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Argentina and Uruguay river confrontation to reach International Court of Justice

By Tony Pagliaro

26.01.06 | The growing and ugly diplomatic confrontation between Argentina and Uruguay, that has to do with the construction of three pulp and paper mills on the Uruguayan side of the Uruguay river, is now to be submitted to the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice, at The Hague. This was formally announced yesterday by Governor Jorge Busti, of the Province Entre Ríos, after a meeting with President Kirchner. In the meantime, eleven Chilean trucks which were “in transit” in Argentina, carrying some Chilean goods to be used in the construction of one the plants are still -for all practical purposes- physically kidnapped by a group of protesters which could be referred to as “eco-terrorists”. The trucks were “captured” while on their way to Uruguay.

The trucks were stopped and are not allowed -by the activists- to cross the international bridges that allow them to enter Uruguayan territory. A Federal Judge in Argentina ordered last Thursday, to no avail, that the trucks be allowed to circulate freely. The Argentine police border forces (Gendarmería) received said order on Friday, a week ago. They have done nothing. The Rule of Law, once again, is openly ignored by the Kirchners’ administration. Governor Busti, like the Kirchners, controls the press (“El Día”); likes to intimidate the opposition; places friends and family members in key provincial governmental and judiciary positions; and is a populist. He is now using the “environmental fight” to actually promote his wife (Cristina Cremer) to become (since he cannot be re-elected) the next Governor of Entre Ríos.

Again, like in the case of President Néstor Kirchner, and his partner Senator Cristina Kirchner, total and open nepotism.

Some people suggest that Busti unsuccessfully tried to obtain some personal benefit from a Canadian investor (“Millar Western Pulp of Canada”) who proposed to build a pulp and paper mill in Entre Ríos (on the Argentine side of the Uruguay river), some years ago, in 1997.

In fact Busti faces multiple accusations of corruption. His main enemy is the Province of Entre Ríos Attorney General, Oscar Rovira, who quietly suggests the Busti may even have some ties to prostitution and narco-trafficking rings.

The Anti-Corruption agency of the Province of Entre Ríos is run by Claudia Mizawak, a former personal lawyer of Governor Busti. “Plus ca change….”

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