In a tense debate in which The ruling party and the opposition met on harsh terms around the violent incidents in Patagonia attributed to Mapuche groups, the Senate approved and turned over to the Chamber of Deputies the bill that extends the indigenous territorial emergency regime until 2025.
The initiative extends the suspension of evictions and judicial proceedings for occupied lands for four years until the completion of a technical and cadastral survey of the territories claimed by indigenous communities throughout the country.
Although the project was criticized by the opposition, most of Juntos por el Cambio supported the text given the ruling party’s decision to accept some modifications. Thus, the bill was approved by 43 votes in favor, 2 against and seven abstentions.
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This is the fourth extension of the law that was sanctioned in 2006. According to that rule, the National Institute of Indigenous Affairs (INAI) should have concluded the survey in 2010. Fifteen years later, the work remains to be completed.
The current law expires on November 23 and the ruling party advanced with the signing of the opinion on the extension project in the first days of this month. However, the incidents registered in Bariloche and El Bolsón adjudicated to the Mapuche Ancestral Resistance (RAM) broke out before the matter could reach the premises.
The debate in the upper house rose in tone after the strong intervention of the Cordoba Ernesto Martinez (Together for Change), who described as “subversive” the Mapuches of the RAM and he affirmed that voting on the project would only “give them excuses to continue with their acts of terrorism.”
“The RAM seeks to create an autonomous nation and its chief proclaims that the struggle will continue to deepen. With this law, they will say that none of the land they have occupied in recent times can be vacated, “he added.
Outside the microphone, the head of the official bloc, Jose Mayans (Formosa), interrupted Martínez to tell him that the situation was not like that, that he was exaggerating.
“How does it have nothing to do with it?”, answered the Cordovan. “The second article says that the judges will not be able to act from the factual situations that the terrorists have been generating,” he added. Martínez’s position was emphatically supported by his pro-vincian Laura Rodriguez Machado (Pro) who accused the Frente de Todos of “allowing land seizures to take place and that Justice cannot act.”
The reply was in charge of the ruling party Alfredo Luenzo (Chubut), who accused Martínez of speaking out of ignorance and of stigmatizing the entire Mapuche community for what he considered are crimes that must be clarified by Justice.
“It is more serious to use the words terrorism and subversive, with what this implies for the Argentine people”, Luenzo redoubled the bet, who awarded to “an electoral strategy of the opposition in alliance with the hegemonic media” the national repercussion that the events of Río Negro took. “That is the right wing that wants to install the concept that terrorism is not negotiated,” he declared.
According to the official senator, “the true occupation” of Patagonia “is that there are 5,900 records of foreign properties, there are 2,600,000 hectares in foreign hands and there are foreign companies that are not identified from which the rural tax cannot be charged. “.
Luenzo also crossed paths with the dissident Peronist Juan Carlos Romero (Salta), who had slipped suspicions about the participation in the incidents of terrorist organizations, among which he mentioned Shining Path, when he requested the appearance of the Minister of Security, Anibal Fernandez, due to the reaction of the national government to the requests for help from the governor of Río Negro, Arabela Racing.
“Sendero Luminoso has been finished decades ago. There is no single test. This law serves as a historical repair, not to stir up ghosts, “added Luenzo, while Romero responded off the microphone.
The Salta finally abstained, but accused the Government of evading reality. “The problem is poverty, the problem is the political leadership that we have not been able to reduce poverty, it is not the solution to raise progressive flags to find culprits for this situation,” said Romero.
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In an unusual gesture since he returned to power, Kirchnerism agreed to modify the initiative at the request of Together for Change. Thus, a clause was established by which the INAI will have to provide an annual report to Congress on the progress of the survey. It was the condition set by the opposition to accept the injection of 1200 million pesos that in four years it will receive the public organism to overturn it to this purpose.