Opinion: Measure with a different rod, according to each one

Opinion: Measure with a different rod, according to each one

By the departmental mayor Gabriel Gabbiani (Colorado Party – Citizens). Last Thursday, 18 students and teachers from institutes dependent on the Teacher Education Training Council (CFE) mobilized against the Educational Reform promoted by the Teaching authorities.

In Colonia del Sacramento, a group of students from the Southwest Regional Center for Teachers (CERP SW) went to the Municipal Palace.

From one of the floors of that building, the Purchasing Director of the Colonia Municipality (IDC), Hugo Sosa, took photos of that congregation and on his personal Twitter account, along with a photograph of the students, wrote: “There were four crazy cats consumed by communism”. And he added a phrase that was later widely questioned: “There are no doubts, they are looking for a new Liber Maple.” Sosa was alluding to a student from the School of Dental Prosthetics, a militant of the Union of Communist Youth (UJC) and the Federation of University Students (FEUU) who on August 12, 1968 during a march against the violation of autonomy university student, was wounded by the police with a shot that hit his left femoral artery. Admitted to the Hospital de Clínicas in a state of shock, he managed to undergo surgery and stabilize hours later, although he died on the morning of August 14. Due to circumstances, he is remembered as the first “student martyr”.

The unexpected repercussion of his words -and, according to what is said in groups, a mandate from the IDC authorities- caused Sosa to write the following day: “The situation for which I wrote my tweet yesterday was in a moment of indignation, at what he was seeing on the avenue. It was in a personal capacity and does not involve the Departmental Government. If it bothered anyone, I’m sincerely sorry.” But his apology rehearsal did not manage to appease the spirits and in the Ordinary Session of the Departmental Board the following day, some mayors of the Broad Front raised the situation, felt offended and demanded the dismissal of the hierarch.

The director of the CERP SW joined the claim, who required the mayor Carlos Moreira to sanction Sosa for having made “serious comments” regarding the mobilization and, assessing the relationship between the CERP SW and the IDC, asked the mayor to take “measures such as a sign of respect for that good relationship”.

Neither of the two requests prospered.

Sosa was not sanctioned and continues to hold his position today.

Evidently Sosa’s expressions were unhappy. Without a doubt. Even more than that, they were unwelcome and inappropriate. However, they were made in a personal capacity, from a personal social network account. And they were also deleted, so if the author himself deleted them because he understood them to be a mistake, no one has the right to make them reappear. In any case, if the hierarchies of the IDC understand that he did them at work time and place, and that this is not appropriate, they could give him a warning or a reprimand, although surely if he acted the same in all cases, there would be numerous reprimands daily in all public offices.

However, two much more unpleasant situations than the one mentioned took place days later.

One of them was experienced by the president of CODICEN, Robert Silva. After a week of occupations and subsequent evictions in a dozen educational centers, his house woke up on Saturday the 20th with offensive graffiti. The footage from security cameras provided by their neighbors made it possible to identify four participants in the vandalization. Silva was not at his home when they graffitied his house. He found out about it through a call from a neighbor who alerted him, who knew that he was not in Montevideo. Once in possession of the footage, the chief filed a police complaint.

Several political figures rejected the graffiti and unanimously offered their support to the leader, including the President of the Republic, Luis Lacalle, the Vice President Beatriz Argimón, the Secretary of the Presidency, Álvaro Delgado, the Minister of Education, Pablo Da Silveira, the Minister of Defense, Javier García, the secretary general of Fr. Colorado, Julio Ma. Sanguinetti, the president of the Audiovisual Communication Service (SECAN), Gerardo Sotelo, the teacher and member of Eduy21, Juan Pedro Mir, various political sectors, legislators, political and social actors, and even the National Federation of Secondary Education of Uruguay (FENAPES). The Colorado Party issued a statement of support for Silva at its last National Convention, on Saturday the 27th.

The other unpleasant situation was that experienced by President Lacalle when he led the commemoration of the 197th Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence in Piedra Alta (Florida) on Thursday 25th. During that instance, a group of teachers and teacher training students were present at the scene, with banners and aggressive chants. The future teachers accused the president of “selling the country”, in addition to calling him a “button” and “son of yuta”. Lacalle listened to what they sang to him, he commented: “These are teachers, aren’t they? They’re calling me son of a bitch”, and he continued on his way.

Then, as in the case of Sosa – although this was much worse – the protesters tried to use a justification, not an apology, which nobody convinced. They emphasized that the president was not “disrespected” (sic), and that the chant did not say “son of a bitch”, but “son of a yuta”. Textually, the song said: “The Fund (by the International Monetary Fund) put you on it, Cuquito button, the Fund put you on you, Cuquito button/ you sell yourself to the Yankees, you hand over the country/ you are a son of yuta, you have to go”.

Let the reader see: the demonstrators – who we hope do not represent all teachers and even less the teacher training students – disrespected and offended the President of the Republic without assuming the vulgarity and outrageousness of his actions, but in Instead, they maintain that “it did not go down well” that Lacalle stood in front of them to listen to them because it is “a mockery.”

To read well and understand better. Freedom of expression is sacred and claims are legitimate, shared or not. But you have to be located.

First, the home of a family is not responsible for the decisions that, rightly or wrongly, may be adopted by a government leader who does not act, moreover, in a personal capacity. And even further, painting a façade is not an exercise of freedom of expression, but rather a crime against private property, punishable by law. It is not about criminalizing a form of protest, as some lost person might wield, but that imprecate, vilify, infame, and also do it in a home, as a sort of warning or threat, is a totalitarian act aimed at making it clear to the official that neither his home nor his family will be respected. And second, a patriotic act is not the place or time to make a claim, whatever it may be.

The two episodes mentioned are much worse than Sosa’s, which, as we already stated, was not happy either. They are acts of intransigence, of dishonor, of disrespect. They are an affront, an insult, an outrage, an insult, even if some disoriented person maintains that no one was disrespected.

It is clear that there are frantic, exalted individuals who choose to ignore what Democracy is and make intolerance their emblem. Having no valid arguments to rationally face the changes that are intended, they resort to resources such as these, contrary to republican values. Because not respecting the private life of public people, they are totalitarian expressions. Even if they don’t like to admit it.

Faced with tolerance as a universal value that we should all practice, linked to respect, non-violence and pacifism, stand these doctrinaire and self-deified minorities, who have no more arguments to convince than to subjugate the human rights they claim to defend.

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