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Resource exploitation: Neuquén and Jujuy

by drbyos

Edgar Roberto Arca, DAYS 12,820,329

Gas exploitation in “Vaca Muerta”, and lithium in “El Triángulo del Litio”, represent two forms of exploitation by the governments of the provinces of Neuquén and Jujuy. Both reserves have the particularity of being in completely arid and desert regions, with water scarcity and with territories inhabited by communities of native peoples, to whom the National Constitution of 1994, in its article 75, paragraph 17, recognizes the community possession and ownership of the lands they traditionally occupy. This ancestral property right collides with the rights to exploitation by the provincial states. In order to resolve the highly sensitive conflict of interests, the governments adopted antagonistic concepts and practices. The Government of Neuquén and the Communities advance through discussions and agreements, recognizing the property rights of the communities. The road is not easy, but the government rules out the use of force and repression, prioritizing social peace. At the other extreme, the Government of Jujuy opted for force and repression of the communities, in breach of national laws and International Treaties. Going to the extreme, to modify the Provincial Constitution without consulting and affecting social rights, property and the regime of Fiscal Lands. The elected governors in both provinces have expressed to deepen their respective policies. In Jujuy, Carlos Sadir has expressed his decision to continue with the mechanism of imposition and repression.

In Neuquén, Rolando Figueroa has proposed expanding democratic agreements to build consensus, resolve conflicts and achieve the fairest distribution of the benefits from the exploitation of natural resources. The strengthening of a democratic and socially equitable society is achieved with more consensus and fewer cracks. The province of Neuquén is the example to follow in Argentina.

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