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UPM/Botnia pulp mill conflict: pickets vote to challenge agreement

Thursday, August 26th 2010 - 03:35 UTC
Full article 10 comments
The road to the international bridge will be again blocked but on Sundays  The road to the international bridge will be again blocked but on Sundays

Argentina’s Gualeguaychú Assembly members decided to once again return to blocking the National Route 136 and this way obstruct the international road to neighbouring Uruguay; however, the measure will only take place during the Sundays of September and for a limited time, which came as a surprise.

It was also decided that on October 6, a new assembly-member summit would be held so as to determine how to carry on with a plan of action regarding the conflict over the instalment of the UPM (ex Botnia) pulp-mill plant close to the city of Fray Bentos, located on the eastern coast of the Uruguay River.

Gualeguaychú residents and environmentalists have been objecting since 2006 the establishment of the pulp mill on the Uruguayan side of the river, demanding it be re-located to impede air and water pollution.

The confrontation with pickets blocking all traffic across the international bridge led to a long diplomatic dispute between Argentina and Uruguay that came to an understanding following a ruling this year from the International Court of The Hague, and a political agreement between the Kirchner administration and the incoming Uruguayan government of president Jose Mujica.

Roughly 300 people took part in the assembly, which met at the Gualeguaychú Club Frigorífico, where the debate lasted almost two hours until the moment of the vote, which took place minutes before 11:00 pm.

The vote determined that the motion to return to the roadblock and obstruct the international pass prevailed, but the measure will only take effect during the Sundays of September while assembly members meet at kilometre 28, close to the historic rest stop of Arroyo Verde.

After last week's meeting failed to reach a satisfactory outcome and a final decision, the Gualeguaychú Assembly gathered once more to exchange opinions on the future of the General San Martín Bridge roadblock. How to continue the claim was the core of the debate. In the meantime, and in a move to cool the situation down, Foreign Affairs Minister Héctor Timerman assured “scientists are to start monitoring Botnia in less than a month.”

The Gualeguaychú activists decided to lift the roadblock two months ago, and were now faced with the deadline they had previously fixed. The Assembly was allegedly divided into two groups: those in favour of continuing the lift and those that were up for launching a new block. The bridge has remained open for the past two months.

 

Categories: Politics, Argentina.

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  • Hoytred

    A blockade one day a week ... interesting! Of course if they had learnt anything from the Government of Argentina, they'd only be doing it on one side of the road as well :-)

    Well, at least I now know why Argentina doesn't take its Falklands case to the ICJ ......... the ICJ's decision wouldn't be accepted unless it went one way .... a little like Argentina's desired 'discussions' on 'sovereignty' !

    Aug 26th, 2010 - 05:00 am 0
  • avargas2001

    if this roadblock can stop at least one “ 1114 mercedez menz” loaded with Argentine trees cut illegaly from our land from crossing into Uruguay every day, I believe it is worth the effort as a matter of fact I would have scrapped the bridge all together and re-map around it, or even avoid any travel from and into our country, just like israel does with Gaza, or US to N korea and Iran or even Mexican workers for that matter, I mean it's legal to protect your nation from illegal activity.

    Aug 26th, 2010 - 05:55 pm 0
  • elian_Ar

    lamentable to realise silly people like hoytred enjoy reading this news to exploit all his hate against Argentina.

    Aug 26th, 2010 - 10:45 pm 0
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