mining or water protection? In the Argentine province of Mendoza an overly industry-friendly law had to be repealed now.
BUENOS AIRES taz | Mendoza's Governor has inserted the reverse gear. "We are going to put the water protection act with all its requirements and throughout the province is back in force," said Rodolfo Suarez at the weekend. Thus, the Governor of the Argentine Andes, the province bowed to the pressure of the population. The had demonstrated for days in the streets and squares of the province against the abolition of the water protection act.
Shortly before Christmas, the two chambers of Parliament had in the sealed-off building of Congress in Mendoza city, with cross-party majority, and the water protection act to be in force. The law had banned the use of cyanide, sulphuric acid and other contaminating solutions in the mining industry kidney.
With such solutions and with millions of litres of water to wash the huge open-pit mines along the Andes from zermalmtem mountain rock Gold and silver. But twelve years ago, the province of Mendoza had forbidden, even then only on heavy pressure of population – the use of chemicals and the water supply is under protection, which draws primarily from the Andean glaciers.
"the speed of the politicians shows that they acted against the interests of the population and for the benefit of the mining and oil sector," commented the Chairman of the environmental organization Asociación Conciencia Ambiental, Analía De Gumucio, the pre-Christmas rush.
water is in the arid Mendoza is a scarce commodity. For its wines, is world-famous province has a sophisticated irrigation system for the cultivation of the vines. The Protest came also from the powerful wine cellars, who feared for their reputation. The still annually chosen wine Queens, the regional districts have threatened to for the upcoming wine festivals, even with a strike, should the Changes not be withdrawn.
"Due to a lack of snow in the Cordillera, Mendoza is experiencing the longest drought of the last 110 years. Since the Winter of 2010, our province is in a water emergency,“ he warned scientists of the Mendoza-based glacier Institute Ianigla (Instituto Argentino de Nivología, Glaciología y Ciencias Ambientales) previously. Therefore, "would necessarily be a deterioration in the environment, as well as the potential risk of contamination with toxic substances is prevented," they wrote.
Recent studies would show the impact of climate change and that "the glaciers in the (Cordillera)have lost provinces in the period 2009-2017, on average, more than eight meters of ice thickness (that corresponds to almost the height of a three storey building), which has a serious impact on the strategic water reserves in our mountain range," wrote the faculty members.
The skirmish was followed country-wide attention. It is the first trial of strength between the environmentally-oriented organizations, and the consensus of right-wing Opposition and the new government Alliance of President Alberto Fernández, of pushing forward the exploitation of the natural resources. The Opposition and the government on the mining industry, as well as the development of the huge Oil and Gas deposits in the southern Patagonia through the Fracking method.
Still on the last Monday of Mendoza Governor Rodolfo Suárez had announced after his visit to the presidential Palace that the President supports him "without restriction". No wonder, with Alberto Hensel, the President had appointed a designated lobbyists for the Minister for mining. Hensel was also the same. As one of the first measures, the government lowered the tax levies for the mining industry, from twelve to eight percent.Updated Date: 28 December 2019, 18:00