A group made up of members of the Movement of Excluded Workers (MTE) that is in Lago Escondido to demand the recovery of those lands “as part of the national territory” denounced having received “verbal threats and intimidation” by hooded people who work Joe Lewis, the English magnate who owns land in that place and who is in dispute with the courts.
Spokesmen for the MTE protesters, led by the leader Juan Grabois, assured that they were hemmed in by Lewis staff who prevented them from leaving the venue as they attempted to retreat.
“All the members were fine, although during the day they suffered different types of hostilities from the Lewis mobs. Verbal threats and intimidation of hooded people, mobilization of patoteros on horseback and with dogs escorted by the Río Negro police and the fencing of land to prevent the departure of a group that had to leave the place for reasons of force majeure. These are some of the practices that put stress on the exercise of sovereignty and public access to the Lake,” the MTE said in a statement.
“Verbal threats and intimidation of hooded people, mobilization of patoteros on horseback and with dogs escorted by the Río Negro police and fence of land to prevent the departure of a group that had to leave the place for reasons of force majeure”
The delegation, which entered the lake via the towpath, it is headed by Grabois; the national deputy Federico Fagioli; lawyers, press workers and representatives of social organizations.
The militants indicated that they will remain in Lago Escondido “for an indefinite period of time” as a sign of protest and called for “the presence of federal forces to guarantee the safety of those who are defending our sovereignty, in the face of intimidation by Lewis’ mobs.”
From the MTE they denounced that since Tuesday night “they have no communication with the delegation in Lago Escondido” since they suspect that the signals from their phones “were inhibited as a form of intimidation.”
“At night the delegation was going to camp on the shores of the lake to which we should all have access. We repeat that due to the disabling of communication by the Hidden Lake ranch we have not had contact with them since 6:00 p.m. on the 27th” they expressed.
Finally, they indicated that the purpose of staying in front of the shores of the lake is “for the national, provincial and local governments to commit themselves to comply with the court ruling that requires opening the public road to the lake.”
“So that it stops being the headquarters of the Parallel State where only a few serviles reach real power to make spurious deals against our sovereignty, and it becomes a place of free access for the people,” they concluded.
A tycoon with the laws
Lewis owns nearly 12,000 hectares in Lago Escondido, an area located in the Río Negro mountain range, and since 2005, the magnate has been in conflict with Argentine laws.
This year, the Chamber of Bariloche ordered the province of Río Negro to guarantee the population transit through an access road to Lago Escondido, adjacent to Lewis’s property, within a period of three months.
However, the Government of Arabela Carreras decided to appeal that ruling before the superior Court of Justice of the province.
The Justice of Bariloche thus ratified a 2013 ruling that ordered the opening of this Andean trail, in a case that began 17 years ago.
According to the Civil Code of the Argentine Republic, rivers and lakes are in the public domain (article 2,340), while the Constitution of the province of Río Negro “ensures” free access for recreational purposes to the banks of domain water mirrors. public (article 73).
Last April, the General Inspection of Justice (IGJ) required the judicial intervention of the Hidden Lake SA firm, owned by Lewis, considering it a “legal screen” to “stop the aspiration” of anyone to access Lago Escondido.