Some 400,000 people live in Buenos Aires villas

The results of the study were presented at the Portea Legislature Legislature Press Archive Photo
The results of the study were presented in the Legislature of Buenos Aires / Legislature Press Archive Photo

Referents of social organizations presented this Tuesday in the Buenos Aires Legislature a survey on popular neighborhoods and reported that some 400,000 people live in the slums, settlements and transitory housing centers of the City of Buenos Aires.

The survey was carried out by the organizations Corriente Villera Independiente, La Barriada, MTD Aníbal Verón, Soberana y Paritaria Social y Popular, and its results were presented in the Montevideo Hall of the Legislature, together with the deputy of the Frente de Todos (FdT) Laura Velasco, who chairs the Social Promotion Commission.

“400,000 people, that is to say 15 percent of the population of the city of Buenos Aires, live in shanty towns, settlements or transitory housing nuclei”said Marina Joski, national coordinator of the Dignity Popular Movement, who presented the results of the survey.

Joski also reported that the survey was carried out on the third weekend of July by 600 interviewers, members of the aforementioned organizations, who visited 21 neighborhoods and interviewed more than 120,000 residents.

About the survey

The study addressed several aspects, including health, where it was concluded that among the main concerns is the need for a hospital in communes 8 and 9, the access to mental health tools and the lack of professionals in primary care wards.

Regarding education, “25 percent of those surveyed” stated that “more schools and vacancies” are neededwhile in second and third place, respectively, they warned about the lack of school transportation and the need for “decent food scholarships”.

Another aspect was that of housing, where the main concern expressed was access to one’s own home, followed by the need for a “definitive solution for tenants” and “urbanization, that is, access to basic water services, electricity and gas,” explained Joski.

On this point, the referent pointed out that the results of the survey are opposed to “the real estate speculation of the Government of the city of Buenos Aires”.

Regarding employment, it was concluded that the main need is the creation of jobs, while in second place is the “strengthening neighborhood cooperatives” and, thirdly, the “contribution to the popular economy”.

At this point, Joski remarked that “82 percent” of those surveyed “rejected” the economic district of popular neighborhoods created at the initiative of the Government of Horacio Rodríguez Larreta, since “it gives land to large companies.”

The last aspect mentioned was that of sexist violence, where it was concluded that the main need is “greater accompaniment to the victims” and the “possibility of filing complaints”.

“They do not receive the complaints,” said Mónica Zárate, who lives in the Mugica neighborhood and also participated in the presentation, on this point.

Zárate added that police stations and prosecutors question the testimonies of the victims or “make them wait there for up to 20 hours to take the complaint.”

At the end of the presentation, Laura Velasco took the floor, stating that the government of the city of Buenos Aires “governs for the business of a few and not for the common good.”

“Instead of subsidizing the popular sectors, the Together for Change government subsidizes the companies that already have everything,” Velasco added.

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