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“Manteros” of Buenos Aires, on the warpath to allow their activity

Buenos Aires, Jan 13 . .- Several dozen street vendors, known as “manteros”, demonstrated this Wednesday on the avenue of Buenos Aires where they carry out their work to demand that their activity be allowed and police operations against them cease . “It cannot be that there are always a lot of police here. They come to raise the manteros that are working to survive,” Gueye Jackson, one of the protesters, told .. On Avellaneda Avenue, in the Buenos Aires neighborhood of Flores, one of the busiest commercial points in the city, groups of vendors, the majority of African origin, claimed with drums and rhythms of their culture of origin that their situation be regularized and that they keep doing the job. “We have to eat, pay rent, send our families who are in Africa, because we came here to work, we already have families but we have families in Senegal as well. We have to support families there and here,” added Jackson. THE ORIGIN OF THE EVIL The protest takes place after on January 7, the Government of the City of Buenos Aires carried out a police operation to vacate the street occupied by street vendors, considered illegal. “The chaotic situation in the area directly affects the almost 5,000 merchants (with closed premises) established there and translates into a 30% drop in sales in stores compared to 2019,” Agency sources told Efe. Governmental Control of the Argentine capital. “The agglomeration and circulation of hundreds of people in public spaces is the other concern due to the increase in cases of covid-19 in the last week and aroused numerous complaints from neighbors,” they added. The Government of the city, together with the Prosecutor’s Office, the control agencies and the Federation of Commerce and Industry of the City, which groups merchants, had already carried out an operation on December 22 for the end of the year festivities, after register incidents and situations of violence by groups of manteros against the merchants themselves, according to the sources. However, the procedures for evicting the area date back years, and the local Executive established in 2017 properties to relocate vendors who so desired, for which it was required to do a training course and present legal documentation, criminal records and have monotax category, as well as comply with a presentism regime and respect rules of coexistence. “The properties were conditioned to house their commercial activity in a safe, hygienic and comfortable way,” they added. DIALOGUE TABLE Luzmery Villanueva, other of today’s protesters in the Flores neighborhood, asked that a dialogue table be opened to “reach an agreement” and be able to “continue working.” “They are always justified by the fact that colleagues sell brands, when you go to a place they also sell brands and they do not discriminate against them as they discriminate against our colleagues on the street. Enough of persecution, abuse and injustice,” added the saleswoman, who works in another neighborhood but wanted to show solidarity with his colleagues. “Today in a pandemic we know that it is not possible as it was possible before, but what do we live on?” According to the local government, the manteros who cut off the traffic were received this Tuesday by authorities of the Ministry of Human Development and Habitat, in a meeting in which “a space for dialogue and negotiation was opened where the different programs of social assistance owned by the Ministry “. “From both spaces, they agreed to meet again this week and continue the talks,” they stressed. .