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Mounting pressure in Argentina for Justice to order removal of pickets

Friday, June 4th 2010 - 05:11 UTC
Full article 5 comments
Interior Minister Florencio Randazzo Interior Minister Florencio Randazzo

Pressure is mounting in Argentina for pickets blocking an international bridge leading to Uruguay to be ordered removed by a court order, following Wednesday’ presidential summit when Uruguay’s Jose Mujica and Argentina’s Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner agreed on a joint agenda of pending issues.

Pickets are blocking the Gualeguaychú/Fray Bentos bridge since 2006 to protest the construction and alleged contamination of a pulp mill which is already in full production and the International Court of The Hague (ICJ) ruled in April it was not polluting the waters of the shared River Uruguay.

Precisely on Wednesday the neighbouring countries decided on a joint timetable to begin the joint monitoring to international standards of the river’s waters and called on activists to end with the pickets, although promising not to use force. “Pickets are not illegal but illegitimate” said Mrs Kirchner. “Some pickets are rational, others are violent, it’s a methodology I disagree with, but it’s up to the courts to decide”.

On that line of action Argentina’s Foreign Minister Jorge Taiana assured that “Justice can have a role” in solving the roadblock conflict in Gualeguaychú, and affirmed that the blockade does not “benefit the interests of the Argentine people.”

“We hope that the activists can be convinced that their actions are not helping the country” said the minister.

Uruguay and Argentina’s relations have been strained since the beginning of the construction of the Botina-UPM pulp mill, but since taking office last March Uruguayan president Mujica has made it primary objective “normalizing” and “re-launching” relations with Argentina. A task made easier given the good chemistry of the former guerrilla leader with the all powerful couple that has been ruling Argentina since 2003.

Earlier in the day Argentine Interior Minister Florencio Randazzo said the government “does not agree with the activists' roadblocks” and once again highlighted that “the ICJ ruling assures Botnia does not pollute the area.”

On giving a solution to the issue, Randazzo stated that “lifting the roadblock has to be performed in an intelligent way, for repressing is not the best choice.”

The Interior Minister explained his point of view: “This conflict has brought about many controversial debates with Uruguay. And that is why we have to solve this situation in an intelligent way.”

When asked about the possibility that the government acting to clear the 136 Route if the Judiciary asks for it to do it, Randazzo hypothetically answered that “the government would have to comply with that initiative, but we would bear in mind to act in a cautionary way.”

For the Interior Minister, “to normalize the Argentine-Uruguay relations and to lift the roadblocks in the area” is one of the priorities of the government.

Categories: Politics, Argentina, Uruguay.
Financial Tags: UPMKY.

Top Comments

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  • khh

    More to the point what about all that oil in the Falklands jajajajajajaja!!!

    Jun 04th, 2010 - 01:35 pm 0
  • jerry

    What does this comment have to do with a bridge blockade into Uruguay?

    Jun 04th, 2010 - 02:55 pm 0
  • globetrotter

    Here we have a bunch of misguided idiots blocking an international border crossing on the pretext of environment protection yet, further inland, everywhere, you see pollution on a grand scale, and nobody protests, nobody lobbies federal / national government for changes in the law. I'm refering specifically to motor vehicle traffic...all those ancient, toxic smoke belching gas guzzling pick- ups, trucks, cars on the roads, the owners of which, pay very little in taxes however, if you buy a new, modern vehicle you get taken to the cleaners hence, there is little reason / logic in buying a 'clean' vehicle if the local goverment is going to tax you to death...well almost.

    Jun 04th, 2010 - 03:12 pm 0
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