Animal Rights’ Activists Protest in Jesús María: A group of animal rights’ activists burst into the Jesús María Festival, in Córdoba, in protest against animal cruelty. The incident occurred last night in the middle of a performance by clown Piñón Fijo, which had to be temporarily suspended. Activists were protesting the cruelty horses are subjected to in the traditional festival, which revolves around gaucho activities such as bronc riding. The protest came a day after a mare called ‘La Polca’ suffered a cardiac arrest and died during a bronc riding performance at the opening of the festival on Saturday night. Protesters argued that cruelty against animals has nothing to do with culture or tradition, and demanded that “the incidents of violence and cruelty be investigated.” The Jesús María festival celebrates folklore and gaucho culture and is carried out yearly. Last year, two horses died during the event, prompting legal actions from animal rights’ groups.
Wheat Exports Authorised: The government will allow for 1.5m tonnes of wheat to be exported this year. Economy Minister Axel Kicillof announced today that, in order to ensure adequate domestic supply, around 16% of the estimated 9.2m tonnes of wheat to be produced in the 2013/2014 season will be available for exporting. However, he also informed that the process will be gradual, with the first half a million tonnes to be released now and the rest “to be analysed.” Kicillof also indicated that producers will be able to export up to 50,000 tonnes of wheat flour this year. “The government’s objective is to guarantee the supply for the domestic market and for domestic prices to be reasonable,” said Kicillof, adding that “if the harvest is better [than expected], all the surplus [of wheat and flour] that exceeds what the domestic market requires will be exported.” The 1.5m tonnes of wheat represent approximately U$S800m.
Baggage Handlers Go On Strike: A strike by baggage handlers has affected scheduled Aerolíneas Argentinas flights leaving from Ezeiza. Despite the mandatory conciliation ordered on Friday by the Labour Ministry, workers carried out with their protest today as they demanded that more personnel be hired to work 12-hour shifts. Aerolíneas Argentinas, however, released a statement informing that they are currently in the process of hiring 70 staff to cover six-hour shifts during peak traffic hours. This afternoon, the conflict extended to the Buenos Aires port, where baggage handlers refused to serve incoming cruise ships. The Labour Ministry called union representatives for a meeting this afternoon in order to resolve the situation.