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Nicolas Vazquez is part of the groups resisting the building of dams and the installation of mining megaprojects in the Bariloche ski resort, Rio Negro province, Argentina. They were inspired by the groups that organized in response to the country’s economic crisis in 2001.
Vazquez travelled to Guatemala to participate in the 5th Meeting of the Latin American Network Against Dams, for Rivers, their Communities and Water, held in early October.
During his presentation, Nicolas explained how their struggle against megaprojects is inspired in the Peruvian experience against gold mining, and how it led to the passing of legislation that stopped the extractive industry in Rio Negro and other provinces.
Since 2011-2012 there has been a new “offensive” by mining corporations in several provinces of the Cordillera. “Today, we have been able to stop almost all projects that began in 2012 and we believe that the struggle of our grassroots movement has been successful in Argentina”, said Nicolas.
The group is called Unión de Asambleas Ciudadanas (UAC) and it comprises dams in the Uruguay river, movements such as Malvinas Argentinas Lucha por la Vida in Cordoba province, as well as in the south, in Rio Negro.
“Este triunfo de Uruguay debe ser un llamado urgente a analizar, revisar, renegociar o anular cuando corresponda todos los tratados bilaterales de comercio y de protección de inversiones que ha suscrito el país, antes de exponernos a nuevas demandas en las que podemos correr con distinta suerte que en la recién finalizada”.
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