BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentina blocked two European activists from entering the country on the eve of the World Trade Organization’s ministerial meeting in Buenos Aires, the two told a local radio program on Saturday.
Sally Burch, a British activist and journalist for the Latin American Information Agency, said Argentina had already revoked credentials given to her by the WTO to attend the meeting but thought she would be able to enter the country as a tourist.
“They found my name on a list and started asking questions ... supposedly I was a false tourist,” Burch said on Radio 10. “It’s not very democratic of Argentina’s government.”
Petter Titland, the spokesman for the Norweigan NGO Attac Norge, said authorities denied him entry without explaining why.
Late last month, Argentina rescinded the credentials of some 60 activists who had been accredited by the WTO to attend the meeting because it determined they would be “more disruptive than constructive.”
WTO meetings often attract protests by anti-globalization groups, but they have remained largely peaceful since riots broke out at the 1999 meeting in Seattle.
WTO’s spokesman, Keith Rockwell, reiterated on Saturday that it disagreed with Argentina’s decision to revoke activists’ credentials. “We didn’t have the same perspective but we’re now moving on,” Rockwell told journalists.
Argentina’s President Mauricio Macri has promoted business-friendly policies since taking office in December 2015, and Argentina will host global events as chair of the G20 group of major economies next year.
Reporting By Juliana Castillo and Reuters TV; Writing By Mitra Taj; Editing by Jonathan Oatis