“The march runs along Route 40 as the backbone of a struggle that never gave up, not even in the most complex moments. Meanwhile, thelobby miner together with Governor Rodolfo Suárez juggle during these hours to support a reform of Law 7722, which they should never have touched ”.
Once again the roosters and midnights wake up to make the plunder the green light flag to the spoils of the territories. The voices have multiplied from various sectors. From the socio-environmental assemblies, the Mapuche communities, peasant organizations, piqueteros and union organizations, to vine growers and ruralistas. Without forgetting entire families who mobilize on a Sunday until late at night or those who camp on the side of the roads waiting for a march that could already be titled: the “March of Dignity for Water”, which started Sunday at 8 in the morning on foot, bicycle, skateboard or whatever. The march runs along Route 40 as the backbone of a struggle that never gave up, not even in the most complex moments. Meanwhile, thelobby Miner together with Governor Rodolfo Suárez juggle during these hours to support a reform of Law 7722, which they should never have touched.
The wick was lit more than a decade ago in Patagonia, in that south that knows what it is to tan in the heat of the cold. It was born when the town of Esquel opposed a gold extraction project by the El Desquite company. In those decisive hours, the assemblies multiplied and the mobilizations grew in Chubut. Hence the contagion that led to a fire being lit in Mendoza, more precisely in San Carlos. Perhaps as if the words of Eduardo Galeano were inscribed in the open veins of the southern lands, as real as that "The world is that (...) A lot of people, a sea of little fires." These little fires mobilize the people of the province of Cuyo during these hours to mobilize from the four cardinal points towards the static heart of the institutionality: the house of dis-government.
On Friday the backs were the faces of the vast majority of legislators. Faces facing the people from behind and behind the fences. A fan that reconfigures the political map on all sides. A romance that lasted thirty seconds at the national and provincial level. A mandate built from above, from a structure so magnanimous that it leaks. Mendoza reflects it like the crystalline image of the face in any water mirror in these lands, the town clearly reflects that "Mendoza's Water is not Negotiated." Mendoza and Chubut these days have the same path: unity and the street as a horizon, before the attacks of the national and provincial governments. Undoubtedly like the cry of the feminist movement when it sentences "down with romantic love."
The snail strategy
The snail walks with millimeter constancy. Slowly and without pause. Strategy is essential. As in the film by Colombian director Sergio Cabrera, strategy is what defines and sets the path. The path in Mendoza has been and is unity in diversity. A unit that has been diverse, multicolored and rebellious from the beginning. Rebellion that was expressed last Friday in a town on the brink of sedition while legislators composed a picture that failed to anchor either surrealism or the most insightful realism. Even less in the few bodies that, with and without helmets, made the parody of the happy miner, before the metaphysical promise of a world of progress and colored mirrors.
It has been years, more than a decade that consciousness has advanced and has posed a scenario of great political and social mobility, when it was thought that Mendoza was in his eternal nap, where the defense of water was forgotten. The slogan of the calm and calm province, inhabitant of the harvest neatness falls to the ground again. To such an extent, that the town of Alvear will demand tomorrow the suspension of the Departmental Harvest Festival. This time the board castled and scored voucher four. Anarchists, Marxists and Peronists were confused at the doors of the Legislature. Doña Rosa and her saucepan along with Greenpace were also shouting and the boy without a shirt climbed into the vent of Independencia Square with his sign that read: "7722 belongs to the People." Is that the treatmentexpress that gave both the Chamber of Deputies and Senators has made a capture of that attribute that this law has had: that of being of the people. It was born from the popular mobilization in 2007 and lasted until Friday in that place. In special sessions of both chambers, the reform of Law 7722 was addressed, the bill of which entered just a few days after the new UCR governor, Roberto Suárez, took office, and which carried the handwriting of the person who occupies the seat of San Martin. On Friday there was a “kidnapping” of this nature by part of an important arc of local politics and it highlights the networks of power.
The strategy is decisive. Water is strategic for life. A new turn to nature highlights Mother Earth and water. This was understood by the people of San Carlos when in 2006 it carried out the first cuts on National Route 40 and the first fast at the gates of the Legislature in the hands of Autoconvocados de San Carlos. These actions would be the hinge for the first mobilizations to begin in the capital of Mendoza. The interventions at the Water Festival in the Plaza Independencia and the escrache at the door of his own house, the then radical governor, Julio Cleto Cobos, undoubtedly constituted the spearhead of a social movement that has grown day by day . Talks, workshops, plays, open radios multiplied in different parts of the province.
In a pre-electoral context and before Cobos's negotiations for his candidacy for vice-presidency together with Cristina Fernández, in those old times of the agreement, with Marita Perceval at the head, he ended with the veto of the prohibition law of the mega-mining that the Legislature had approved. That veto lifted the people of Mendoza decidedly from north to south. The roadblocks in San Carlos and the historic town of Alvear formed the basis of what is now known as Law 7722. It prohibits the use of toxic substances (cyanide, sulfuric acid, mercury, among others) in the process of leaching from mining and has been the legal tool that has been a retaining wall for mega-mining projects. However, this regulation has not meant the cancellation of mining activity in the province at all, but rather a barrier to the methods used by large-scale gold, silver and copper mining.
Twelve years passed and things happened: successive attempts to modify or violate 7722 through the Potasio Río Colorado, San Jorge, Hierro Indio and Cerro Amarillo projects. The governments of Cobos and Cornejo passed through the UCR and Jaque and Pérez through the PJ and no one could move the law. The Supreme Court of Mendoza issued the constitutionality of the rule in 2015 and in 2017 ratified said decision, even putting in value the progressive nature of the law in the preservation of water, such a fundamental good for life in Mendoza.
A shipwreck named Suarez
It started with the inexperience of those who believe that having been mayor of the Mendoza capital gives him thepiné to do and unmake as in the capital municipality. From some circles of radicalism they point out him as the most PRO of the radicals. His reading in the assembly of his team was to take his people and support two bishops of Alfredo Cornejo, former governor and today National Senator and a key piece of national radicalism: Emilio Guiñazú, Undersecretary of Energy and Mining and the Secretary of the Environment, the designer Humberto Mingorance. Both were key in the introduction of fracking to Mendoza, in the Vaca Muerta area and with treatment as well.express, via administrative presentation and leaving aside the public debate and even less parliamentary. It was the style of the Cornejo government during his four years, to impose without debate and little negotiation.
Suárez in a week has sought to emulate his predecessor but never realized that the mega-mining issue has been firmly anchored as an immovable consensus of society. Mega-mining has not had a social license for more than a decade and the people have expressed it on multiple occasions. The miscalculation has shown the improvisations of vernacular politics and that times have changed, they show that Cornejo is no longer the governor and that imposing is no longer the way. There is no social license for mega-mining and the consensus is clear in society and is manifested at this time in every corner of Mendoza.
Suárez was shipwrecked a few days after his debut with the provincial band. Neither cane nor band. The Government House dawns under siege. It is Sunday and the fences are the host of the supposed house of the people. In there, on the fourth floor, the static armchair does not even contain the aroma of José de San Martín's perfume. The armchair is only a memory of a past of liberating deed but that not even the historical memory keeps. The billboards show the form, the method, the path that the newly released Suárez has decided to implement in his fake smile face: the siege of the people, the same one that is mobilizing today and surely several votes went to him.
A moso for the banquet
Guillermo Mosso has established himself as the voice of mega-mining interests inside and outside the Legislature. He is a provincial deputy for the Democratic Party (PD) and is part of the Frente Cambia Mendoza. He is an active militant in the local media and on social networks for the reform of 7722 and the advance of the large mining activity in Mendoza. He was a civil servant during the government of the justicialista Celso Jaque. He held the Directorate of Strategic Planning of the Ministry of Security, with Juan Carlos Aguinaga as Minister and Carlos Rico as Sub-Secretary of Security of the province, both also from the PD. Positions they resigned after the scandal that linked Rico to a crime against humanity and that led to his arrest in April 2013. He held the position of Director of Promotion of the tourism portfolio during the governorship of Rodolfo Gabrielli, also a justicialist. He has also held key positions in the digital newspapers Los Andes and MDZ.
Mosso is a good interlocutor between the different banks, particularly the PJ, to promote the reform. He has recently written a response to the letter from the CONICET investigators of Mendoza who raised a critical position to the reform of 7722, in the newspaper Memo where the deputy argues that “In addition to many considerations that can be shared, there is a clear ideological objection against metal mining, and this is something that is frequently observed in university, scientific and technical fields”. Undoubtedly, the ideological prejudice is evident in this attempt to annul the critical position of those who are part of the IANIGLA-CONICET from a purely ideological consideration and that recalls a certain doctrine associated with Menemism or macrism and that scientists or falling into public education because they do not understand anything about the economic reality of the province. A reductionism that threatens, even against the inventory of the Law of Glaciers.
They assumed that the banquet was served and that everything was ready to celebrate. The glasses were overflowing on Friday night and on Saturday the party continued. The miscalculation was that different sectors of society took to the streets on Sunday and today the party is in a post-overflow coma. Meanwhile, the demands that Governor Suárez resign are already being felt by the protesters.
Don Sixto, may he rest in peace
The two projects that are in the pipeline to go out into the ring are San Jorge and Don Sixto. Here appears the framework that gives meaning to the brief review of Mosso's journey and his relationships. The Don Sixto mine permits belong to the Félix family. Omar and Chafi Félix, both from the PJ and who make up their own line in the party, have had a dispute for years over this mega-gold and silver project in the border area between San Rafael and Malargüe, with the Mapuche Community Lof Rukache, which belongs to the Malalweche Mapuche Organization and that they have filed lawsuits in the local justice for attempts to evict the lands belonging to indigenous communities, by the Felix brothers and the multinational Yamana Gold, the same company that is one of the companies of the corporate body that operates the Bajo la Alumbrera mine in Catamarca and that the Prosecutor of Tucumán, Antonio Gómez, filed a complaint for environmental crimes against the head of Minera La Alumbrera, due to an act of contamination.
The ex-governor Gabrielli is the bridge between the Felix and the Mosso. This leads to the fact that recently, as Mosso himself shows on his Twitter, he visited the Gualcamayo Mine in San Juan, which is still owned by Yamana Gold, beyond being in the process of being sold since 2017. The Felix brothers encouraged in the initial months of this year, and before the definitions of the assembly of the lists of the PJ, a Provincial Institute of Mining (something like the institute of mega-mining). An organism similar to Irrigation, with characteristics of being an autarkic entity and where NGOs and socio-environmental assemblies could participate in the control processes by the state in the development of mega-mining in Mendoza. The issue is that Irrigation, although it was born with a good purpose: the organization and protection of the water resource, over the decades, became a bureaucratic mechanism in search of the control of the Channel Inspectors to control territories. We know that territorial control defines elections. The creation of the Provincial Mining Institute, would carry forward the regulation of the Mining Police, provided for by Law 7722 itself and which could constitute a new exercise of territorial control based on political perks.
The PJ found itself in this impasse, when Alberto Fernández negotiated the Emergency Law with the radical governors and clearly pointed out that the Chubut and Mendoza laws were already in motion, as Page 12 pointed out in its paper edition. Furcio who seems to be transparent about agreements that were reflected in the votes of both the Mendoza Legislature and by opposition legislators in the National Congress. The miscalculation exploded in the streets of Mendoza for a week and that the local PJ chiefs tried to resolve with a press conference with Anabel Fernández Sagasti at the head, Guillermo Carmona, Bermejo and Félix himself, who was the one who led the baton of the conference, where in broad strokes they raised the accompaniment of the modification project sent by Suárez and the contribution of modifications that changed nothing at the bottom of the thing.
The political cost already bleeds the PJ. Guillermo Carmona from your Twitter came out to ask Governor Suárez to veto the law due to popular mobilizations, so far the only one who has come out publicly to establish a position opposite to what was said in the press conference and what was reflected in the votes of the two Houses in the Legislature. Meanwhile, Sagasti remains silent and the militant bases are increasingly dissatisfied with the decision taken.
Here nobody gives up
In this context, the socio-environmental assemblies came out to repudiate the positive votes to the reform project of 7722 sent by Governor Suárez. History marks the senses and the paths. Route 40 was the scene of the cuts as soon as Jaque assumed the governorship and the pools with water were an emblem of a struggle that occupied the enunciation of meanings in a summer that dreamed of tranquility and that showed that the streets and routes were the strategy. The emblematic 40, today is witness to a historical event for Mendoza, almost with epic borders. The march called by the town of San Carlos started at eight in the morning on Sunday to see today the doors of the Government House, where the requirement is the veto of the author of the reform project, to which the Friday in the Legislature.
The Assemblies have multiplied and this same Sunday the Water Assembly of La Paz was constituted, perhaps the last department in the province that had not yet found the assembly as a method for the meeting to preserve water. The mobilizations multiplied and yesterday night, there was a massive concentration and court in Luján de Cuyo, massive marches in Rivadavia, San Martín, Maipú. Lavalle moved to the road junction. A true Assembly of the people that has once again resisted the attacks by the installation of mega-mining in a province that clearly does not grant it a social license. A highlight, the Assembly of Uspallata that held a total cut off of International Route 7, where even the priest of the town participated in the mobilizations. The Government House surrounded by the dignity of thousands marching and demanding. Thousands who say: "there is no social license for mega-mining." The snail in its strategy.
Towards a "biocentric" look
The poet José Martí says in his poetry Banquete de Tiranos: “There is a vile race of tenacious men / inflated by themselves, and made all, / all from hair to foot, from claws and teeth; / And there are others, like flowers, that breathe their perfume in the wind / in the love of man”. Resistance ceases to be resistance to be an encounter in the gaze with the other and the other. New ways of inhabiting the relations between politics and the land. New ways of meeting the Pacha, the Mapu, Abya Yala, the Great Mother, Mother Earth. A sense where the perfume of love for the land is a reunion with the deep meaning of existence. A search for a biocentric senti-thinking that allows us to return to earth.
The Uruguayan intellectual Eduardo Gudynas tells us that biocentric values seek “place one's own values in life, be it in individuals, species or ecosystems”. This leads us to analyze different dimensions when it comes to a mega-mining undertaking and social reactions, particularly when a reform of a law is regressive in terms of law (and therefore unconstitutional) but above all, it marks a fundamental axis in the debate: life, which although it is paradoxical and contradictory depending on where we can approach it, is the root that sheds light on the relationships between humanity and nature.
From the perspective of deep ecology, Gudynas himself says: “Under this conception, Nature occupies a central role, although another key emphasis is introduced: that nature, although it is understood in an extended and expanded way, also includes society. In other words, culture and human societies are inserted within Nature”. Biocentrism seeks an egalitarian form of all forms of nature, which puts into debate the anthropological conception of modernity and with it, above all, the consequences of the industrial revolution. Paradigm that day by day exhausts its gunpowder a little more.