The environmental assembly from Gualeguaychu whose pickets are blocking access to an international bridge leading to Uruguay in protest over the building of an allegedly highly contaminating pulp mill, have anticipated that they will no lift the pickets if an international court ruling favors Uruguay.
The International Court of The Hague is expected this Tuesday to rule on Uruguay's claim that the blockage of bridges is contrary to the free circulation of people and goods, but Jose Pouler one of the assembly's coordinators has been quoted saying that "we couldn't care less" if the ruling finally supports Uruguay, "we will continue with our protests, we're fighting for life and the habitat of our children". "If international economic power is so strong as to force the International Court of The Hague to tell us to clear the route and bridges, we will be making our own decision. The only exchange chip to lifting the blockages is that Finland's Botnia leaves Fray Bentos and relocates the pulp mill under construction", underlined Pouler. Although the administration of Argentine president Nestor Kirchner is contrary to the road and bridge blockages, it has consistently rejected to use force against permanent pickets in Gualeguaychu or those acting in a more programmed and limited way in the two other crossings in Colon and Concordia, further to the north. Kirchner's cabinet chief has repeatedly argued that the administration will not impede Argentine citizens from "freely expressing themselves", and thus will only persuade but not resort to public force. However President Kirchner has warned that it will not tolerate any interruption or disturbances in the Buenos Aires ferry terminal from where thousands of Argentine tourists travel every day to Uruguay in the high season. Actually a few days ago there was a peaceful attempt to interfere but a huge display of riot squads from the Argentine Coast Guard deterred any actions which was limited to a distribution of pamphlets among passenger traveling on holiday to Montevideo and Colonia.