(Translated from Portuguese to English through Google Translate)
Last Wednesday was the last march against the clearing, in Cordoba. The next Thursday another one of indigenous communities is realized in Tucumán by a violent eviction. They seek to curb the destruction of nature.
Thousands of people march in defense of the native forests in Cordoba. Indigenous communities walk seven days in defense of their territories in Jujuy. Social organizations and Mapuche people standing in front of oil companies in Neuquén. Communities diaguitas of Tucumán march against the Judicial Power. Only a handful of mobilizations that happen in all of Argentina and that has a common point: the defense of the territory against companies and officials (political and judicial).
The agribusiness entities and the government of Cordoba have been promoting a new forest law since 2016, to enable entrepreneurs to advance over the last remaining remains of native forest in the province. According to official data, Cordoba has only three percent of the forest that it had at the beginning of the 20th century. Already in 2010, by mocking an entire participatory process that had included public hearings and plural participation, the government of Juan Schiaretti approved a law called “the law dismantle”, in line with the orders of the Confederation of Rural Associations of the Third Zone (Cartez / CRA), Rural Society and sectors of Agrarian Federation.
There were half a dozen severe floods and avalanches (also due to real estate speculation, which dismounts in the hills). “It was a tsunami that came from the sky,” was the excuse of Governor Jose Manuel De la Sota to the floods of 2015. The following year, again Governor Juan Schiaretti, tried new legislation to advance the forests.
“We will not accept the whims of politicians and businessmen. We are here because we know that fewer forests means more flooding. We march for life and for real citizen participation in decision-making about the territory we inhabit, “explained the document of the Coordinator in Defense of the Native Forest (Codebona), which brings together a hundred social organizations, peasants, Indigenous, student and assembly.
On Wednesday, June 28, there was a massive march in the capital of Cordoba. It was the third massive demonstration by the forests in only seven months (the others were in December and March). With thousands on the street, Codebona already counts at least three achievements: a momentary brake on the law (the ruling party postponed it after the elections), installed on the agenda the importance of the forest and explained that no color party has a free path to To advance with the extractivism (agribusiness, megaminería).
In Jujuy, during seven days, 300 kilometers of thirty native communities joined the Assembly of Communities and Free Indigenous People, in protest for their territories, in denunciation for the systematic violation of the indigenous rights. Argentina has legislation that protects the rights of indigenous communities. It includes the “right to consultation” (the State must ensure that communities give their consent when any activity could affect their territory).
In Jujuy they try to advance with lithium mining (including scientific sectors that ignore the opinion of the original communities that live in the place) and the Chinchillas mining project, silver and tin, in the hand of the multinational Silver Standard (in partnership With Golden Arrow). “They are affecting the natural monument Laguna de los Pozuelos and violate all our rights. But we will continue marching, fighting to the last breath, “warned Mercedes Maidana of the Free Indigenous Assembly.
In Neuquén, a multi-sectoral meeting was held in June, promoted by the Southern Oil Observatory (Opsur). Fifty hundred social organizations, assemblies, feminists, Mapuche communities, human rights organizations, political parties, researchers and representatives from Mexico, Colombia, Mexico, the United States and England participated. “It is necessary that corporations and governments repair the damage done and prevent them from being committed. It is necessary to stop the fracking already and to stop the megaproject Vaca Muerta, which is neither more nor less than one of the upper and more complete stages of extractivism “, demands the consensual document, called” Vista Alegre Declaration “(Neuquen locality that rejects the Advanced oil over the chakras).
Mendoza has a law (number 7722) that limits megaminería. For years the business sector has been pushing for its repeal. The case reached the highest provincial court, which in 2015 confirmed the constitutionality of the law and its validity. Even so, the lobby entrepreneur and Government seek to repeal the legislation. The socio-environmental assemblies were mobilized on numerous occasions. The last, in General Alvear, inaugurated a monument to the law. “We defend water and life,” summarizes the commemorative plaque, which is also the flag of the assemblies of Mendoza.
The government reported in May the construction of a nuclear power plant in Rio Negro. And it caused the immediate rejection of the assemblies, organizations and communities, which fluttered the flag “in Patagonia no”, born in the 80’s and maintained during the 90’s, when the different governments tried to install a nuclear dump in Chubut. The Union of Patagonian Assemblies demonstrated in June before the Federal Council of the Environment (Cofema), meeting in Bariloche, and stated: “Beyond the decision of the Argentine and Rionesgrino government, the Patagonian inhabitants reject the nuclear plant by unconstitutional, arbitrary And illegitimate, and considering this source of energy as dirty, dangerous and expensive. ”
The Indian Community Colalao de Tucumán suffered a violent eviction on June 28, which included dozens of police and infantry. They denounced an escalation of violence, which has as main impeller to judges and prosecutors. The next 6 of July will march indigenous communities of all the province until the courts of the provincial capital. Ivana Morales, from the diaguita community, said that indigenous rights are being violated throughout the country to exploit natural resources: “This does not end here. We’ve been resisting for 525 years. And in 2017 the fight continues. “