.

Laughter, reunions, chinstraps, kisses and hugs were part of this massive move that seemed to forget the health emergency decreed by the pandemic on March 13.

The LUC is a mechanism provided for in the Uruguayan Constitution that allows the Executive Power to send a bill that it considers must be treated urgently and each chamber has 45 days to do so.

The president, Luis Lacalle Pou, announced on April 23 the entry of the law that formulated the center-right Multicolor Coalition that includes the National Party, the Colorado Party, the Independent Party, the Open Council and the People's Party.

Both the Broad Front, which governed the country from 2005 to 2020, and the social organizations are against the LUC since they understand that the moment in which it enters and accumulates many different issues that cannot be treated accordingly is not appropriate.

Regarding the content, the social organizations considered during the proclamation that this new regulation "deepens punitive and repressive measures" and increases social control.

"This draft of 501 articles proposes as the only measures to face insecurity the increase in penalties, the creation of new crimes gives greater powers to the Police for repression and social control, expanding the framework of impunity for the easy trigger and police violence in the streets, "they said.

The protesters assured that the LUC seeks to privatize public companies, takes away academic freedom from the education system and does not have concrete measures to reduce gender violence.

"We will continue to mobilize against this law and against all repressive measures, we will continue to shout no militarization. We face the urgent law of the rich in the streets," they concluded in the reading.

From within the Parliament, the president of the House of Representatives, Martín Lema, and the vice president of Uruguay, Beatriz Argimón, assured that they tried to communicate with the protesters to meet and receive their proposals, but they refused.

"We proposed that a delegation join us now so that they can deliver proposals and listen to points of view. With respect and tolerance, always dialogue," Lema posted on his Twitter.

In Uruguay, according to official data, 724 cases of coronavirus and 19 deaths have been registered.


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