Press Union of Citizen Assemblies Reports
June 05, 2018
Fracking and social conflict: Regarding what happened with Ing. Skalany
San Rafael, May 23, 2018
The San Rafael Water Assembly is a popular collective that has been fighting in defense of the most precious asset in our Department for years. He has been against the reopening of Sierra Pintada, in the promulgation and defense of Law 7722, and stopping different mining megaprojects in our province. It is part of the AMPAP (Mendoza Assembly for Pure Water) that brings together all the socio-environmental assemblies of our province.
Our organization is completely horizontal where all the members present their opinions and only the activities agreed upon in the Assembly are carried out. It is absolutely democratic and remains outside the political parties. It arises from the interest of common neighbors due to the lack of response to their concerns and needs by their representatives, particularly on environmental issues.
This past Tuesday we called for a concentration at Km 0 in support of the camp that we carry out all the socio-environmental Assemblies of Mendoza in front of the Provincial Legislature asking for a law that prohibits hydraulic fracturing in our territory. Thus, yesterday we delivered almost 43,000 signatures from across the province accompanying this initiative in the Legislature.
During the concentration he went to the local Chamber of Commerce where the Director of Environmental Protection, Ing. Miriam Skalany, gave a talk supporting the expansion of this experimental oil extraction technique. Upon leaving, she was verbally rebuked by a small group of people present without any physical aggression towards her, her companions, or her vehicle (it is a matter of watching the various videos that are on the network and that show it).
From the Assembly we repudiate any act of aggression (even if it is only verbal) towards any person. Our vocation, and that of the other Assemblies of Mendoza, has been and will always continue to be that of dialogue and confrontation with valid arguments without the use of violence in any of its forms. And our track record supports this assertion.
Let us remember that the exploitation of unconventional oil deposits in our province had an income devoid of previous debate, even though it is one of the most controversial extractive activities today and that it is prohibited or with moratoriums in many countries of our planet. The provincial government decided to allow the fracture in an experimental way in the Rojas Post without further notice and then regulate the activity without parliamentary debate. Prior to decree 248/18, only one public hearing was held in Malargüe on December 28, where those who oppose this practice only had two minutes per presentation, totaling an hour and a quarter of time to express all their discontent. Although half of the presentations were contrary to the novel practice, the decree followed its pre-established course. It seems that still in Mendoza we have much more to say on this topic and it is the responsibility of the government to arbitrate the mechanisms for this to happen.
On the other hand, it is violent for us to see our representatives and public officials repeating the discourse of the corporations to defend this practice as if they actually represent the oil companies themselves and not the popular will. To this is added the constant criminalization of the protest that has reached the paroxysm in our province thanks to the criminal complaint that deputies and councilors of the ruling party made a few days ago to a neighbor of Alvear for sending a message on WhatsApp with her vision of what is happening right now. And all this within the framework of a media shield that prevails in our province and the country whereby the opinions contrary to the official plan for the development of hydraulic fracturing do not find an echo in the mass media and not so much.
For all this we say:
Mendoza free of fracking!
Mendoza's water is not negotiated!
Assembly for Water San Rafael
Fernando: 260 4408655
Virginia: 260 4649350
Santiago: 260 4321942