50 teachers in Paraguay went on hunger strike last week in an effort to escalate their protest against low pay and worse pensions. The teachers had been on strike since the 29th July. Since their strike started a new president - the multi millionaire business man Horacio Cartes - has been installed.

Teachers in Paraguay earn only $385 a month and their pensions average $185 - not enough to live on. The teachers are demanding a pension which will allow them to live with dignity. During the course of the strike, teachers have taken part in mass demonstrations and blocked roads. Today (Tuesday) and tomorrow there will be mass mobilisations in front of the Ministry of Education. On Thursday, teachers will return to school, but not to teach the normal timetable. Teachers will be explaining to their pupils the reasons for their strike and the situation which has led up to it.

The government has announced that it will deduct wages from the thousands of teachers who have been on strike, a move which will have a crippling effect on people who are already financially stretched. It is common pratcice in the global South for teachers to be paid during strikes, as long as the strike is legal. The union has promised to fight government attempts to deduct salaries

Teachers have also led protests about the lack of funding for education in a country where a few rich companies and individuals own 80% of the land and where public assets are plundered for private gain.