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Do the bins pollute?

Do the bins pollute?

By Recosur

An old and never denied ranking prepared by the United Nations places the production of cellulose pulp among the five most polluting industrial activities. That is, those that release highly persistent by-products in the environment (mainly organochlorines) and potentially carcinogenic.

1) The future landscape of the Uruguay river coast?

Sergio Federovisky

Modernity, say the theorists, imposes new conflicts. Or old conflicts over new issues. Ecology appears as a novel topic, although it hides - or underlines, depending on how you see it - the essence of the habitual conflicts of humanity. The Catalan Joan Martinez Allier, without reductionism, argued academically that every environmental problem is really the emerging of an economic problem (the application of non-polluting technology or, rather, the resistance of the industry to apply it is the confirmation of this hypothesis) . Paraphrasing it, perhaps, from Gualeguaychú we can see that any battle whose thematic axis is the environment is basically an economic battle.


Tomás Maldonado said in his book Human Environment and Ideology that ecology was surely a fad. But that like all fashion, its useful side is that, once it is replaced by another fashion, something leaves at least in the collective unconscious. Even though these are the scraps of fashion, it is well worth analyzing a conflict for reasons that are somewhat more human, somewhat less immediate or grotesque than those to which we are accustomed.

The scandal of the paper mills that Uruguay accepted to build in Fray Bentos, on the banks of the river of the same name of the affectionately called "paisito", and the consequent battle unleashed between distrustful neighbors, environmentalists in their sauce, politicians recently arrived at ecology, diplomats annoyed with the excess of sloppiness proposed by the popular struggle and businessmen who act as if they had never even thrown a paper out of the basket represents an unprecedented staging by these neighborhoods: the arrival of conflicts born and sustained in the defense of the environment.

Globalphobic activists and many First World environmental activists may present similar fighting credentials. However, almost no one can claim to have placed an environmental slogan at the center of a popular struggle. And indeed, although it sounds demodé and seventies, the epic of 40,000 people - over 70,000 total inhabitants - cutting an international bridge back in April and dozens of subsequent cuts with no more organization than the spontaneous one of a small city can only be defined as a popular struggle.

But before reaching the description of each of the protagonists and the tactics or strategies that summon, confront or equate them, it is convenient to describe the true essence, the curtain on which the crisis unfolds.

Green deserts

Approximately 25 years ago, the international paper consuming industry discovered that its stock of trees was decreasing, that demand was increasing and that increasing environmental regulations in the First World were detrimental to such activity. Consequently, the supply of cellulose pulp - unavoidable raw material for making paper - was beginning to enter into future risk.

As we are in capitalism, we must not forget it, the cellulose pulp posters –commanded by the Nordics, because of the fact that at the dawn of the industry it was from the Scandinavian pines where the best cellulose was obtained– began to plan the XXI century. And they discovered that vast territories, perhaps once forested and later cattle-raising, could shelter new forests, but this time planted with their future role (or future role) in mind. Thus were born what many prestigious ecologists and biologists called "green deserts": thousands of hectares of beautiful forests made up of a single species.

"Why do you think Uruguay is not a forest country?" They asked the current minister of Livestock, Fisheries and Agriculture of that country, the picturesque José "Pepe" Mugica, who, incidentally, spoke in favor of the investment that the paper mills will mean, as long as they do not environmentally mortgage the Uruguay River. "Because I never saw nature do the stupid thing about making a forest with only one species," he explained as the best of experts in plant ecology.

The world's cellulose pulp producers specified what, also in 1970s language, was known as the "international division of labor" and is today described as a harmful but inescapable by-product of globalization. They determined that the cellulose pulp that the central countries will continue to consume (either for direct consumption or to make paper that we will then import to non-central countries) will be obtained in these peripheral nations with fertile lands, cheap labor, pollutant scenarios and environmental laws. persistently lax.

In this way they devised the process, knowing in advance that at the end of the development of the forest of a single species (in general, eucalyptus) there should be a "pastera" (plant for obtaining cellulose base pulp) waiting.

From those massive forestations to these bins

That is why the representative businessmen of the Finnish company Botnia –one of the two in conflict in front of Gualeguaychú– say and write that they are completing the chain of a forestry development pole. For this reason, they say that there will be "pasteras" in the entire Uruguay river basin, in order to process the thousands of trees already grown there at the foot of the forestations. And that is why, rudely, they say that if they persist in their opposition to the paper mills, the government of Entre Ríos - a territory with a greater amount of planted forests than the Eastern Republic of Uruguay - will have to import tons of petroleum jelly to locate somewhere so many eucalyptus.

So brutal is the process of granting roles by international capital, that it is already known that of the total annual production of cellulose base pulp of the two Fray Bentos paper mills, 90 percent is already previously placed in markets of the United States and Europe.

Here is the pollution and some foreign exchange.

Actors

"If today one follows a direct call to act, that action will not be carried out in an empty space, but within hegemonic ideological coordinates: those who 'really want to do something to help people' engage in (undoubtedly honorable) feats such as Doctors without Borders, Greenpeace, feminist and anti-racist campaigns that are not only tolerated, but even supported by the media, even when apparently meddling in economic territory (say, denouncing and boycotting companies that do not respect ecological conditions or using child labor). They are tolerated and supported as long as they do not get too close to a certain limit. This type of activity provides the perfect example of interpassivity: of doing things not to achieve something, but to prevent something from happening. really happen, something really changes. "

The previous paragraph was not written now, nor was it written by any participant in the bins brawl. It was written by the Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek in a book with the title of the Cold War (About Lenin) but a contemporary subtitle (Politics and Subjectivity in Late Capitalism). It will be convenient to reread it in a while when the result of the battle for the wastebaskets is what the actors with common sense already glimpse: a Uruguayan president cutting the ribbon of supposed progress for his fellow citizens.

1. Uruguay

The country is tied not to the decision of this or the previous government but to what many market-loving economists sanctify as "state policies." The State policy of Uruguay on this issue, we insist, was decided a quarter of a century ago when massive afforestation began, without considering either the negative ecological impact of forest monoculture or the subsequent of the pasture plants that must inevitably be installed at the end of the process. .

That is why on the immediate horizon appears the conditions established by the paper companies that, knowing and driving this process, imposed monumentally leonine clauses on the Uruguayan State in case of breach of contracts. And, once the current stumbling block of the conflict with Argentina - rather, with the people of Gualeguaychú - has been overcome, there is a string of pastoralist projects to be installed on that site.

2. Gualeguaychú

Aware of the unhappy history of the cellulosic industry in terms of pollution in the world, the citizens of Gualeguaychú are clear executors of the NIMBY policy ("Not In My Back Yard", something like "not in my garden"). So much so, that when the negotiating proposal to move the bins one hundred kilometers south of Gualeguaychú came from the Argentine Foreign Ministry, many breathed relief because "I am not going to suffer it." Only Greenpeace put the ball on the ground a bit in this last stretch of this story, pointing out that this was a way of managing the conflict without resolving the underlying issue.

But even when NIMBY seems like a selfish look at the conflict, it is no less true that no one asked the population of Gualeguaychú if they wanted to pay with an environmental impact for the alleged economic and labor benefit of third parties (the Uruguayans).

3. Argentina

It is the worst situation in the conflict. The country has little moral authority to demand that Uruguay stop an allegedly polluting industry. Argentina remains, in the eyes of anyone who observes the matter with dispassion, a prey to the double standard. On the one hand, it appears threatening to go to international forums to defend its right to a healthy environment and, on the other, the country has an environmental mess that is impossible to hide within its borders.

Let's cite a pertinent example. Argentina bases its diplomatic protest over the wastebasket issue on the shared resource - the Uruguay River - that appears threatened by this project. Just two months ago, a study carried out by Freplata - a bi-national environmental organization from the Rio de la Plata - was released, where the record contamination of the Río de la Plata was in evidence. The report contained three categorical conclusions regarding this "shared resource" between Buenos Aires and Montevideo: a) that Uruguay had reversed the pollution of sewage origin that had been expressed on its coasts a decade ago; b) that the coast of Buenos Aires had reached levels of contamination similar to those of the Riachuelo and the Río de la Plata at the same time and to date; c) that almost all of the contamination of the Río de la Plata as a body of water is explained by the uncontrolled activity of the industries located on the Argentine side and by the lack of treatment of sewage waste from the cities located from Santa Fe to Magdalena .

Do the bins pollute?

An old and never denied ranking prepared by the United Nations places the production of cellulose pulp among the five most polluting industrial activities. That is, those that release highly persistent by-products in the environment (mainly organochlorines) and potentially carcinogenic.

Both Ence (of Spanish origin) and Botnia (of Finnish origin) have –directly or because of the technology they use– precarious antecedents in this matter. Ence, in particular, has managed for 50 years a cellulose pulp production plant in Pontevedra, in the Galician estuaries. Legend has it that Ence, originally from the Franco state, was installed with a clean bayonet by the hand of the generalissimo who proposed that the state and factory were synonymous with progress, leave the line (social, environmental) that they leave. Marches, protests and even a firm conviction for customary environmental damage did not get Ence to leave the rías baixas and, with it, the smell of rotten eggs (hydrogen sulfide) characteristic of the process of separating lignin from wood. The mayor of Pontevedra has recommended to his peer from Gualeguaychú that they do the impossible to prevent the Ence plant in Fray Bentos. And he is presumed to know what he is talking about.

Botnia - or its technology - is attributed both the supposed cleanup of the pulp production in the Helsinki surroundings and two episodes that are as confusing as they are harmful to the environment. One, that of a plant installed in Valdivia, Chile, where official United States organizations demanded the cessation of its operation for having destroyed the natural sanctuary of Río Cruces, where out of 6,000 swans, only 300 were burdened by the pollution released upstream. The other is the Espiritu Santo plant in Brazil, where they share criticism of factory pollution with accusations of having favored the loss of native forests in favor of mega-plantations of pines and eucalyptus with a paper horizon.

Experts say that not only the release of huge amounts of harmful substances is a reason for pollution. A beach like the one used by tourists who go to Gualeguaychú, in front of which a chimney is erected alien to any natural landscape, can well be considered to have been contaminated.

There will also be those who ask why so much fuss if our coexistence with this environmental threat predates the Fray Bentos conflict: in Brazil alone the pulp industry contains 220 manufacturing plants and in Argentina there are a dozen industries, all of them to the Vera del Paraná and some of them with complaints and closures due to contamination.

Others will argue that it is a new episode in the saga that confronts the environment with progress and that it is only a matter of controlling that it is not contaminated above the allowed values ​​(of contamination). But it will be more difficult to explain, without resorting to the classics and a certain seventies, why the European Union decided to eradicate from its territory for the next decade cellulose pulp production technology that persists and is inaugurated day by day in these suburbs.

We must ask ourselves, in the sea of ​​globalization, how much ecology is up to the most unequal part of the world.

Source: www.pagina12.com.ar (Argentina)

2 more of course, pour water on it: bins: they will not pass

01/25/06 - In recent months much and varied has been heard about the pulp mills, here is an eloquent, argumentative and informative note from Friends of the Earth.

It is not a question of taking the left meter to measure who is more progressive, or checking the historical DNA to see if we are brother or half brother peoples, validating the protest according to whether there are 10 or 200 militants with or without the governor, or equalizing the demand based on an environmental tradition that authorizes or not to give an opinion.

It's not like that. It's about us. It is about the Uruguay River on which there is a binational preservation treaty that is being violated, the intention of powerful European corporations to which it IS POSSIBLE TO KICK OUT due to popular pressure and that of the law (more banned cellulose plants are already arriving in other parts of the world).

This fight should not be played in the field of defense or destabilization of any government. It is about the sovereign decision of the peoples to defend their right to life. More clear…

“Here what we are defending is a model of life, a humanitarian way, a different model from the one that has been proposed, a way that makes us protagonists of our own history and not that powerful countries come to impose us as they have been doing. for many centuries, the way we have to live. We Argentines and the Uruguayan people have to stand up and say "No gentlemen" we choose our way of living, we want to take care of our resources, we know that here under the soles of our feet there is an aquifer that will provide drinking water, which is the vital resource that is ending and we want to take care of it in preservation of human life. "

Full note:

Conversation with Lilia Moyano, from the head of the general artigas international bridge, in colon, between rivers.

My name is Lilia Moyano. I belong to the Environmental Citizen Assembly of Colón de Entre Ríos, and since Thursday we have been intercepting the four trucks that were going to the Botnia company, which carry the structures to make the plants, they were going to pass through our bridge, so we intercepted them and Colón's neighbors blocked their way. There are five trucks here (for one more that Greenpeace had blocked).

Then our lawyer from the Environmental Assembly of Gualeguaychú, Colón, of the Forum of the Assemblies of the Basin, presented before the court of Concepción del Uruguay, a demand that the neighbors requested, considering that the plants are polluting and there are many objective elements to To affirm it, the neighbors request that the trucks that go with merchandise or structures, whatever it is, to the Botnia and Ence companies do not transit through Argentine territory. The prosecutor could not issue it because she said she had to wait for the results of the Binational Commission, which would be delivered on January 31. The judge then respected the decision of the prosecutor, and the judge will decide after January 31 when the prosecutor presents her report.

The neighbors decided to stay on the road, at the head of the bridge so that no truck that goes to the company passes, as long as the judge has not issued it. So we will stay 14 more days on the bridge. The bridge is not closed, it is open, there is no roadblock, it is free to transit, we only block the way for the trucks that go to the companies. So far here at the head of the bridge there are four. For two days, 20km away at a service station, which is on the bridge route, which is the 135 and the national route 14, there are two more trucks waiting to pass that go to the Botnia company, and at the toll of Gualeguaychú, since yesterday afternoon there are four more trucks, also destined to pass through Colón and are waiting there, at a service station that is at the exit of Gualeguaychú.

When the truck came, there were four of them coming together, we stopped in the middle of the road, by the place where they were going to pass, and we started clapping and shouting and saying that "They will not pass, they will not pass." The trucks had to stop. The gendarmerie lowered the barrier to the situation. We had 150 people at that time. The trucks were then stopped and our lawyers began to act.

For us it is important that the cargo that they take to Botnia does not reach its destination, because Uruguay allows companies to settle, even that they are being built, that their port is being built, in binational violation that exists which is the Uruguay River Treaty . The sister Republic of Uruguay, by unanimous decision, decided that the plants be installed and that the port be built. The Uruguay River is a resource shared by both countries, so that is why this treaty exists. The consultation should have been made to Argentina and should have been agreed.


The neighbors decided to enforce the treaty in this way. Not allowing the material to reach the destination, because the plants are illegal and there is also accurate data that they are highly polluting. So much so that the method they are going to use, as of 2007 in Europe it will no longer be used. As of 2007, European regulations say that the method for bleaching cellulose pulp is the totally chlorine-free method. Here the entrepreneurs of Botnia and Ence say that they are using the latest technology, which is not true, because it is in force for this year, but it already expires and from next year, the other technology will be used.

In any case, beyond the technologies that are used, the citizens of Entre Ríos ask ourselves, what is the model that we want, what is the economic model that we want for our region. We do not want pulp mills, because pulp mills imply monoculture, it implies dams on our river, it implies that an industrial model is going to be imposed, when the town of Entre Ríos, naturally, in the Uruguay River basin, is choosing a sustainable tourist economic model . All this is being signed behind the backs of the citizens of the town of Entre Ríos. Therefore, we are stopping the trucks on the road, so that the plants are not installed.

We are talking about the tourism model that we choose. The city of Gualeguaychú is the first carnival in the country. It is a highly touristic city and the city of Colón of course is also and everyone knows it. If we allow the pulp mills to be installed, we are changing the model that we choose to live. This is something that we share among all the neighbors, among all of us who live in the basin. Whether or not they are in favor of pulp mills, what people say is that they want a tourism model, because it is the model that is naturally making us a sustainable economy, without depredation of the environment, leaving a promising future for generations that come, not allowing the contamination of the river, by the system of dams or by the system that is used for the bleaching of the pulp.

We want a sustainable model in the region, and the processes that are taking place in the region are already showing it. The roadblocks, the blockades of bridges, here of trucks, are demonstrating social processes in opposition to a model that is being imposed, in this case from European countries.

The cause that we are fighting in Entre Ríos, that the population, that the Argentine and Uruguayan citizens understand that it is a cause for the future of all. The Uruguayan people and the Argentine people will be seriously affected by the pulp mill facilities. For the Argentine people, this should be a national cause, we aspire for it to be, because what we are doing is defending our natural resources. Given the great famine that exists in the world, it cannot be that a river is polluted, or that the land is used for monoculture, a perfectly cultivable land, which would provide food and solve the problem of hunger in many regions of the world surely.

What we are defending here is a model of life, a humanitarian way, a different model to the one that has been proposed, a way that makes us protagonists of our own history and not that powerful countries come to impose us as they have been doing since. many centuries ago, the way we have to live. We Argentines and the Uruguayan people have to stand up and say "No gentlemen" we choose our way of living, we want to take care of our resources, we know that here under the soles of our feet there is an aquifer that will provide drinking water, which is the vital resource that is ending and we want to take care of it in preservation of human life.

Source: Friends of the Earth

3) Living together with the contamination of the pulp mill in Pontevedra

This letter was sent to the Guayubira Group by a Spanish citizen who has lived since childhood with the effects produced by a pulp mill of the Spanish company ENCE, the same one that intends to set up in Fray Bentos. This company is the one that has destroyed the environment in Pontevedra, the place from which this letter was sent on October 20, 2003.

The testimony is very valuable in itself, because it describes how living conditions in this region of Spain worsened, in pursuit of a "development" and an improvement in employment that have not been such.

Letter from Pontevedra

Hello friends,
My name is Maricarmen, I live on the outskirts of the city of Pontevedra, eight km from the ENCE complex, when the wind blows from the South I get the smell of the sea, when it comes from the North, it smells like a “rotten egg”. They are the smells that accompanied me all my life. My house is in a corner of the Pontevedra estuary, a miniature paradise, clouded by the constant smoke that comes out of the three chimneys of Cellulosas.

I know that the Uruguayan landscape also has its little paradises, and someone has told me that Celluloses are going to install you there: Don't allow it! Fight with all your might, with all the weapons you have at hand! Do not make pacts with the devil.

Politicians will tell you that many jobs will be created and that science has advanced a lot today, that pollution is a thing of the past. Don't believe them! It's a lie!… They will pollute your waters, fill the air with a smell of chlorine that will irritate the eyes and throats of children, and cancer will increase alarmingly.

You will pay for each job with hundreds of people affected by respiratory diseases. Ah! And Uruguayans do not dream of having a position of responsibility in that company, never that! Because being a high position means having access to all kinds of privileged information about what is really contaminated and about the damage that is caused; therefore, those who hold those positions will be foreign people. They will also have to hire graduates in Chemistry, but there will be no Uruguayan chemists occupying those positions, it is forbidden, they will bring people from outside, people who do not suffer, who are not involved with the environment.

The only jobs that there will be for Uruguayans will be for workers who do hard work, those who have to carry the heavy work and risk for their health, those who are in contact with danger.

I would like to write you a short, clear, precise letter, with scientific data that would make you understand, but I am unable to do so because since I was born I have lived this environment, therefore, the information that I can give you is composed of memories, sensations, smells and pains. Everything mixed. Above all the memories… I am going to tell you a few: I am 44 years old, when I was born, Cellulosas was just established. I remember that my parents spoke of the resistance of our people to some sandy areas full of shellfish and natural wealth, being desecrated by some heartless. The repression was terrible, they were times of dictatorship, mounted police charging women, the elderly and children.

I remember when I was little and was at the beach with my father. He put his hand between the stones, and when he took it out, he had three or four crabs hooked to his fingers, we collected mussels and limpets stuck to the rocks and we played with the innumerable seahorses. Now I am a mother and I cannot share this with my children, because there are no more crabs between the stones; the mussels only grow in the trays and before eating them they must go through the treatment plant *; seahorses are a rarity and the water is disgusting.

I remember when I was twelve years old, I was studying at a nuns' college and I had classmates who lived around celluloses. Every day, laughing, they told me anecdotes from their daily life: They couldn't leave their clothes to dry in the garden, because when they went to pick them up, it was full of holes. They went to protest in the cellulose offices and they paid them double what the clothes were worth, in exchange for their silence. The blinds of their houses were also filled with holes, and even the aluminum of the windows was damaged. "No problem," they said, "cellulose pays for everything."

But little by little those girls were leaving, they no longer came to school, their parents left the house and went to another place, far from here.

I remember that one day, a teacher took us to visit the factory, we were thirty girls, in our schoolgirl uniforms. The guide was taking us through the less dangerous places and recited the same phrase over and over again, that pollution was non-existent and there was no danger. But we had to go where he sent us, without straying to the forbidden places. Suddenly one of the girls started crying and screaming. She was the daughter of one of the workers who worked there; his father was in the Hospital because a few days ago, he had to do a job in one of the dangerous places and he had forgotten to put on his asbestos suit.

We didn't know what that meant, but we all started crying and the teacher, embarrassed, took us out of there.

I remember about fifteen years ago, my children were very young. That day the television news was great fun. The cameras had moved to the sandy areas next to cellulose because a very curious event had occurred there:

The shellfish women who had been working since early morning made statements, cried and laughed. Some said they had seen a kind of UFO, others that something supernatural had appeared to them. They all had the creeps and goose bumps. Some were vomiting and others were dizzy and faint. They spoke of a kind of cloud that suddenly enveloped them and their bodies shook. The experts debated before the cameras and said that, without a doubt, it was a collective suggestion and "you know, these ignorant people do things like that." All Spain laughed at the poor shellfish women who did not know what was happening to them.

That same night I received a call from Canada, my husband is a merchant marine and was on the shores of Terra Nova. He was terrified when he spoke to me. Y yo… ¡no me había enterado de nada!.El noticiario de aquél país contó la verdad: “Una fábrica de celulosas ubicada en las Rías Bajas gallegas, tuvo un escape de gas, y durante varias horas, toda la Península del Morrazo, al Sur de Galicia, vivió con terror la situación de peligro. Se temía por la vida de miles de personas en caso de que hubiera una explosión”. Los noticiarios de España no sabían nada y se limitaron a hacernos reír con las bobadas de Ovnis y apariciones, para que no supiéramos la verdad.

Y así, día a día, con cuentagotas, se suceden los pequeños desastres, recuerdos que vamos contando a quién quiere escuchar.

Uno no tiene sensación de peligro, la vida cotidiana transcurre normalmente y la vida se disfruta; pero cuando miras esas chimeneas recuerdas el dolor. Cuando miras el humo, sientes la sombra de la muerte, que te aguarda sin hacer ruido.

Bueno amigos, esto es todo lo que yo puedo contaros, no sé si he sido capaz de transmitiros todo lo que siento, no sé si habéis comprendido, no sé si mi carta os dará fuerzas para luchar y sabiduría para resistir. ¡Animo!. Desde aquí mi apoyo incondicional y un gran abrazo para todos.

Vuestra amiga
María del Carmen Santos Piñeiro

4) Los Charruas no son el enemigo principal

Contraponer desarrollo económico con cuidado del ecosistema, es una de las falacias que a impuesto Washington en los distintos foros mundiales. En la controversia en torno a las papeleras que se están instalando en Fray Bentos, lentamente estamos comenzando a desbarrancarnos. De un lado del río se habla de ecología, del otro de terminar con el hambre de los niños. Y en ambos casos hay quienes están atizando el fuego del chovinismo.

Los pueblos de Argentina y Uruguay, deberíamos comenzar a pensar que el enemigo principal no está en la ribera de enfrente. No es tarde todavía para que recordemos que los imperialismo fueron históricamente muy hábiles en explotar las pequeñas diferencias que a veces solemos tener.

No se termina de entender porque el gobierno uruguayo, el del Frente Amplio, estamos hablando, el que venció a la oligarquía de los partidos Nacional y Colorado, tiene una política tan chovinista con el tema de las papeleras. No se termina de entender como el dirigente del MPP (ex-Tupamaros) Eleuterio Fernández Huidobro haya tratado a la izquierda uruguaya como: "la pintoresca izquierda cholula de Uruguay, que no sólo se parece cada día más a los porteños sino que lisa y llanamente se ha pasado a su bando, como en el estridente y vergonzoso caso de las papeleras". No fueron menos lamentables las declaraciones del diputado del MPP, Carlos Gamou, que después de la acción de Greenpeace en el muelle de Botnia, dijo refiriéndose a la organización ecologista: "Les haría falta escuchar un poco más el ruido insoportable de niños con hambre y dejarse de joder con el ruido de los pajaritos.

Desde nuestro lado no podemos suponer que un gobernador como el entrerriano Jorge Busti, devenido en "ambientalista", se haya transformado en un dirigente, aunque sea progresista. Sólo hay que ver la política de su gobierno en materia educativa y en referencia al conflicto docente durante 2005, para darnos cuenta que lo más alejado de una política popular es Busti. Algunas voces del gobierno nacional, le hacen coro. Y en algunos ámbitos el tufillo chovinista comienza a hacer pie. Por su parte los grandes medios de prensa de ambas orillas le agregan, cada día, un poco de condimento al "diferendo", con lo cual aumentan la tirada, tienen un tema caliente en el verano y como de costumbre juegan hacen su juego a favor de las clases dominantes.

En un momento en que los pueblos latinoamericanos comienzan a mirarse a si mismos como hermanos. En un momento en se comienza a hablar seriamente de integración latinoamericana. Cuando varios países comienzan a pararse frente a los yanquis con políticas independientes. En un momento así no podemos permitirnos ni por asomo que nos vuelvan a dividir como en el siglo XIX.

Artigas no fue el enemigo de los porteños, ese fue el bolazo que nos hicieron tragar los escribas de la historiografía oficial y oligárquica. Artigas fue el enemigo de la oligarquía y luchó por la libertad de los de abajo. En la Buenas Aires del segundo decenio del siglo XIX, era la oligarquía la que mandaba. La misma que hacía negocios con el imperialismo inglés y que años más tarde masacró -junto con las clases dominante brasilera y uruguaya- al pueblo paraguayo.

La defensa del medio ambiente encarada por la Asamblea Ambientalista de Guleguaychú es correcta. El río no le pertenece ni al gobierno uruguayo, ni al argentino, tampoco a Botnia o Ense. El río Uruguay pertenece a todos los habitantes de estas tierras, luchar por impedir su contaminación es un deber para cada uno de nosotros.

Pero estamos -en las dos orillas- caminando por el filo del chovinismo. Caer en ese terreno sería hacerle el juego a la derecha, a los capitalistas, a los imperialismos. A los que históricamente dividieron y saquearon América Latina.

Carlos Antón
Agencia Walsh

5) Banco mundial: la decisión de financiar plantas de celulosa aún no ha sido tomada

Comunicado de prensa 24 de enero de 2006

El 23 de enero, cuatro representantes del Banco Mundial [1] se reunieron con el Grupo Guayubira para solicitar aportes del grupo acerca del proceso de consulta que dicho organismo llevará a cabo vinculado con el préstamo solicitado por Botnia y Ence a la Corporación Financiera Internacional.

Patricio Nelson, integrante de la empresa contratada por el Banco para actuar como facilitadora en el proceso de consulta, explicó que ésta se llevará a cabo en base al informe de evaluación de impacto acumulativo producido por la empresa Pacific Consultants International y que todas las partes interesadas podrán presentar sus opiniones al respecto.

Los representantes de Guayubira cuestionaron el proceso, dado que el informe de la consultora japonesa contratada por el Banco para hacer la evaluación de impactos acumulados de las dos plantas de celulosa carece de la objetividad necesaria como para constituirse en base de una discusión seria e informada.

Al respecto, se presentaron varios ejemplos concretos demostrando que el informe está totalmente sesgado a favor de la forestación y de las fábricas de celulosa. En particular se denunció:

– afirmaciones sin fundamento científico con respecto a las "bondades" de la forestación, en particular la afirmación de que las plantaciones aumentan la biodiversidad

– la manipulación de información acerca del empleo generado en la forestación
– el uso selectivo de información, omitiendo (de un mismo estudio) las partes críticas a la forestación y destacando sólo las consideradas positivas
– la omisión de información relevante, en particular con respecto a la generación de dioxinas por plantas con proceso de blanqueo en base a dióxido de cloro, tales como las que se plantea instalar en Uruguay
– la utilización de muy escasas fuentes de información acerca de la contaminación generada por este tipo de plantas y todas ellas vinculadas directamente a la industria de la celulosa
– la adjetivación utilizada para esconder aspectos esenciales como la generación de residuos peligrosos ("pequeñas cantidades"), cuando en realidad se trata de unas 200 toneladas anuales
– la inexistencia de estudios concretos acerca de los supuestos empleos indirectos que generarían las plantas de celulosa
– la falta de seriedad en afirmaciones acerca de que las fábricas no tendrán impactos negativos sobre el turismo, la apicultura y la pesca, basadas en la creencia no demostrada de que ni contaminarán ni su olor será significativo

Además, los representantes de Guayubira cuestionaron declaraciones públicas realizadas por funcionarios del Banco con relación a ese informe, que han resultado en el fortalecimiento de posiciones favorables a la instalación de las plantas, tanto por parte de las empresas como del gobierno y el consiguiente debilitamiento de quienes las cuestionan, tanto en Uruguay como en Argentina.

En base a la poca seriedad del informe y a la situación política generada por el mismo, Guayubira recomendó al Banco que se exija a la empresa consultora que mejore sustancialmente su informe para que entonces pueda servir de base para la consulta amplia que el Banco desea realizar.

Al mismo tiempo, se planteó la interrogante acerca de si este estudio refleja una posible decisión tomada de antemano por el Banco, a lo que Mark Constantine (alto funcionario del Departamento de Industria y Servicios Globales de la Corporación Financiera Internacional) respondió enfatizando que "la decisión aún no ha sido tomada" y que "a esta altura necesitamos conocer las contradicciones que se identifiquen en este informe".

[1] Mark Constantine, Richard English, Yolande Duhem y Patricio Nelson

* Extractado del Boletín de Recosur No. 768


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