City is sued because of poor people deportation

The Municipality of La Matanza filed a lawsuit against the City of Buenos Aires, Argentina, for not having paid taxes, fees or any other expenses for the land transferred by the dictatorship and where inhabitants of Buenos Aires emergency neighborhoods were relocated.

The claim comes after the negotiations between the administrations of Horacio Rodríguez Larreta and Fernando Espinoza failed, reported local newspaper Página/12. The lawsuit is for 100 billion pesos.

The sum is for «municipal fees owed and socio-environmental and human development impact» for «a massive deportation of poor people forming the villas on public land of the Nation» within the largest part in the country, Clarin reported.

In a conversation with the official Télam news agency, the legal team that advises the Commune referred to that «historical debt» that has its beginnings in the relocation of the Buenos Aires villas carried out by the dictatorial governments in territories that belonged to the Nation, but located in districts of the Province.

During the last military dictatorship, the de facto government decided to remove a good part of the emergency neighborhoods from the city of Buenos Aires.

For this purpose, land in La Matanza was transferred to the Buenos Aires government (at that time it did not have autonomy), in which some of the most renowned towns were established, for example San Petersburgo and Las Antenas. Although CABA owns the land, no tax was ever paid, therefore this is the first claim of the municipality currently headed by Fernando Espinoza.

But, in addition, in all these years there was environmental damage and La Matanza provided millions and millions of pesos in health, security, sanitation services for those neighborhoods on land owned by CABA.

«It is a historical debt product of the deportation of poor people that the dictatorship made from CABA to La Matanza», summarized from San Justo, seat of the Matanzas government.

“In addition, we are talking about a City that has a budget of 24 billion dollars compared to a municipality whose budget is 800 million dollars. There is a 2 thousand percent difference. It is like comparing a person who earns 50 thousand pesos per month with one who earns 1 million pesos per month”, they completed from San Justo.

Of course, the Buenos Aires government — which participated in the negotiation — argues that the issue belongs to the national government because at that time Buenos Aires was not an autonomous city. But La Matanza raises the question of legal continuity: they are lands that the dictatorship ceded to Buenos Aires and therefore it is the local district that must pay.

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