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The organization Guardianes del Ibera exposes several land grabbing projects in Corrientes province, Argentina and their flip side: citizen resistance and the control of the territory by rural, indigenous and peasant communities.
The wetlands in Esteros del Ibera, on the Guarani Aquifer between rivers Parana and Uruguay in Corrientes province have sparked the interests of foreign investors because of their strategic importance for monoculture plantations, land grabbing and extractive projects.
Emilio Espataro, an activist of Guardianes de Ibera, said “the presence of water in Corrientes province makes it a strategic place for big corporations. This sparks the interest of foreign investors to have a territorial position with an extractivist end”.
Multimillionaires George Soros and Douglas Thompkins are some of the people interested in land grabbing projects in the area, Espataro told Friends of the Earth Argentina communicators in a an interview for Real World Radio .
For the past ten years the mineral resources have been exploited and the area has been pillaged by transnational corporations, taking over large extensions of land in the province, he said.
Soros owns 105,000 hectares of land destined to cattle growing, dairy production, and the harvest of soya, corn, wheat, rice and cornflower. There are also forestry monocultures owned by the Harvard University Investment Fund in the US. Thompkins, a businessman who owns a sportswear company, has taken part in forestry investments and he now defends the “strict conservation” of the place…under his property.
Espataro said the alternative is citizen’s resistance and awareness raising based on the compilation of information, as well as a mapping of corporations and businessmen in the territory.
Produced by Uriel Gudiel / Comunicación FoE Argentina
José Luis Abarca, hijo de un luchador ambiental asesinado en noviembre de 2009 por encabezar la resistencia a un proyecto minero en el municipio mexicano de Chicomuselo, estado de Chiapas, interpuso el 5 de febrero una denuncia administrativa ante el Comisionado para la Integridad de la Administración Pública de Canadá.
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