The military authorities in Uruguay have already been accused of turning Montevideo into a drab and lifeless city after three years of their harsh rule.
The military authorities in Uruguay have already been accused of turning Montevideo into a drab and lifeless city after three years of their harsh rule. But now there will be even less colour on the streets following an order which bans the use of horses and carts.
SYNOPSIS: The order from the military regime ends a way of life which has existed in Montevideo since the turn of the century. At that time a system of horse-drawn distribution was set up designed to supply all household needs, including milk, groceries and ice.
Most of the horses have been doing their rounds for so long that they know their routes by heart, stopping automatically in the right places. Now after 75 years they'll be disappearing from the streets for good.
Ostensibly the ban has been brought into force because horses and carts interfere with the general flow of cars and other motor vehicles which made up the majority of the traffic these days. But to the residents of Montevideo it is a small but heart-felt addition to the??? drastic measures which have deprived them of their rights over the past three years. Observers say there's little hope of seeing democracy return for another generation.
Left-wing politicians have been stripped of their political rights for 15 years, which means that even if the military hand power back to the civilians there would be no real opposition. For Uruguayans the end of the horse and cart, as insignificant as it might seem, does not encourage optimism for the future.