Dictatorship, dams and persecution
Days after having agreed on the negotiation of reparations with the communities affected by the Chixoy hydroelectric project the Guatemalan Government arrested various leaders of the, Organizer of Communities Affected by the Dam (1), the very same people who had signed the agreement. All this while the communities undertook court proceedings seeking prison sentences for some of those responsible for the massacre of March 13, 1982, when 107 children and 70 women from the Rio Negro, Baja Verapaz community were brutally massacred.
The Government of Guatemala accuses the survivors of the massacre and victims of the eviction, of “attacking” the security of the “State” by occupying the installations of the Chixoy dam last 7th of September, accusations based on a report from the Instituto Nacional de Electrificación (INDE), existing orders for the capture of CARLOS CHEN and at least other three community leaders. (IMC Chiapas)
In a communiqué from the day of the occupation, the Organizer of Communities Affected by the Dam stated “The communities affected by the construction of the hydroelectric dam: the Chixoy; de Quiché, Alta and Baja Verapaz, have been affected for more than 28 years (and still are) by this so-called “DEVELOPMENT” project driven by the Government of Guatemala through the Instituto Nacional de Electrificación (INDE) initiated in 1976, and carried out with the financial support of the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank.
“By deceit they entered our communities offering many things to achieve their objectives, but we resisted their projects. Nevertheless, they used the internal armed conflict as a strategy: they accused us of being guerrillas and carried out several massacres to violently evict us of our lands. This is how they appropriated us of our rights to our lands, our homes, our cultivations and other things (2) that ended up flooded. For more than 28 years we have been denied the right to live in equilibrium, harmony and to create better living (3) conditions for our future generations, and the saddest thing about this case is the breach of their promises made during the drive for their MURDEROUS DEVELOPMENT project.
A dam and the massacre of 400 people
The forced relocation of the people living in the areas where dams are to be built generally leads to violations of human rights. The hydroelectric dam of Chixoy is one example, built during the military dictatorship in Guatemala. The project resulted in the massacre of more than 400 Mayan Achí, the majority belonging to the Río Negro community, one of the populations that would be flooded by the reservoir. The violence displayed against the population began in 1980, when the military police arrived at Rio Negro and killed seven people (World Rainforest Movement).
In July of that year, two representatives of the village accepted to take part in a meeting called by the INDE. They brought with them the settlers’ only powerful documentation regarding agreements for relocation and respective compensation. The bodies mutilated of both were found a week later. The relocation documents were never recovered.
In February 1982 the local military command ordered 73 men and women to present themselves in Xoxoc, a village upstream. Only one woman returned to Rio Negro. The rest were raped, tortured and later murdered by the Civil Defense Patrol of Xoxoc, one of the most notorious paramilitary bodies used by the state as death squad. But the worst was still to come.
The massacre of March 13th
On March 13, the soldiers gathered together all the women and children and drove them to a hill behind their village, where they tortured and murdered 70 women and 107 children. In 1995 a report was published based on interviews of the survivors, where details were given about the atrocious way in which these people were murdered. Two months later 82 more people more were dead.
The Inter-American Development Bank and the World Bank contributed to the project with more than US$ 300 million. The Italian government gave bilateral help and credit guarantees for exports. The consortium that planned, designed and supervised the construction of the dam was formed by corporations from Germany, Switzerland, the USA and Italy.
The survivors still await material and spiritual reparations. But there can be no compensation for the cultural loss, the intimidations and the loss of lives suffered by the affected communities. Even less so when the Guatemalan government has resumed the persecution of the communities that seek to defend their territory and way of life, for themselves and for future generations.
(1) my translation for ‘Coordinadora de Comunidades Afectadas por la Represa’
(2) ‘bienes’ could also translate to goods.
(3) ‘ir creando’ suggests a gradual process which doesn’t easily translate to English.
The importance of the Guaraní aquifer
The importance of the Guaraní aquifer Never before has the importance of the Guaraní aquifer, that enormous reservoir of subterranean drinking water shared by Argentines, Brazilians, Paraguayans and Uruguayans, been more clear. Data provided by the UN, shows that by the years 2020 – 2030, a population of about 8.000.000.000 people, 7.000.000.000 children, women and men, inhabitants of this beautiful and mistreated planet will not have access to this resource.
The report sent by the Pentagon to the US government in February this year, notes that global warming is accelerating and producing devastating effects in the planet, the most important of which is the lack of drinking water in the near future. The report also suggests that the United States should be prepared and ready to seize this strategic resource, wherever it be found, when the moment arrives. It is important to remember that the United States withdrew from the Kyoto Protocol that regulates the emission of the gases responsible for global warming, in 2001, that for the treaty to take effect, it requires the approval of the countries that on the whole are responsible for 70% of that emission, and that, in the Special Conference of Hemispherical Security, celebrated in Monterrey, Mexico, in October 2003, the United States itself refused to sign resolutions relating to the protection of the environment.
According to the OAS (the Organisation of American States), the Guaraní is the largest aquifer in the world today. It seems that the investigations tend to confirm the projections already carried out. We know that a rational exploitation of the aquifer would be around 80 annual cubic kilometers (each cubic kilometer equals to a trillion liters of water, that is to say a one with twelve zeros), and that this quantity, would give drinking water to 720.000.000 of people, based on 300 liters per day per person. The population of Our America is 550.000.000. This means that we would be able to provide water for all , and that the surplus, along with what we contributed of our own resources, could be utilized to quench the thirst of our sister (1) peoples of the Third World. We would transform the deserts into oases, we would develop economically and our peoples would enjoy good health.
For this to be possible, our peoples must recuperate the Project which sadly, is found in the hands of the World Bank due to the decisions of those who governed us during the nineties. But nothing is irreversible. Ultimately it’s a matter of deciding if drinking water is a fundamental human right for life and health, a social good, a good of our peoples, or if, as the First World and the economic and financial international agencies claim, it is an object, merchandise, subject to the laws of supply and demand of the market. And from there, the battle lines are drawn: in favor of life, or against it.
Our strategic resources should be in our hands and must be used (2) in favour of our needs and interests. The defense of our national patrimonies (3) is indispensable for our survival and identity as peoples and nations. It is in our hands to revert the situation as Manuel Ugarte wrote in 1923 “Peoples that wait for their life or their future to come from a legal abstraction or the will of others are sacrificed before their time.”
Special contribution: PROFESORA ELSA M BRUZZON from CEMIDA
(1) pueblos hermanos. Here the adjective hermano/a which can mean both brother and sister is in its masculine form because it is describing pueblo, people. I have chosen sister as a translation, but it could be both.
(2) Explotados. This can translate to both exploited and used, I have chosen the latter as I feel it has more positive connotations which seems more appropriate.
(3) Patrimonies. There is no easy translation for this, but the word carries a sense of what belongs to a people or nation. It comes close to national inheritance.
Santa cruz: at least 40 new political prisoners in Caleta Olivia
The information is, still, somewhat dispersed and diffuse, but what is clear is that in Caleta Olivia there has been an escalation in repression: yesterday in the early morning people who since the night of September 30 have protested in the playa de tanques of the petroleum consortium Termap and also blockaded ruta, were forcibly evicted. There are around 40 newly detained, distributed in Army dependencies of Comodoro Rivadavia, in the police stations of Caleta Olivia and –according to some versions– also in those of Cañadón Seco.
In this operation –the second in the last two days- the Police of Santa Cruz Province took part, together with the special riot section of the General Acha, La Pampa Gendarmería National, that stayed in Caleta, after the repression of the 3rd and 4th of September, that left 60 demonstrators processed and 6 imprisoned, with preventive imprisonment: Elsa Orozco, Selva Sánchez, Marcela Sandra Constancio, Mauricio Perancho, Federico Mansilla, y Hugo Iglesias.
"We don’t have so much information because the people who notified us, stopped calling", stated Iglesias during the telephone call from lavaca. "Prove it with these telephone numbers", he said and read out the numbers.
Those who were called were some of the demonstrators that two days ago had returned to climb the tanques of Termap. The first night they were repressed by security personnel hired by the tankers, who soaked them for hours. And five women were detained. To them were added the 40 of the second night.
The first news of the new detentions coincided with the march organized in Comodoro Rivadavia for the disappearance of Iván Torres, who a while ago was taken to the main police station of the city and since then nothing more has been heard from him. Nora Cortiñas was there from the Línea fundadora of the Madres (mothers) of Plaza de Mayo, as were the MPs (government representatives) Patricia Walsh and Luis Zamora who decided to go to Caleta to give a press conference and to denounce the recent events.
The situation becomes evermore entangled, as much for those already imprisoned as for the newly detained, for whom –by all accounts- the judicial mechanics applied with the first imprisoned will be repeated: massive detentions, gradual release, but leaving a few prisoners with so many accusations that release is impossible.
Not a single person reply to the phone number read out from the jail. "Now we can confirm it “–explained Iglesias, a while later- “they’ve been detained”.
Actualizacion Lunes 04/10: Liberaron a los Presos + Fotos Marcha por la libertad de los presos en Caleta + Familiares de detenidos tendran audiencia el martes 5/10 en Bs.As. + Informe sobre la represión en Caleta Olivia
Informe completo de La vaca + English: At least 40 new political prisoners in Caleta Olivia
Más información:Lunes 4 marcha por los presos de Caleta Olivia + Violento desalojo a desocupados en Caleta + Desalojaron Termap y la Ruta Nac Nº 3 + Nuevas detenciones en Caleta + Urgente represion en Caleta Olivia
In Latin America around 4,200,000 women get abortions, the majority in secrecy. For every seven births, one unsafe abortion is performed and ninety-five percent of these abortions occur in impoverished countries. Induced abortion—done in secret and in unsafe conditions—is calculated to be the cause of one in every three maternal deaths in the region and of approximately 800 thousand hospitalizations per year.
September 28th, Day for the Legalization of Abortion in Latin America and the Caribbean
In Latin America around 4,200,000 women get abortions, the majority in secrecy. For every seven births, one unsafe abortion is performed and ninety-five percent of these abortions occur in impoverished countries.
Induced abortion—done in secret and in unsafe conditions—is calculated to be the cause of one in every three maternal deaths in the region and of approximately 800 thousand hospitalizations per year. In Latin America and the Caribbean between 10 and 30 percent of the beds in gynecological and obstetric clinics are occupied by women with the diagnosis of incomplete abortion.
Beginning in 1993, in attempt to change abortion legislation, women’s organizations have campaigned on the 28th of September for the legalization of abortion in Latin America and the Caribbean. This date was agreed upon during the Fifth Latin American and Caribbean Feminist Conference (Argentina, 1990), in which a campaign was proposed to demand the right to abortion within the broader framework of human rights.
Abortion in Argentina
In our country, the number of internments in public hospitals caused by interruption of pregnancy has grown by 46% en the last several years. It is impossible to determine if these abortions were spontaneous or provoked, because women, out of fear, will not admit to having purposefully attempted to terminate their pregnancies.
The majority of the women who arrive at the emergency room with perforated uteruses or advanced infections are women of limited means. In contrast, women with better economic resources are able to obtain secret abortions with suitable professionals and excellent hygienic conditions—just one more example of social hypocrisy and the differing treatment of “delinquents” in accordance with their economic class.
In Argentina, abortions are the principle cause of maternal death. Two women die each day because of improperly performed abortions. For every two births, a clandestine abortion is performed. That gives a figure of 1,000 abortions each day and some 400,000 each year.
Miriam was 14 years old when she was raped by her stepfather and became pregnant. Her mother begged for help in the Hospital Penna de Bahía Blanca. The director of this hospital, Alberto Taranto, turned the case over to Judge José Luis Ares, who denied Miriam the possibility of abortion, although the Bioethics committee of the same hospital recommended terminating the pregnancy considering the physical and psychological risk that it entailed for the girl.
Romina Tejerina was raped by Eduardo Vargas, becoming pregnant as a result. For seven months she hid her pregnancy and attempted to perform the abortion herself. At seven months of pregnancy she gave birth alone in the bathroom of her house and—under the influence of post-traumatic stress—morally wounded the recently-born child. Today Romina is detained in the women’s penitentiary of Jujuy, waiting for the Judge to finally fix the date of oral justice, after the chamber ratifies the proceedings for “aggravating murder.”
"For Romina everything would be different if she had been able to take the Day After pill. If in this situation and in this society there were other conditions for the women that suffer the humiliation of rape, the case would be different. For those who can pay several thousand dollars in this country for an abortion, nothing happens. Instead, it is the poorer women who suffer more. Romina suffers double the oppression for being poor and for being a woman.” (María Contia—Amas de Casa del País)
The piquetero organizations that incorporate into their demands the plea for contraceptives and condoms systematically encounter evasive responses from the Ministry of Health. In other words, even the state is denying these women the right to have a normal sexual life without the risk of pregnancy. Meanwhile, other women don’t even know how to avoid unwanted pregnancy. Power resides not only in economic forces, but also in information.
The Right to Autonomy Over One’s Own Body
Women’s bodies have always been expropriated, not only as direct producers of capital gain through work, but also as reproducers of the work force and as forceful producers of a pleasure that is only such for one of the involved. The hierarchy of the Catholic Church, from time immemorial, sustains the ideological framework of this appropriation and, for the Kirschner government, the right to abortion is hardly a pledge of change (as women’s bodies have always been for all governments) thus assuring the aid of the powerful Catholic multinational. “We are Peronists, not abortionists.” (Cristina Fernández dixit).
Many have been responsible for and complicit in this situation, but the fundamental leader in the denial of women’s rights over their own bodies has been and continues being the reactionary sectors of the Catholic church that boycott workshops in women’s conferences. One of their “achievements” was that, after last year’s conference in Rosario with its important mobilization around the right to abortions, the Minister of Health in the province of Santa Fe, Fernando Bondesío, announced an administrative regulation that obligates the doctors in the province’s public hospitals to report the women who come to them because of complications from badly-done abortions. The doctors, with professional and human dignity, disobeyed the order.
Thus a woman can only decide “how to be a mother,” without beforehand being allowed to consider whether or not she wants to be one. If she is denied the right to autonomy over her own body, how much worse is it if the cultural mandate that hangs over her dictates that one should be a mother or one is a failure, without warning that it is also possible to be a failed mother—one without the means to provide to the unwanted child the minimum conditions that qualify a “good mother?” All this from the viewpoint of an oppressive system that measures successes and failures unilaterally and does not provide the conditions of development necessary for success.
Abortion is part of gender and class struggle, because no right is conceded unless all rights are won, because no one can regulate our bodies. Because with every woman who dies from a clandestine abortion, a part of all of us dies, we demand:
CONTRACEPTIVES TO PREVENT ABORTION
LEGAL ABORTION TO PREVENT DEATH
On the 23rd of September of 1913, by the initiative of socialist legislator Alfredo Palacios, law #9143 was approved, implementing the crime of “procuring” (pimping). This was the first law aimed at protecting victims of sexual exploitation, penalizing the offenders and placing Argentina in the legislative vanguard of the era. Years later, through a decree-law of 1957 and a law of 1960, the country ratified “the pact for the repression of trade in persons and exploitation of the prostitution of others”—approved by the United Nations on the 2nd of November of 1949.
Ninety-one years after this first legislative step, prostitution together with the trafficking of arms and drugs, is among the top three sources of international income. At the same time, the so-called peace forces of the ONU control the web of traffic in people in the Balkans. The situation in our country does not seem to have improved greatly, in view of the growing army of women and transvestites that day by day are forced to choose between prostitution and starvation.
The state, far from abolitionist tradition, associates itself with the pimps and persecutes the victims—especially those who refuse to resign themselves to their situation and who denounce their exploiters and their exploiter’s allies; the tidy legislators condemn on paper, leaving the dirty work to the Federal and provincial police that every night—in each street of cities both big and small—bribe, extort, make deals with the pimps, threaten, beat, rape, detain, and torture the women and transvestites engaged in prostitution. This group includes children of both genders, as denounced in La Plata last year.
It would be an error, an incomplete overview, to believe that the exploitation is limited to the state and the pimps. There exist, in important sectors of “respectable” bourgeois society, powerful capitalists that live off the exploitation of women and transvestite prostitutes—for example the distinguished and “noble” owner of multimedia that promotes gain through the prostitution of others, in the well-known “Rubro 59.” Or a certain right-wing football club president with representation in the legislature of Buenos Aires that asserts in public his desire to eliminate street prostitution—or at least its visibility.
Contradicting the spirit of old Palacios, the state in Argentina today persecutes the victims of sexual exploitation. This is the case of Carmen Ifrain and Marcela Sanagua, women employed through prostitution and militants of AMMAR Capital (before the Association of Argentine Women Prostitutes, now renamed “The Association of Argentine Women for Human Rights”) who have been detained since the July 16th incident at the Legislature and accused of serious crimes that permit no release from jail, without further proof than the testimonies of the civil police who arrested them, shamefully ratified recently by the Chamber that considered this “evidence” to be valid. These are women that, although there is no evidence of their participation in criminal activities, were certainly at the protest—making their voices heard in the repudiation of the legislative project that, based in the wave of false, blumbergian security, surrenders victims of prostitution to the voracity of pimps and police officers.
Meanwhile, no light has been shed upon the case of Sandra Cabrera, secretary of AMMAR-Rosario, assassinated in an episode involving police from the province of Santa Fe. Such was the case of the prostitutes from Mar del Plata, murdered by a non-existent “highwayman” who turned out to be nothing but a screen to pull attention away from the true culprits: a mafia network of pimps, police officers, judicial functionaries, and politicians. Such was also the case of sisters Diana and Johana Sacayán, transvestite militants who have remained in detention for three months in a police station of La Matanza, their crime the repeated denunciation of the complicity of the personnel of station 4ts. of Laferrere with the brothels of the area. The sisters face a trial presided over by these same suspected officials. And so it is with many other cases that hardly constitute a colorful note in the yellow press and, at times, not even that.
Prostitution continues to be a profitable business and capitalist logic indicates that it will not be the sex-workers themselves that profit the most. For them is reserved only sordidness, mistreatment, police abuse and coercion, and the distain of a lobotomized middle class always ready to beg officials to be heavy-handed.
Sexual exploitation is a manner in which capitalist cruelty exploits the bodies and the energy of the popular class, with the aim of wringing from them the most profit possible for the benefit of the parasitic classes. It mingles with and fosters the patriarchal devaluation of women, and of their/our bodies, dignity, and liberty. The disastrous results can be seen in the millions of people treated as merchandise, as objects of consumption and of commerce. If we aspire to be part of a social campaign that seeks to abolish social classes and do away with the exploitation of the many by the very few, we cannot cease to denounce and struggle against those who profit from slavery and exploitation. We cannot exclude from our fight the women, transvestites, and children who work as prostitutes; we are all a part of this same struggle.
The Role of the State in the Globalization of Sexual Exploitation+23/9 Day against sexual exploitation+Without sexual education, those are lost are the young women of lesser economic resources
The pencils keep writing! 28 years have passed since the abduction, torture and disappearance of seven young secondary students(1) in La Plata. They, along with many others, were fighting against the oppression of the dictatorship and for the construction of a new society.
Once again in the mobilization of the 16 we showed that the pencils keep on writing* in the many struggles which are being undertaken: from secondary school students to the madres and HIJOS, from unemployed movements to university students, from educational unions to Human Rights organisations. All gathered to shout "We are here!, and we will not allow you to forget, we will not forgive!", in remembrance of the compañeros (2) who died and to demand remembrance by continuing the popular struggle. The struggle for social change.
Amongst the groups participating were Coordinadora de Estudiantes Secundarios (CES), the student centre of Colegio Vergara, HIJOS La Plata, the families of the Disappeared and Detained, las Madres de Plaza de Mayo - La Plata, the Miguel Bru group and their president Rosa Schonfeld, Pablo Díaz –the only survivor of the events of 16th September 76’-, Families of the victims of Gatillo Fácil (3) - including the mother of Sebastián Bordón-, el SUTEBA La Plata, secondary student organisations No Pasarán, Seguimos en Pie, UJS, Octubre y MUS. The student centres Liceo, Normal 3, el Nacional, Bellas Artes and many secondary and other students.
University groups included: Copa Estudiantil (Aule, Muece, Cambiun, Idea), M-31, CAUCE, MIU de Derecho, E.co., Miles (Harldo Conti, Utopia), En Clave Roja, Venceremos, MUI (Movimiento Universitario de Izquierda), Aguanegra, Praxis, CEPA-Unite, Rodolfo Walsh, la Federación Universitaria (FULP), student centres Ciencias Exactas, Naturales, Trabajo Social. And social-political groups: La Chispa, MUP, AUCA, MST en IU, PTS, PC, Liga Socialista Revolucionaria, Partido Obrero, Las Azucenas, Agrupación Martín Fierro, ARI, Agrupación Claudia Falcón, Juventud Guevarista. In the actions at the Ministerio de Obras publicas representives spoke from FULP, el CEPRODH, students from Colegio Vergara, Vanina Kosteki, the mother of Sebastián Bordón -youth murdered by the Mendoza police- who made a cutting critique of the government's politics of criminalisation and the demands of Blumberg to end insecurity.
* the night of the 16th of september, 76 has become known as the Noche de los lápices, the night of the pencils, for this reason the text makes references to pencils that keep on writing. (1) secondary school in the UK, high school in the USA (2) compañero/compañera has no good translation. It doesn't necessarily have the communist undertone of 'comrade', but expresses a similar idea of people working together in a struggle. (3) easy trigger, usually refer to unprovoked murders by the police
Resisting the mining industry in San Juan Since May 24th up to the present, the mining multinational Barrick Gold and the governer of San Juan, José Luis Gioja, have been pushing for the exploitation of mineral deposits in Veladero and Pascua Lama. It is the date of the first assembly of San Juan residents determined to impede the exploitation of their resources, the pollution of their water, to defend their crops and their quality of life which the mining and chemical industry could never offer with their open dynamiting and cocktails of toxins.
And although the protests didn't reach a national level, neither did they pass unseen by the provincial government which was forced to counteract the opinion of a people who demand the freedom to intervene in decisions that involve them and will determine their destiny.
Greg Wilkins, President and Executive Director of Barrick said in a communiqué last July: "Among the four new mines that are being constructed, it is expected that Pascua Lama will contribute in a significant way to our profile of low cost production during the next years. The construction of four new mines and the positive decision to proceed with Pascua Lama represents a totally new chapter in the evolution of Barrick. Our quality properties reflect balanced geo-political risks and potential for long-term exploration. We expect that these five new mines will permit us to maintain our level as the major producer of low cost gold."
The national press diffused the ratification of the agreements binacionales between Chile and Argentina to be able to continue with Pascua Lama, the gold, silver and copper deposit shared by both nations which has already required a six and a half kilometer tunnel, 4500 meters above sea level, in the Andes mountain range, so that heavy trucks can carry the plunder minerals to the Pacific, and from their to countries of the North. A law package, nearly all of which are from the menem era, allow the Canadian business, which belongs to the Bush family, to count on the profitable and legal stability of a business that empties these mountains, leaving deadly waste in exchange for the strategic and critical minerals that they contain.
"It is expected that the Pascua Lama project in Chile and Argentina will produce an annual average of 750,000-775,000 ounces of gold and apróximadamente 30 milion ounces of silver during the first 10 years, with an average cost of $130-140 per ounce. During the first five years, it is expected that Pascua Lama will produce 675,000-700,000 ounces of gold and 32-34 million ounces of silver ounces with an average cost of $90-$100 per ounce. The project has confirmed long term, low operating cost reserves of 16.9 million ounces and potentially more than 635 million ounces of silver."
While the agreements are concluded, the Diario de Cuyo newspaper announced in large print that "the Church does not vouch for mass protests". The previously authorized masses were prohibited by the archbishop Alfonso Delgado: an opportune cover for provincial, national, and political pressure. The meetings between Jorge Foreman, Secretary of the mining Industry of the Nation, and the Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, could not be hidden; the cathedral closed its doors to the so- called "mass for water", popularized as an "ecological mass".
And the response was immediate. The town/people* demonstrated on the stairs of the Cathedral after a caravan of vehicles paraded through the center of the San Juan capital demanding a change in the religious position and announcing an act against the mining exploitation of Veladero and Pascua Lama. That Saturday 7th of August 2004, more than a thousand people from San Juan declared themselves against the ecclesiastical decision and, of course, against the mining industry and its governers.
"We expect to receive permission and to finalize other fiscal and tax matters during the next 18 months, more or less, and we will be then in a position to proceed with the 3 year construction programme. We expect to work cooperatively with local communities and with the governments of Argentina and Chile. Their support will be essential for the successful development of the project. Pascua Lama, Veladero and the large extensions of lands associated with the potential exploration in the Border district, are presented us as an opportunity to develop the area into one of the district's leaders in gold.", added another executive in the communiqué.
Sanjuanino Autoconvocados No a La Mina + Colectivo Medio Ambiente
* pueblo translates as both people and town
The workers of Zanon have arrived from Neuquen. They have come to speak with the Judge and to get recognition for the cooperative that they have formed. They have not received a response yet as the judge was replaced several days ago.
Later they went to Congress along with other workers of various recuperated factories (Renacer, Clinica Junin, Sasetru, Gatic, the combative sector of Brukman, etc.) to demand a Law of definitive expropriation. In Congress, the government bill of definitive expropriation was supported by various representatives (MPs), among them María América González, Marta Maffei, Fabiana Ríos, Marcela Rodríguez, Mario Cafiero, Claudio Lozano, Susana García, Fabián De Nuccio, José Roselli, Luis Zamora, Patricia Walsh, Araceli de Ferreira and Carlos Tinnirello.
In the meantime workers from various companies (Firestone, Grafic workshops of the the Clarín group, Sagima, Bagley, Gatic, Ferroviarios seccional Oeste, etc) are in a tough struggle with the management, demanding their rights .
The answer given by these managements has mostly been massive dismissals.
Marcha ceramista en Capital + Obreros de Zanon y la comunidad + Continúan los paros en Firestone + Acuerdo por los despedidos de Firestone + Trabajadores de limpieza del Hospital Posadas + Quiebra de Gatic + Algunos trab. de Brukman no marcharon con Zanon + Asamblea de trabajadores de prensa + Trabajadores de Prensa de Canal 7 + Situación de los trabajadores de Crónica + Clarín: una solución patronal para los problemas argentinos + Clarín: la patronal de la infantería
Tabacal sugar plant militarises and approaches indigenous land
Members of the indigenous Guaraní Community El Tabacal have reported that the sugar company there, property of the US multinational Seabord Corporation, has destroyed all access to the La Loma area. Meanwhile in the Tupí Guaraní community El Algarrobal, located in the banda sur of Río Blanco, a private security firm hired by the sugar-plant are being used: the Search firm, also based in the USA. The same group that on August 5th attacked numerous members of the community and caused one to be hospitalised for a week.
The latest events in La Loma happened hours after a delegation from la Comisión de Población de la Cámara de Diputados de La Nación visited the region and verified accusations of constant violations of indigenous rights. In turn, the Secretary of Government for Salta Province, Raúl Romeo Medina, declared the week before in the National Congress that ”never before has a province worked so hard for the lands of our indigenous brothers”. [Leer informe completo]
Denuncia de la Comunidad El Tabacal
Ahora vamos a apalear a La Loma
Raúl Romeo Medina es un cararota
De vuelta a los años 20
Declaración de Pueblos Originarios y campesinos de Orán
Entrevista al secretario de la Comunidad El Algarrobal
Diputados exigen restitución de tierras a comunidades
Presión de organismos internacionales
Proyecto de declaración de repudio en Diputados
Denuncian a un sacerdote por "usurpar tierras"
El ejército privado de la Seabord en Argentina
Fotos Río Blanco Banda Sur: 1 | 2 | 3
Denuncias previas: 10/08 | 05/08 | 04/08 | 27/07 | 26/07 | 15/06
Repercusiones: Clarín | Página 12 | Infosic | Infosic | Télam | Télam
Comunicados: Ocastafe | Fian | Endepa | Diputado Roselli | Partido Obrero
Resistance to the advance of mining Last Thursday, nearly three thousand campesinos (rural people) in Peru, occupied the Quilish hill, that has been repeatedly explored by Minera Yanacocha, in the hands of the corporations Newmont from the USA and of the local Buenaventura. There the campesinos confronted 300 cops who were guarding the mining works. The cops attacked with tear-gas bombs, including from a helicopter, leaving 30 injured, 4 seriously. As a result of this repression: a campesino had his/her femur destroyed by the impact of a bullet and another was hit by a tear-gas bomb in the chest and 7 cops were injured.
The Yanacocha is an open-cast gold mine of 251 square kilometers located 18 kilometers from the city of Cajamarca. It is considered to be the largest gold mine on the continent. The International Financial Corporation (IFC) of the World Bank has offered loans to a total of US$ 150 million and has a capital investment of 5% in the mine.
Last 18th of August in the Prefecture of Cajamarca, the representatives of the department of Energy and Mines had committed to the installation of a multisectoral dialogue where solutions to conflicts generated by the resumption of the explorations would be discussed. Problems that include the closing of water channels and a decrease of water volume caused by the operations of Minera Yanacocha. The dialogue, should have begun on Thursday 26th of August, but saw the absence of all the authorities and indignation and denunication from the people of Cajamarca that this situation of permanent abuse from the mining business continues.
The protestors occupying the Quilish hill, in the Cajamarca region, to demand that the Department of Energy and Mines revoke the authorization given to Yanacocha to begin exploration works there and only then will they stop blocking the motorway/highway that unites this region with Bambamarca. (Agencia informativa Púlsar)
All that glitters, kills
June 2nd, 2000 a truck from the Yanacocha mine poured 151 kilograms of liquid mercury along a section of 40 kilometers of the motorway/highway that crosses Choropampa and two populated neighbourhoods. The people collected the mercury, believing that it was a valuable metal. According to the conservative estimations of the government, more than 900 people were poisoned. The symptoms of mercury poisoning (irritation of the skin, headache, diminished vision, kidney problems, stomach pains, etc.) arose a few days after the discharge. Several people had to be hospitalized and a woman has been left blind.
In 2001, accusations brought to light that Newmont paid the former leader of the Peru intelligence services , Vladimiro Montesinos, to bribe and extort the Peruvian judges on the part of Yanacocha. In a video recording Montesinos is seen pressuring a judge to fall in favour of Newmont. After the clashes between police and campesinos on Quilish hill, the national government have agreed to dialogue, but meets the distrust of the local settlers and thousands of students who have taken to the streets to support the protests.
Más información en Sección Medio Ambiente
Political prisoners in different parts of the country In spite the intense campaign of harassment and persecution prompted by the government and by economic power to domesticate social protest, yesterday (Friday 3rd September) thousands of thousands mobilized. There were actions in the Plaza de Mayo, in the Pueyrredón bridge, in the ticket stations of Constitution, at the Casa del Chaco, and in Resistencia to reject the criminalization of protest and to demand the immediate freedom of all political prisoners, and to continue with the piquetero struggle for work to alleviate this reality that beyond Kirchner's fine speeches continues to be one of misery, hunger and repression.
The persecution does not stop and more people have been imprisoned . Added to the detentions of Raúl Castells of the Movimiento Independiente de Jubilados y Desocupados (MIJD, Independent Movement of the Retired and Unemployed) in the Chaco for a supposed "extortion" of a casino, and to the 7 who remain detained from the repression of last Tuesday during the actions against the IMF, are those of Gustavo Franquet, member of the Coordinadora de Trabajadores Desocupados (CTD, Organiser of Unemployed Workers) Anibal Verón and of Quebracho, and of Roberto Carlos Palleros, accused for attacking a taxi during a demonstration last February 13th. We must also add demand for the capture of Fernando Esteche, a member of the executive table (mesa ejecutiva) of Quebracho. Also detained were Jorge Mansilla and Hugo Iglesias, who took part in the ocupations of Caleta Olivia. And still detained are Cecilia Diaz and Roxana Duarte prisoners since June 22nd, members of the Coordinadora de Unidad Barrial - Movimiento Teresa Rodríguez (CUBA-MTR), and Diana and Johana Sacayán, two transgendered sisters, important to the Movimiento Antidiscriminación de Liberación (MAL, Antidiscrimation, Freedom Movement).
Likewise, 15 people remain imprisoned or in process since the 16th of July for the incidents at the Legislatura, when the modification of the Convivencial Code (codígo de convivencia) was rejected. In the provincia of Salta, Carlos "Tyson" Fernandez of the Unión de Trabajadores Desocupados (UTD Union of Unemployed Workers) has been detained since April and Gabriel Roser from the Movimiento de Unidad Popular (MUP, Movement of Popular Unity) in La Plata. All this is added to the 4,000 social fighters being processed across the nation.
Different actions: same objective
The Independent Movement of Retired and Unemployed mobilized in the morning at the Casa del Chaco in Capital Federal and together with Movimiento 17 de Julio maintained a protest camp in Resistencia, the capital of Chaco opposite the District attorney's Office of Investigations number 10.
The Corriente Clasista y Combativa (CCC, Clasist and Combative Current) and the Anibal Verón sector of the Movimiento de Trabajadores Desocupados (MTD Movement of Unemployed Workers) directed by Juan Cruz D´affunccio blocked the Puyerredón bridge, as part of the fight plan (plan de lucha) for the universalization and increase of social plans , the denouncing of repression and for the freedom of political prisoners.
The Frente de Trabajadores Combativos (FTC, Front of Combative Workers) protested in Constitution train station and blocked the ticket booths allowing passengers to travel free, in demand of work, the reversal of privatisation of the railroads, and against the criminalisation of protest. Roadblocks were also carried out on the motorway (freeway) to La Plata in the Peaje Dock Sur.
In the meantime, in the Plaza de Mayo, there was a massive and united mobilization demanding the end to persecutions and repression of the movements. Organisations included the Bloque Piquetero Nacional, el Movimiento Sin Trabajo (MST) Teresa Vive, el MIJD, la CTD Anibal Verón, el Bloque Obrero y Popular (BOP), el Frente Popular Dario Santillán, popular assemblies, travelling vendors, human rights organisations and left-wing parties.
Fences wherever you go
The State responded by fencing in the Plaza from 9 in the morning and by employing some 400 troops of the Federal Police, with attack vehicles, hydrant trucks and firefighters, besides the civilian police who are used to "to take care of" the security of all citizens.
Meanwhile, Kirchner continues doing the brave thing, making statements that in the end are nothing more than that: words. He has called the IMF diabolical*, but with ‘white gloves’ he receives and negotiates with Rodrigo Ratto the franco supporter sent to control our accounts. And while he says that he´s not going to repress protest, it keeps happening anyway, confirming that this system only closes with the forces of order applying the hard hand that the blumberg supporters demand.
Today, the piquetero organizations haven´t been domesticated by the government, they have responded -in the street, and during marches and roadblocks, as just one fist, with organization and struggle- against state repression and against this murderous reality.
* would also translate to devil-like, or of-the-devil
Today (31st August) at noon, a diversity of piquetero, social and political organizations, among them the Partido de la Liberación, Tendencia Clasista "29 de Mayo", Juventud Rebelde "20 de Diciembre"-TUPAC, MPR-Quebracho, MTR-CUBa, MP29 and HIJOS, congregated in Plaza de Mayo, in Capital Federal (BA city centre), to reject the presence of Rodrigo de Rato, managing director of the IMF, and to support the demand of the MIJD for the immediate freedom of Raúl Castells and the fifteen compañeros imprisoned since last July.
The demonstration was carried out at the department of Economy. Tyres were burned infront of the building and was painted in red aerosol for the non-payment of the external debt. In this framework a violent police repression was unleashed, ordered by the government of Néstor Kirchner. The police, armed not with fire arms, but with water hydrant trucks and rubber bullets, advanced toward the columns.
Besides the repression carried out in front of the Casa Rosada, officers in charge of the operation were given a free reign to pursue demonstrators several blocks away, when the demonstration had already finished, resulting in massive and indiscriminate detentions, and compañeros receiving serious charges. The corporate media, who repeat that the violence is due to the piqueteros, reports that there are more than 100 detained.
The pattern of repression is the same as that which took place in July infront of the Legislature of Buenos Aires: first the police don´t intervene, only to subsequently pursue the demonstrators, repress and stop them several blocks away from the events (and the cameras).
Last minute reports indicate that none of the prisoners- not even the kids- have been freed, and that those who are in central police stations will be transferred in groups to Madariaga and Gral. Paz, where originally there was 58 detainees. The 100 stand accused of public intimidation, qualified damage and wounds, with intervention of the judges Galeano and Sassano, who could legally complicate their liberation.
Comunicados de organizaciones:
Libertad a los detenidos, comunicado del Partido de Liberación + comunicado del Partido de los Trabajadores Socialistas + Asamblea Parque Chacabuco
Gold mining in Argentina Esquel is a city of 30.000 inhabitants, 5.000 of which are unemployed. Despite the promises of work (temporary and high risk) made by the mining company Meridian Gold and its associates in the government in view of the exploitation of the Cordón Esquel gold mine, the people voted massively for their dignity and for the future of coming generations.
March 23rd, 2003, in a popular consultation started at the local municipality, the town of Esquel voted and flatly stated "NO to the gold mine in cordón Esquel" with 81% voting against. The mine which would be only 6 km away from the city, would see a predicted daily exploitation of 42.000 tn of rock (with 8 tn. of explosives). The grinding of the rock would cause acid pollution in the air, ground and water. To separate the gold from the rock, 6 tn. of cyanide would be used daily and 12.000.000 litres of water extracted from the same basin that supplies the city. The company Meridian Gold expected to pocket a thousand million (1 billion, UK) dollars in 8 years, tax-free, and would only pay 2% of the value of the mineral as royalties to the Chubut province. Exportation through patagonian ports would involve reimbursements, which the provincial state would end up paying to a company prepared to plunder our resources.
Organized in Popular Assemblies since October 2002, the esquelenses debated and decided their future. They marched through the streets of the city every day on the 4th of each month, before and after the popular consultation.
Their great opposition to the mining project was seen expressed in a preventive measure dictated by the local courts with regards to a resource of protection, that ordered that the mining business stop all works. Despite this, though, the mining company maintains personnel, trucks and offices in Esquel.
The mining industry has not given up though . Protected by national laws made in the decade of destruction of the 90s, the industry is trying to invade national and provincial territory. Under the protection of officials and complicit government officials, it subdues our basic rights with threats and intimidations of neighbors, by criminalisation of protest, by bribery attempts to marginal sectors and institutions disregarded by the state and by evictions of aboriginal communities. Whatever it takes for the achievement of its only objective: to continue the accumulation of wealth in a few hands at the cost of the misery of entire peoples.
The metal mining industry is today in Argentina a state politic that adds to the endless number of neoliberal practices that submerge more than 50% of the population in unemployment and extreme poverty, unacceptable for a country rich in resources but which is a cost calculated by the IMF and the World Bank to continue maintaining the standard of living of people in the Global North. They didn't get away with it this time, and they won't the next time
The struggle continues. Determined to put a stop to other proposals throughout Chubut province and of the whole country, the CAMA network (Communities Affected by the Mining industry in Argentina) has been formed. Chubut, Río Negro, Neuquén, San Juan, Catamarca, Jujuy and Córdoba are all standing.
The Project Cordón Esquel is not unique. In the Chubut province other projects silently advance and the list continues with innumerable mining projects along the Andes mountain range.
Five Argentinas provinces suffer the consequences of the exploitation of the Bajo La Alumbrera gold mine in Catamarca. In Jujuy the peasants of Humahuaca, cannot raise animals because of the pollution in the area. The compañeros of San Juan and of Ingeniero Jacobacci, in río negro and the settlers of Andacollo, Neuquén who suffer contamination of their drinkable water from the Huaraco mine add to this struggle.
by: Asamblea de Vecinos Autoconvocados por el No a la Mina de Esquel + Colectivo Medio Ambiente
On August 12th a brutal operation carried out by 200 police from Buenos Aires province, and under the command of the commissioner Julio Ducid and ordered by the commercial judge (juez comercial) Miguel Gutiérrez Cabello, evicted 100 workers of the Gatic plant in the Pigüé area, to the south of Buenos Aires province. The Gatic installations, a business emptied and broken with fraud by the businessman Bakchelián, were occupied months ago by their workers who are fighting for the business to be ´recuperated´ under self-management, with the support of the National Movement of Recuperated Businesses (Movimiento Nacional de Empresas Recuperadas or MNER) and the community of Pigüé (included their mayor and the council body). The police were dispatched from other parts of the province, from where they left three days before and they entered the plant by force using gases, sticks and rubber bullets, in an operation that was already planned before the eviction order. (full report)
In the meantime in Zanon, the ceramic factory recuperated in Neuquén, a plan of struggle was discussed to respond to the new threats of eviction. The plan began with a mobilization of 5000 persons through the streets of the city. The judge of the case of Zanon, German Páez Castañeda, has set the dates for the finalización of the process for creditors, without recognizing the cooperative that has been created by the workers. This opens the doors for banks or private capital private to try to put an end to the worker-controlled management that Zanon has enjoyed for almost 3 years. Management that gives work to 400 people (170 more than at the beginning) who gain an average of 1000 pesos each per month. What´s more, the government of Neuquén presented itself for the first time in the case, with a written presentation stating that the workers of Zanon must leave the plant so that its "legitimate owners" may return, and that the government will finance the workers with micro- enterprises.
After the mobilization and a meeting in Neuquén to discuss the next steps on the provincial level, the workers of Zanon called a meeting in Buenos Aires which was carried out last Friday in the Bauen hotel and which saw the participation of scores of piquetero organizations, unions, human rights agencies and workers from all over the country. In the meeting it was agreed for the worker-management of Zanon to be defended and to renounce the threats of eviction, to demand the recognition of the cooperative on the part of the Judge and other authorities, for the expropriation of Zanon and for a National Law of Definitive Expropriation (Ley Nacional de Expropiación Definitiva ) for all the factories recuperated by their workers, for support to the workers of Gatic in Pigüé and recognition of the cooperative of the workers in all the plants their. For Friday 10th of September a mobilization in Buenos Aires was called to demand that the judge recognise the cooperative, and that the National Congress pass forward a national law of definitve expropriation for all the businesses in process of being recuperated.
The incorporation of transgenic RR corn will deepen the neocolonial model of commodity export and will contaminate the ecosystem, dragging Argentina to an environmental and social catastrophe.
From bad to worse.
‘Argentina faces serious agronomic problems and doesn’t have either the resources or the experts to resolve them. The country has adopted GMO technology quicker and more radically than another country in the world. It didn’t take the necessary precautions for the management of resistance and protection of soil fertility. Based on the extended use of the RR technology I do not believe (Argentina's) agriculture to be sustainable for more than a couple of years.’ Chat Benbrook (1)
The authorization by the National Agriculture Secretary (Secretaría de Agricultura de la nación ) for the free production of RR corn - GM corn which is resistant to the herbicide glifosato, patented by Monsanto- pushes the government’s economic line ever further. It continues the model of development carried out since 1976 and pushed to the limit in 1989 with the government of the Infamous Traitor to the Country now hidden in Chile.
There was talk of consulting the agronomic and ecological community, but the Countryside Secretary (Secretario Campos) has craftily taken measures with very serious future consequences for the nation. This will be comforting for the multinational Monsanto which has suffered ‘losses’ in Argentina from the growth of the ‘white market’ of RR soja – seed produced by the same producers or exchanged among them without paying royalties to Monsanto for their ‘invention’. It also compensates the multinational for having allowed the entrance of Chinese glifosato at half the price of that produced in the USA. In this way the future of the producers will remain a lot more tied to Monsanto and others biotechnology multinationals, who will be the owners of the seeds that will start inhabiting Argentine soil.
To try to make the soya dream of reaching 100 million tonnes of grains a reality - the chacareros -the few that remain- will have to buy the corn seed annually, since as it’s a wildly polonizing species, the harvested corn will gradually lose RR resistance. (Still some producers will be able to make their own RR corn from the F1-F2..etc., applying glifosato on the progeny and selecting the resistant plants, taking back some of the profits from the multinationals.)
The effects on the ecosystem will be enormous and Argentina will lead -as it did with the neoliberal politics of privatization, the destruction of the State, deindustrialisation and national recolonization prompted by the IMF and the WB, that brought us to the catastrophe of 2001 which we still suffer from- the group of the countries most devastated by the destructive and irrational actions on the environment by the multinationals.
RR soya monoculture has already led to a great loss in varieties and populations of national corn varieties selected for decades by the work of our technicians and chacareros, by the simple fact that people stopped sowing them or replaced them with less adaptive hybrids, even when they were more productive. With regards to fertilizers and herbicides producers are obliged to be more dependant on the businesses, increasing the loss of national and individual food sovereignty (soberanía alimentaría). The genetically modified contamination of a species of wild polinization like the corn will be irreversible and its effects will be payed for by the future generations of Argentines and of other latin-americans who will be contaminated by ‘our’ RR corn, as they already have by RR soya.
Surely the appearance of resistant superweeds, of new allergies, autoimmune illnesses or cancers should be added to the ‘external’ costs of ‘soya-cornisation’. Hunger, misery and the hundred Argentines killed daily for those reasons since 1990 are no more than parts of the ‘measure of suffering’ calculated by the IMF economists for their ‘structural changes’.
Special report: Alberto Lapolla – Former Genetic engineer lecturer of the UBA
Marcela y Carmen de AMMAR-Capital
On July 16, after a demonstration in the doors of the legislature of buenos aires, Marcela and Carmen were detained near Moreno and Balcarce. They were arrested while buying something in a newsstand. They were approached by two men, that grabbed one of them from behind and pushed her onto a chair making a gesture to keep silent. The women had no idea that these men were police, they believed they were being robbed. Apparently the police were given the order “to stealthily follow the demonstrators, until they left the area and then arrest them.”
Now they are imprisoned in the jail at Ezeiza with the charge of aggravated coercion (a crime introduced to the penal code by the de facto government of General Ongania) with sentences from 5 to 10 years. The examining magistrate (Jueza de instrucción), Silvia Nora Ramond, before declaring herself incompetent and pardoning the actions of the federal justice, suggested preventive imprisonment. In the expedient the only evidence that supports these detentions are the spoken reports of 96 civil police from stations 16, 17, 18, 34 and 22. And these are only some of the 300 troops which were there on July 16. Among these police, a few stand accuses of committing murder during the repression of December 20, 2001. Among them is the sub-commissioner Ernesto Weber, of station number 1, who as chief of the Federal Body of Operations (Cuerpo de Operaciones de la Federa) had an important role in the repression produced in the Av. de Mayo, where various demonstrators were murdered.
Carmen and Marcela belong to AMMAR-CAPITAL, an organization of women sex workers who fight against exclusion, and work on productive projects and popular education. On Friday 16 of July when they were detained, they were found at the Legislature where they’ve often been since January, fighting against the modification of the contravencional code that will penalize on-the-street prostitution. For their compañeros, the only reason why they have become imprisoned is because they are fighting for their rights and are not considered normal prisoners, but political prisoners.
AMMAR-CAPITAL are opposed to article 89 of the Contravencional code:
“¿What is prostitution? It is poverty, marginalization and lack of education and with articule that is what would be penalized. The exploitation would be consecrated. When they speak to penalize street prostitution they are promoting the prostitution that takes place behind closed doors and everything that that means: abuse, slavery, violation of rights. One again the weakest would be punished and not the mafias that sexually exploit of women. Because we see that they are not making the same commitment to implement social politics that end exclusion, that is exactly what we have to fight for.”
Diana and Johana Sacayán
Diana and Johana are two trans sisters, activists in the Antidiscriminacion Movement (MAL), who have been imprisoned for more than a month.
Diana, also an activist in the MTL and the PC, has seven accusations against police station 4° of La Matanza for wounds, pressures and threats. These accusations are made in the fiscalias 1, 2, 5 and 7 and are currently being filed. There was even an accusation from the UN, for arbitrary detention. Johana was brutally beaten last year, at the end of the XII GLTTTB Pride March, by two Civil Police.
Diana and Johana are very clear: the reason they have been imprisoned and why they will be in jail for a long time, is a move by the station number 4 to silence them and those who dare to organize and to fight for their rights.
According to the women, this precinct would be linked to the business of brothels in the area. Trans folk and women who work in street prostitution are a hindrance. Reinforcing this hypothesis, is the disappearance of three girls, two of them trans, who were then found dead . Jessica turned up dead in km. 36, after having several police trials. During one arrest she “fell” and broke two legs. Johana was found lifeless in the Morales stream and Flavia, was found hanged in the factory La Baskonia, in La Ferrere.
The day they were detained, Diana AND Johana, had called the Departmental of La Matanza and to the police station, denouncing a brothel in the area. After these calls, a patrol car approached and the cops asked them to get in and that the sub-commissioner spoke with them. All of which has been denied. They continued walking, and further on, there were three patrol cars waiting for them. They were violently pushed into the vehicles and moved to station 4.
There the violence continued, while Diana was beaten on the floor, and trying to fight back, kicked a glass pane and injured her left leg. During the time that were in station 4 of La Matanza they were denied medical aid in spite of being heavily injured. Later they were transferred to Destacamento 20 of Junio in Pontevedra. They stand accused of: resistance to authority, contempt, public damage and assault. The charge of assault fell, because it was verified that it was they who were beaten. Now it’s the police who face the charge of assault.
But the imprisonment is not the beginning of this story, Diana and Johana, the same as many trans folk are the object of discrimination, for their gender identification. This exclusion is intensified when you cross General Paz and the code (código de faltas) of Buenos Aires province is “legalized” . This code permits the police to arrest transgendered women at any hour of the day without cause. There are women who were arrested on their way to school, or when they left their homes to go to the shops. Detained for several days, at the mercy of one of the most murderous and brutal security forces. The Sacayán sisters know that they are prisoners for fighting against exploitation. But above all, against the discrimination and the violence they receive from the state every day.
“Of this dark and useless place, that has never in the history of humanity achieved the objectives with which it was created, we send our embraces and deep gratitude for the attitude of compañerismo and affection that comes from all of you. We want it known that they can incarcerate us one, two, three or twenty years, but we will never stoop to kiss their boots. Neither humiliation, or beatings or cell grills will make us obedient. We are not on this earth to see the monopolies grow from our exploitation, we who suffer hunger and cold. We were not born to work and to have our lives ordered to their craving.” (Diana and Johana Sacayán)
Once more the women, the trans folk and all those that move away from the role predetermined for them by their sexuality and gender, and dare to build their identity from their own histories, to decide on their own bodies, to suffer the punishment of the patriarchy and the two greatest disciples: the State and the Church. They are endlessly discriminated against and oppressed. The violence against them is to domesticate them, assimilate them and to normalise them by who do not respect and value diversity. Once more repression is unleashed against those who rebel and resist, who fight for the freedom to be who they want to be.
Entrevista a la Jueza Silvia Ramond + Carta de Diana y Johana + AMMAR-Capital, su historia + Libertad a Diana y Johana + El Código de los Palos + Nota de hace un año a Diana + 33 días de prisión + Las Únicas Dignas
Sunday 8 of August | New attack on the right to report Last Thursday 5th of August security forces returned to attack activists documenting workers´ struggles. This time the attack took place in the town Palpalá, Jujuy.
Here, workers of the Altos Hornos, Zapla factory have been on strike since June 30th, and have held pickets in the door of the company, in response to the lack of answers to repeated demands for labour improvements on the part of the owners. The workers´ main claim is an increase of $200 pesos, above the minimum they are receiving.
The business is run by the unfortunately famous Taselli, linked to the tragedy of River Turbío, as well as to the transport company Metropolitan which is the greatest shareholder, all privatized during the ´90s.
The researcher Carlos Broun, member of the collective Contraimagen was found recording part of the assemblies and marches of the workers to make a new report for the worker news service Kino Nuestra Lucha. By request of the workers he tried to film the delegation (which was strongly opposed by businessmen) made by the Work Supervisor (Superintendencia de Trabajo) who was supposed to review work conditions. Just then the officials of the National Gendarmerie approached him and kept him detained in a security booth for more than two hours.
He was released, but they took all the digital material he had taken of an important march in support of the workers´ struggle. The material was taken by Roberto Poccioni, production manager of the company, with the endorsement of the gendarmerie who acted under the directives of the businessmen. Officials have stayed in the building acting as "private business security" since the workers began their demands.
Thursday 5 of August The two detainees have been freed While they demanded toys and other products from the hypermarket Carrefour in La Plata, the CTD Aníbal Verón reports that a police van tried to knock down some of the demonstrators, generating incidents that, after the intervention of an infantry of local police, ended with three members of the CTD Aníbal Verón being detained.
The police detained a member of the CTD who resisted despite suffering blows while his/her companions tried to rescue him/her. The police repressed the demonstration with tear gas, rubber bullets and – as reported by members of the CTD- lead bullets, none of which was denied by the officer in charge of the operation who told the channel TN that “we had to fire shots into the air”.
Around 5pm the 3 detained testified before no less than the public prosecutor Martini (one detainee is a minor and has been remitted to a minors court).
Members of the CTD Aníbal Verón and of the Coordinadora por la Libertad de los Presos Políticos (Organizer for the Freedom of political prisoners) are at the sixth police station in Tolosa, where they are being guarded and fenced in by various troops, and where they will remain until they compañeros are freed.
At 23:30 the two detained were freed
Wednesday 5 of August Yesterday, more than 45.000 demonstrators marched through the center of Buenos Aires city. With mixed calls for action but with a sense of unity, the extensive mobilizations of unemployed, students and other sectors had three clear objectives.
In courts, a case is being prepared against two university students for taking part in a protest in 1999. At the last moment, judgment was suspended without date, due to the illness of one of the members of the court. Also in question was the reform of the contraventional code (código contravencional), which is intended to criminalise poverty and protests in the city. The mobilization also demanded the freedom of prisoners detained since July 16th for opposing the reform. In the meantime, in the Congress the fiscal expense of the provinces is being discussed, a measure demanded by the IMF.
The story of the day
In such a complex setting and with thousands of people in the streets, for the media the main news was that "the piqueteros were testing the government’s new system of disuation". With 1500 cops and fences surrounding the buildings where the mobilizations were being directed, Kirchner presented his ‘new’ form of controlling the social protests. In reality, we’re seeing a kind of politics that’s as new as those monuments that reopened every now and then. The tactic of "overwhelming with the police presence", was used in Argentina during all of 2002 by the government of Duhalde, in the hands of the then secretary of security Juanjo Alvarez, one of the architects of the massacre of the Pueyrredón bridge. Precisely on that 26th of June the new type of politics was officially inaugurated with two piqueteros murdered and dozens injured. The fences of of yesterday, and the repression of today in la Plata, are a sign that could represent a new course in Kirchner’s government.
The Tabacal sugar plant plans on a new eviction in Orán
Members of the El Algarrobal Indigneous Community, located in the south band of the paraje río Blanco in the Salta region of Orán, denounced the San Martín del Tabaca sugar refinery a few days ago. In the judicial presentation they accused the sugar business, property of the multinational Seabord Corporation, of applying constant pressure to abandon the lands and to allow the bulldozers in.
In turn, the delegation of the Guaraní El Tabacal Indigenous Community has returned to the Hipólito Irigoyen region after three months of negotiations in Buenos Aires. They have managed to get the recognition of the executive commission, after the Instituto Nacional de Asuntos Indígenas (National Institute of Indigenous Affairs) for months endorsed the existence of a parallel commission prompted by the Tabacal sugar refinery and made up of people from outside the community.
In the meantime in Boston, United States, a hundred activists mobilised at the headquarters of the Seabord Corporation to demand the immediate return of the stolen lands and the end of evictions in all the Orán area. Read the full story
Original Story in spanish
Sumario de noticias:
Denuncia de la Comunidad Banda Sur
Fotos de cultivos destruídos por el Ingenio
El sabor amargo de El Tabacal
Delegación de la Comunidad El Tabacal regresa a Orán
Presidenta de la Comunidad El Tabacal reclama investigación por desalojo
Comunidad El Tabacal desconoce asamblea impulsada por el Ingenio
Denuncian al Ingenio Tabacal de apropiarse del caudal de agua del río Blanco
Denuncian por intento de homicidio a Guillermo Yakúlica, directivo del Ingenio
Segunda denuncia por homicidio contra Guillermo Yakúlica
Movilización contra la Seabord Corporation en Boston
Fotos del escrache a la Seabord (I)
Fotos del escrache a la Seabord (II)
Más información de Salta:
Denuncia por alambradas en la costa del río Pilcomayo
Defensoría del Pueblo viaja a la provincia por las tierras alambradas
Wichí denuncia tortura y privación ilegítima de la libertad
Indígenas denuncian brutalidad policial en Pichanal
In what´s left of the industrial cordon that surround the city of Rosario, a mobilization took place against the conflicts faced by workers at Sulfacid and Fábrica Militar, both in the city of Fray Luis Beltrán. More than 500 workers from the most mobilized unions of the region traveled seven kilometers by foot during the march which was called by CTA Santa Fe and CGT San Lorenzo. e city of Rosario, a mobilization took place against the conflicts facing workers at Sulfacid and Fábrica Militar, both in the city of Fray Luis Beltrán. More than 500 workers from the most mobilized unions of the region traveled seven kilometers by foot during the march. The march was called by CTA Santa Fe and CGT San Lorenzo.
Two weeks have passed since on July 9 the management of the Sulfacid company closed the doors and went forward with a series of very hard measures which violated the covenants of the company, including a cut in salary, the dismissal of 56 workers, the suspension of another three hundred and union violations. In these two weeks of struggle the dispute has seen advances and setbacks.
On Tuesday the 20th of July and Thursday the 22nd, the day of the march, the conflict was discussed in the Ministerio de Trabajo (Labour Ministry) among representatives of business and union leaders. In spite of the advances achieved by the workers, the business is still continuing with dismissals and union violations. The workers, in the assembly carried out on the afternoon of Friday the 23rd, have reaffirmed their demand for the complete reinstation of all those dismissed.
Another conflict that discussed in Thursday´s assembly is that of the Fábrica Militar in Fray Luis Beltrán. Workers are making various demands, the most conflictive of which is that 110 employees should be given permanent status. That would represent one third of the workers.
March July 22:
Photos and report: Parte 1 / Parte 2 / Audios: Sulfacid: La Cámara de Comercio de San Lorenzo desmintió haber pedido represión para los trabajadores / Convocatoria
Notas del lunes 19 de Julio:
On the 14th of July a mapuche tehuelche delegation arrived in Buenos Aires made up of the members of different communities from the northwest of the chubut province, mostly members of the Organization ‘11 of October’. The 6 days that they stayed in the Capital Federal they went between political - cultural activities and meetings with social organizations and government officials, but there was a central reason to the visit: to give a proclamation in the National Congress to the three powers of the State. In the same Congress that more than a century ago authorized the military invasion of the ancestral territory of the mapuche and smoothed the way for their genocide and ethnocide.
It was a proclamation to say that the time of asking is over, a proclamation to demand, although to the columnists of the newspaper The Nación the fights and demands of the indigenous peoples are a sign of social ill and nightmares to come. And in that proclamation it was said that yes, their lands were stolen, their culture denied, their families impoverished, but they also reaffirmed that their town is very much alive. Petü mongeleyiñ, they said. It was a proclamation to confirm that the blood of Leftxaru - one of the leaders of the mapuche resistance to the Spanish invasion runs through the veins of their people still.
They arrived in the middle of the media excitement caused by the open letter of Nobel peace prize winner, Adolph Perez Esquivel, to the Benetton brothers and the immediate answer of the Luciano entrepreneur, loaded with a Capitalism closer to the rapacity of Bush than to humanitarist marketing. An immediate answer to the Nobel peace prize winner – must keep up appearances - a permanent silence before the mapuche demands. The proclamation arrived as a reaffirmation from the mapuche struggle against the ratification of large estate, passed on the 31st of May in Esquel.
During their stay in Buenos Aires the news arrived of the death of lonko Basilio Coñoenao, in the Cunco commune under circumstances not yet clarified by the Chilean authorities. A death that renews questions about the possible surgence of armed para-state groups against the Mapuche people in Gulumapu. Also by now news had arrived of the struggle of the Coordinator of Homes of Mapuche students(CHEM) in the IX Region and that the resolution of the territorial demand of the Lof Casiano in the province of Negro River has been delayed. It became an armed proclamation armed of anger and conviction.
The message was clear: a proclamation that will not fall to its knees. A message directed to the three powers of the State but also to the people and its organizations and movements. To us. It was a clear message with uncertain implications.
Sumario de artículos:
Texto de la proclama mapuche tehuelche
Cronograma de las actividades en el Congreso
Informe del abogado Gustavo Macayo
Comunidades en viaje a Buenos Aires: una posta en el camino
Proyecto de repudio al fallo contra la familia Curiñanco Nahuelquir
Benetton dice que está abierto a un diálogo con Pérez Esquivel
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Wednesday 21st July In 1992 the majority of the people in Uruguay voted against the privatization of the public services, in a plebiscite organized by the social movements. This delivered an unequivocal message to the government, the international financial institutions and the transnational companies that were driving the privatization of water. This historical landmark in Uruguay, was an example and a source of inspiration for the social movements of all Latin America.
Nevertheless, ten years after that striking victory, the Uruguayan government is again set on privatizing public services, with the objective of "saving" the country from the financial crisis which quickly followed the failure of neoliberalism. Water is on sale in Uruguay with the government deciding to include the provision of potable water and gross water extraction amongst its offers. All this within the context of negotiations concerning the liberalization of services under the WTO (World Trade Organisation) and the Free Trade Area of the Américas (FTAA).
The public water service covers more with 95% of the population. In the region (departamento) of Maldonado, water privatization has had terrible effects such as increases in charges and serious technical faults. Two multinational companies took part in these concessions: in the city of Maldonado the concessionaire is URAGUA (a subsidiary of the Spanish company Aguas de Bilbao) whereas in the Balnearios region, on the Atlantic coast, the concessionaire is Aguas de la Costa (subsidiary of the gigantic Suez).
The National Commission in Defense of Water and Life (La Comisión Nacional en Defensa del Agua y la Vida), created in 2002, and integrated by diverse organizations and social movements is rallying the Uruguayan people to speak up again in a plebiscite. The call of the Commision is that a plebiscite for the Constitutional Reformation of Water should be voted this October as well as national elections. This reform would make clear that water is a public good and not to be privatised or marketed as well as being recognized as a fundamental human right, which should be managed sustainably.
The constitutional reform
Through modification of the Constitution these groups are looking for a radical change in the relation of man and water. The water is an essential natural resource for life. Access to drinkable water and access to sanitation constitute fundamental human rights. The national policy of Waters and Sanitation (Aguas y Saneamiento) will be based on land organisation, on conservation and protection of the environment and the restoration of nature, on sustainable management and the preservation of the hydrological cycle with consideration for future generations.
Resource users and civil society would participate in all instances of planning, management and control of water resources. The establishment of priorities for the use of water, of river basins or parts of them would be based on supply of drinkable water to the population as the first priority. The supply of drinkable water and sanitation must put social order before economic order.
Why the Constitutional Reform?
For the National Commission in Defense of Water and Life: "Water must not be privatised, because to privatize water it is to privatize life. Access to drinkable water to all the population must be guaranteed because water is a fundamental and inalienable human right. Water is not merchandise, its value cannot be reduced to the cost of the market. Management of water must be public, participative and have ecological and social criteria. Water reserves must be defended. It is an essential resource for the construction of a productive and sustainable country."
In October, the Uruguayan people will decide the future they want with regards to water. Some say that the cry will be heard, "Water for life, water for people".
Following the massacre and the resistance in Bolivia. The government
has militarized the city of El Alto, where confrontations and new deaths are
registered. Sunk in repudio, the government of Sáchez de Lozada contiunes to
resort to resurrecting the ghost of the coup d'etat, and accuses the mobilized sectors
of sedition. We presented/displayed the last reports sent by our brothers
from the group Katari Uta, and Indymedia Bolivia
Chronology last facts:
10:38 (Bolivian Econoticias) alteño Jose Miguel Perez Cortez fell in the the Ballivián Seat with a military bullet in his heart. "He was my only son", cries the desperate mother. Another zone of the city covered with blood turned into a hell yesterday, where five more were shot to death by police. There are no ambulances and no medical aid. To read.
10:10 Robert de la Cruz, the executive of the Regional workers Union of El Alto, today asked to the workers and population of the cities of La Paz and EL Alto to maintain the resistance and not to give the government of Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada a truce. To read
9:40 Workers, neighbors and young people of the Stop and the high zones of the city of La Paz continued their resistance Sunday. The troops and police loyal to the government of Gonzalo the Sanchez de Lozada have not been able to control the poorest city of Bolivia, in spite of their intense use of firearms. The city has been wracked by violence for the past 24 hours of continuous violence. To read
Mas muertos en el Alto + Masacre en El Alto + Policias acusados de sedición + GOlpe de estado inventado + Crece indignación popular en El Alto + Autogolpe y resistencia + El Alto es un infierno + Combates en la ciudad Aymara + Continuan los enfrentamientos + La masacre minera + Tanques de guerra + Asesinan niño de 5 años