On the second day of their strike demanding that the government fund education properly, Paraguayan teachers were attacked by security forces with rubber bullets and batons as they marched through the capital Asuncion. Teachers as well as journalists covering the protests were injured. One wounded teacher was arrested and then released to go to hospital because of his injuries.

Teachers are demanding a 10% increase, at present they receive the minumum wage. They are also demanding a greater share of GDP for education. Teachers say that only 25% of schools have sufficient resources. Doctors are also on strike demanding pay increases and improved health spending. Meanwhile some public officials are receiving huge salaries and the government is mired in scandal.

The teachers' strike started on Wednesday of this week and union members are deciding whether to escalate it. One representative of the union said: "This government doesn’t respect anyone and we will not allow that, I don’t know if we will win this struggle but if we lose then we will lose standing and not on our knees." 

Earlier this week the national federation of high school students marched in support of their teachers in four areas of the capital Asuncion. 

The President of Paraguay, Horacio Cartes is a millionaire businessman, who has served time in jail for fraud, and has been implicated in drug smuggling scandals. He won votes on the promise of attracting private capital to improve infrastructure in the country, where over a third of the population  live below the poverty line and where services are some of the worst in Latin Ameirca.

The government is pursuing a policy of privatisation and Public Private Partnerships, which could eventually see all public services taken over by private companies. The teachers say that this is undemocratic and unconstitutional. They were on strike for many weeks in the last academic year over privatisation and low funding and they also joined up with other social groups, including poor farmers, students and indigenous people to fight Cartes's right wing policies. Farmers also joined the teachers' demonstration yesterday.

Although he won an election in 2013, Cartes's policies are making him increasingly unpopular, with 54% of the population saying that he is doing a 'bad' or 'very bad' job.