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By Domingo López and Raúl Aramendy
Consortia or Companies speak only of obtaining, increasing and ensuring energy for the progress of local and / or regional communities, but they do not speak of environmental or ecological disasters with the logical destruction of biodiversity.
In a false concept of development and sustainable growth, the transnationals (prophets of neoliberalism) do not cease in their perverse intentions to continue building "huge hydroelectric dams" anywhere on the planet. Very particularly in those third world countries in which they managed, by diplomacy or force, to impose governments, and functional political and leadership groups. In the heart of MERCOSUR they intend to implant a new dam: the Corpus dam. Ignoring the cry of the vast majority of missionaries.
When consortia or construction companies speak of "dams" they lie by telling half-truths. They only speak of obtaining, increasing and ensuring energy for the progress of local and / or regional communities, they do not speak of environmental or ecological disasters with the logical destruction of biodiversity (original and genuine source of energy necessary for the sustainable development of The humanity).
There is not the slightest doubt as to the need for certain kinds and quantities of energy for the development of science, technique and human comfort, but the perversity lies in the concept of quality and breadth of progress that they hold and profess and which is to obtain energy with maximum profitability at the lowest possible cost, regardless of the consequences.
Native peoples, peasants, some unions, environmental movements, some Churches, and very different sectors of society fight tirelessly every day in favor of a fair, equitable, sustainable and harmonious progress and development within a relationship with the nature to preserve it for generations to come.
The Missionary Community has already plebiscited its verdict
In Misiones, Argentina, in the mandatory and binding popular consultation held in April 1996, the population overwhelmingly rejected the construction of the Corpus hydroelectric plant. Most of the local political parties fought with the people to defend the province from the subjugation of federalism that was proclaimed from the Nation.
In the current management of the provincial government (almost the same rulers as in 1996), there is a resounding and contrary change, from the discourse and actions, turning its back on the popular will manifested in that binding mandatory call.
Both the traditional political parties, such as the newly born Frente Renovador (ruling force in Misiones, split from the Justicialista Party) and officials of dubious ideological location demonstrate a total ignorance of ecological issues.
This worrying reality threatens dangerously against the territorial, ecological, economic, social and cultural integrity of the region, paid for by the uncompromising attitude of many leaders who keep petty interests, silence and indifference.
The reality today, who knows for what reasons, has changed from the speeches and actions of both the parties and the majority of the representatives, who disobey and ignore the popular will, arguing the three legs of this table without a board that it's called a lie. The fourth leg is made by many of those who represent us, with their silence, indifference, ignorance and petty interests.
It is extremely important to analyze the criteria that Raúl Bregagnolo of the Network of Ecological Associations of Misiones maintains when denouncing the four lies on which the ruling neoliberal argument is based.
When even the disguise lies
Taking into account the very well-founded appreciations that the representative of the missionary ecologists gave us, we group the lies about Corpus into four fundamental lies. Namely:
First lie: cheap energy.
Energy is necessary for human activities but we must not confuse regional development with the development of Brazil, which already has an energy demand equivalent to "one Corpus per year" although it continues to demand the urgent construction of all possible electricity generators to satisfy its hunger for "growth".
Actually from the owners of industries, because in Brazil the number of inhabitants with unsatisfied basic needs continues to grow. It is very clear that the energy that Corpus will produce will be destined for the Brazilian market, since there is no other demand in the region capable of absorbing such an amount of energy. If not, the private capital that would build it would not risk the investment because there would be no where to locate it, since all, except Brazil, have their energy demand covered, and for many years.
On the other hand, the energy generated would be in 60 cycles and Argentina works in 50. Making the transformation has high costs that private capital would not be willing to pay. Consequently, "cheap energy" is a true lie. Moreover, if they intend the "industrial development" proclaimed by the interested sectors, taking into account that Misiones is not industrial, nor can it ever be, unless natural and human resources continue to be sacrificed as is happening with the forestry - paper industries, which they are rapidly destroying (with official complicity) to transform the province into a green desert of pine trees. Misiones cannot have polluting industries, its topography and natural resources do not allow it. Let us assume at once that this province is lavish and has everything, so that with adequate policies it can live from non-polluting tourist activity (avoiding that predatory tourism that today has been launched on it). There are countries that are already doing it, our province must take the first step.
Second lie: royalties.
It is known from a calculation that relates the energy billed over time, that these would be in the order of US $ 34 million / year for Misiones. This if Paraguay does not claim its own, and also they would only be perceived when the dam is fully operational. This figure, which will be fluctuating (the mentioned value would be the maximum to be received) would contribute to the province approximately US $ 2.8 million / month. Coins, if they are distributed for the 75 municipalities, since the province belongs to everyone, not only Corpus and San Ignacio. Coins if we compare with the budget that the province allocates to health of almost US $ 6 million / month, as well as the approximate US $ 30 million / month of co-participation that it has from the nation.
On the other hand, what guarantees does Misiones have to collect those "Judas coins" and that they do not go to the nation, and if they are received, that they be destined for the population and not for other dark destinations. With all this, it is justified to sacrifice the tourist resources that would be flooded, which today, beyond generating leisure, recreation, satisfaction to visitors, are generators of labor and economic resources for life. Without considering the health problems that would be generated by the presence of the dam, which would become an extra expense.
Third and big lie: labor.
"It was said that at the peak of the work 7000 workers would be working. The average during the entire construction would be 500 people. But you must think that Paraguay also has part of the workforce, so you should not create the illusion that the jobs would all be for the missionaries. The specialized labor is undoubtedly brought by the construction Consortium (Engineers, Technicians, Architects, Site Managers), as well as the drivers of cranes, Terex trucks, bulldozers, Other machinery to be used and that also requires specialized labor. Beyond creating the expectation regarding jobs for many people, it must be known that the labor that would be employed would be for heavy jobs, with greater risk and unhealthy, "Bregagnolo told us.
In addition, it is very clear that this work would only be done with the contribution of private capital (since the State does not have credit), therefore when it comes to labor, it falls out of maturity, due to more or fewer jobs than generate, it would be for a short time, since the concessionaire will finish the work as soon as possible to start generating energy and recover the investment. "The work would be advanced by a year and a half according to the type of equipment used ..." Comip engineers have said, this also implies that the workforce will be short-term. Then, the State must solve the problems generated by unemployment, which undoubtedly falls on the most deprived sectors of society. Clear demonstration of inefficiency in the labor policies of the province and the nation.
Fourth Lie, or the lie of the politicians.
It is constituted by the lack of seriousness in the arguments of the mayors, councilors, deputies, governors and institutions that support the possible construction, and that are not responsible to the missionary people and the region, of the consequences that the dam would bring. of Corpus if it were built.
"A detail that must be taken into account and is fundamental - proposed to see the ecologist from Aristóbulo del Valle - is that no private capital would make such a large investment in a work that is rejected by the population of the region where it would be inserted. Clear demonstration of popular weight, was the obligation to discard the location in Itacuá (and in the entire Paraná River). And the abandonment of the Federal Canal due to "unfeasibility" on the part of the provincial governments. Will three plebiscites have to be held to rule out the three possibilities? You cannot be so disrespectful of the people you should serve. As it is, in this country everything is possible. They will insist with Corpus and Las Pavas, with the nuclear repository in Gastre, with the Aeroisla, forestations with pine, but there will always be the doubt of the time that has been lost without thinking about long-term strategies that allow the desired "sustainable development", where people can have work, sufficient health you and guarantees of well-being in harmony with natural resources ".
"Misiones bets on one of the only more positive NOs that exist in our reality - Bregagnolo affirmed - and if there is something I am sure of, it is that if the people say NO to the Corpus hydroelectric plant, even if they intend to build it, it will not be possible. necessary to keep the memory alive. "
The missionary people already expressed in 1996, through a binding plebiscite, their resounding rejection of the construction of the mega-dam. However, the Argentine State, in a manifest illegal attitude, and contrary to the popular will, is determined to continue with the mega project. Ignoring the will of the people, who expressed 88% in favor of not building the dam, is a violation of the basic principles of democracy. This reflects the attitude and tendency of the Argentine State to keep the operations of the mega-dam secret, in order to avoid opposition from the population.
The mega-dam would have a huge environmental impact; A great reservoir would be formed, continuous to that of Yacyretá, the Alto Paraná definitely losing its river characteristics, further aggravating the decline in fish such as dorado, surubíes and others of irreplaceable value for work and the economy of the entire Argentine coastline.
The environmental impacts of the Corpus Christi mega-dam will violate human rights of the affected communities, including dozens of indigenous families such as the Mbyá-Guaraní community, who live in one of the areas that would be flooded by the mega-dam. Bregagnolo emphatically stated: "The right to life, among others, will be threatened by the spread of water diseases such as schistosomiasis and malaria. Let's not forget that snails infected with schistosomiasis were found in the Itaipu dam, in Brazil, 17 kilometers from Puerto Iguazú; with Corpus built, the entry of this disease into Argentina will be favored ".
The return to the attempt to build Corpus in Misiones, by large transnational companies, the provincial government and some of the political parties that in 1996 were strictly opposed and today "turned the poncho", is an attack on life in the heart of the Mercosur.
Attack that we can still prevent.
* Domingo López and Raúl Aramendy
CEMEP-ADIS - Posadas - Misiones