Friday, June 09, 2006

Ecology from here sounds luxury

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The last couple of days Uruguay and Argentina's lawyers presented their initial statements in the international court of The Hague (aka Den Haag, La Haya), in the Pulp Mills on the River Uruguay (Argentina v. Uruguay) case.

For the newcomers the construction of two pulp mills by the riverside of the Uruguay river represents the biggest economic investment in Uruguay's history. Uruguay is still getting back from it's biggest economic depression, lived through in 2002-2003. Seems we are on a peaks decade.

Argentina's initial request is to stop the construction of the pulp mills as a provisional measure. Some say Argentina has to prove irreversible damage to have its request granted.

The case is expected to last around a couple of years and to cost loads of money in first class international lawyers. Uruguay has everything to loose here, if the request is granted thousands of persons directly or indirectly employeed will be left without their jobs, since stopping the constructions means waiting two to three years for a veredict, whatever may be.

When I read the international articles Uruguay seems like the bad guy, and Argentina seem just so noble, but living here I feel it's totally the other way around. These pulp mills will be equipped with the latest and less polluting technologies possible, while Argentina has already installed more than ten paper mills with, fifty years old, very polluting technology.

Last summer Argentinean demonstrations blockaded two of the bridges with Uruguay, looses are calculated around 400 to 500 millon dollars.

Meanwhile Corrientes, another argentinean provincia, by the Uruguay riverside, is reviewing a proposition to construct an even bigger paper mill.

The argentinean request to the international court is for the construction of the pulp mills not to take place, even though the paper mills are aligned with international standards.

I think industry and development always come along with some degree of pollution, and ecology in emerging countries seems to me a luxury we cannot always afford. It's sad, and true, and it's even more sad that argentina's attitude be that hypocrite, and that we've had to resort to an international european court to settle our affairs.

The country right now seems more concerned about the opening world cup match than anything else. Bottom line, I'm not supporting Argentina in the world cup series this time.


Anonymous said...

I've actually read into it as Argentina acticing like a smacked ass.
I was reading a report from the BBC about it and their take was that Argentina was more jelous than anything else.
Plus couple that with the amount of waste Argentina slips into the river plate compared to Uruguay there is no real comparison.
This all totally ignoring the fact also that Uruguay as a country need this investment really badly. I think in that (along with safety reports and so on from the spanish & finnish) will see the day in uruguay's favour.
The road blocakde is another aspect that imho make argentina the bad person, that according to mercsour, there WILL be free trade allowed across borders, now if you have all these people blocking a bridge their gov. should step in to clear them, the free trade & pulpmills are 2 seperate issues that should have been dealt with seperatly, not as one that ended up causing grief to alot of noninvolved parties.

Thats my take on it anyhoo :)

El Torero said...

Hola Gabo,

I'm a history student studying Uruguayan history of all things. My research focuses on nationalism, citizenship, and Uruguayan migration in the Rio de la Plata. My wife and I will be traveling to Uruguay for about a year. I'm really grateful for your post because it helps me explain to my wife more about the country and get her excited about going. =)

We're looking into living in Pocitos or another nice area that is within close proximity to RAU, the Archives, and the center in General. Do you have any suggestions? Could you recommend other resources to finding and securing a place besides El Pais? Would it be better to go through a realtor?

We might be in Uruguay as early as August. Keep up the good work! You've inspired me to learn more about the blogosphere and maybe even create my own of my experience here in Santa Barbara, California.


Hugo Hernandez

gabouy said...


Thank you for your feedback! I can't believe that there are actually people outside uy studying our history.

Nice neighborhoods close to the RAU and the center are: Punta Carretas, Parque Rodo and Pocitos.

I don't know any good montevideo real state site. To rent some place the usual thing to do is to read El Pais, or learn from some friend there some interesting place available.

Good luck with your studies,

Anonymous said...

is the online site for RealEstate by El Pais. That is what we used.

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