Monday, April 20, 2009

Neighbours del Valle de Uco protest José Luis Gioja decisions

Neighbours del Valle de Uco attend assemblies

Valle De Uco
18 de Abril de 2009 |17:00

Assemblies and socio-environmental activists across the country will gather in San Juan, to "just say the current model of looting" and shed a different model based on a conception of property. Several neighbors of the Uco Valley to attend the assemblies.

The Union of Citizen Assemblies (UAC) covered the last year to meet in Catamarca be involved in the mining heart of the monster. " The challenge this year is even greater, since San Juan is its governor, Jose Luis Gioja, the political representative of the largest mining interests, someone to whom the chairman of Barrick Gold comes to visit in person.

The journey of encounters through the provinces with the aim of consolidating the message "against looting and pollution" is taking shape and is now the venue San Juan, 24, 25 and April 26, 2009 in provincial capital, to "learn about the different social-issues of each region and understand its relationship that they are based on a political and economic model of development based on the devastation of life, pollution and the plundering of our goods common. "

As is currently the hot debate over the presidential veto to the law of glaciers, will be reinforced ideas about the importance of protecting water sources with a forum-debate on Thursday, April 23 at the University of San Juan, with tables to be attended by specialists from across the country.

Some details on the organization of the meeting and what is happening with mining pollution in San Juan, gave Graciela Fernandez in an online dialogue on the site Fernandez is a member of the Assembly San Juan against pollution and looting.

"We are in defense of common goods such as glaciers. We are opposed not only to megaminería but the entire political project only to pursue personal interests and elite groups, using a model that serves few and in no way at all. Gioja is because this fight for their interests, to defend their own business in San Juan mounted as Veladero and Pascua Lama is, "says Graciela.

- Why San Juan?

- "It seems important to generate a debate that is missing in San Juan and that the possibility of installing another position on what is now a concept that is closed, authoritarian government to impose its censorship. In San Juan we have to win a space to discuss the mining development that is taking place, which is not simply a 'model development' is actually a tax change our lives, works, links, families, that is our Identities. "

- To what extent there is an awareness of people about this tax that is being done, the destruction of identity?

- "The whole world realizes what Gioja does, what it is authoritarian, but that censorship has come down to self-censorship, which leads to non-participation and immobilization. This makes it Gioja face washed by a government with a popular social alleged policy, but deep down the San Juan knows what happens. We settled in places with projections and people come and say things like 'I knew this was not right' and give examples of sick people by mining and the problems generated by situations. "

- That people who come will be integrated into the assembly?

- "Not quite as integrated, rather Gioja know what they do and have a quiet support for our work."

- What is government retaliation for his activities?

- "There are colleagues who are facing threats. Since it is the assembly colleagues have prosecuted others who were prisoners, some who can not work as the case of Ernesto Lloveras who is a journalist and can not practice their profession. When we projected the seat-of-night police cars come and settle nearby. Because the law still prohibits the cinema audience is not even carry the projector. But coercion is, there are many police hanging around in San Juan. Anyway we have the conviction not to back down, you always have a wide call and not be afraid. People come at the national level and that the meeting is a recognition, even internationally, we can ensure that the development of activities. "

"Recently, the president announced in a hydroelectric dam in San Juan, Snails, and promised energy for the whole country. However for the assemblies is clear that it is energy for the company, Barrick Gold and other mining, because "the area is full of snails from mining projects." The imminent opening of a binational mining project Pascua Lama is directly related to the growing need for energy and haste in the time of construction of Caracoles, which has even been denounced for breaching safety rules after that embarrassment. "

- What is your relationship to the press in San Juan, as you can make complaints related to snails?

- "Except for some journalists who are persecuted, do not allow. El Diario de Cuyo is always on the side of power, moreover, is antisanjuanino the terrible damage he has done with his lies to create a breakdown of our identity. "

- What expectations for UAC 9?

- "Our greatest hope is the people coming from everywhere and with all the strength to raise their issues, and support our local issues. Also to achieve progress in the UAC to a position even more national. We come from the experiences of the assemblies, then the regional, and now we want to build a more domestic front, as they are always "one", ie how to work the cross is the same, regardless of the enclave they have. So we have to unify the struggle to maintain identity. "

Where do they get the water for these mining projects?

"Assemblies, researchers and activists are strongly considering the conflict between mining and polluting production activities as agriculture and livestock due to, among other things, the competition for the use of a scarce resource: water.

Following this line of work, talked with engineer Biodiversidadla Juan José Ramos, president of the Association of Independent Frutihorticultores vignerons and San Juan, to deepen the problems being experienced by that province will host the UAC 9.

Ramos explains that "the wine is very complicated, several years ago that we do not have profitability, we have a government that has defended us. It is an economy in the San Juan-Mendoza, who manages a group of no more than four companies, including Peñaflor. If the State fails, the group does what it wants monopoly with 20 thousand producers in the region. "

He also said that "the strategy is to shrink the state agricultural sector, concentrated, and thus more easily negotiate the water."

So from economic strangulation are small farmers diversify to survive?

"Today, no producer has only grapes, but they always have another activity besides produces melon, garlic, seeds, olives."

- This affects the production of the main product, the grapes?

"This last harvest we are leaving will be the smaller grape harvest in the last 40 years. Standing by the low profitability, the last five years many producers have gone: 17% of small have disappeared because they can not sustain the activity. We have also been affected by climate change and new pests, which makes losing the crop. "

Surprising that San Juan, the largest producer of grape-bearing in mind that Argentina is the world's largest exporter of concentrated grape juice, chooses to strangle the producers.

"Today we find that we will not have grape. San Juan in the middle of the grape is intended to make that juice. " It is required that the provincial plans provide water from producers to actors, so Ramos says "next to the problem of lack of profitability we advance the mining project, you need our water."

According to Ramos, this reallocation of resources is due to the shortage: "Every producer has a right to water law, allocated per hectare, and is historical. For many years, new rights suspended because not enough water to cover what had already been granted. Now that the mines are giving them the right to water, as we need water for agriculture. Sumale to that modification of the environment: 60 mil holes search made in a single year in the Cordillera. There is no inch of the San Juan mountain range that is not under concession. Where do they get the water for these mining projects, whose main input is water. "

Given this change in reality the producers come to protest, but the springs of the State are used to contain the discontent: "Those who oppose the mining project is not receiving any aid from the government. A producer complains receives nothing. Moreover, the situation we live in groups and we are at the forefront of the complaint is of constant threats and pressure on our sources of production through the inspections, as happened in the era of military rule, the era that was already involved in this activity and well I had consequences. "

"The San Juan are very pressured, and the people content with the regional parties and public works. We party every week, we had the feast of the sun, where they spent 14 million pesos, Susana Giménez took to read that mining is good. It is very difficult. Hopefully, the day the people of San Juan to rebel is not too late, even if it will help us to be before, "Ramos concludes.

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