On Thursday the 7th of September, the Nation’s Senate gave the preliminary approval to the project sent by the Defense Ministry (proposed by the Argentinian Navy) to allow the entrance of North American troops to carry on a mixed operation called “Cormoran”.
The military exercises are framed in the middle of a forced disapparation case and of terrorism accusations made by the national government towards the indigenous peoples. During the last months in Argentina, media has been busy working on the social construction of a dangerous enemy that does not really exist but that occupies the newspaper covers and the prime time of TV.
The great territorial extension of the Patagonia is part of this national debate that is framed in the forced disapparation of Santiago Maldonado, a young man of 28 years old that was taking part in a manifestation of indigenous people that was evicted by Gendarmerie in the National Route N°40 at Chubut and that is missing ever since.
Only the senators Magdalena Odarda (Río Negro) and Maria Inés Pilatti Vergara (Chaco) opposed to the authorization requested by the Executive to allow the entrance of foreign military troops in the Patagonia. “We understand that the moment the country is living does not allow us to advance in this exercise”, stated the Rio Negro’s senator.
Now it is up to the Deputies Chamber to reject or to approve the preliminary approval that gave the Senate, that is now endorsing maneuvers at Chubut.
Odarda rejected the entrance of foreign troops into the Patagonia, particularly in the territory of the Chubut State, in the city of Trelew. “The president requested the authorization of the entrance of American Army troops, to realize a conjoint exercise in our Patagonia. We understand that the moment the country is going through does not allow us to advance in this exercise, this is why we rejected in solitude the request of the Executive”, she explained.
“Sovereignty must be defended in all its forms. We are also the only ones that keep denouncing the existence of an English airport in Sierra Grande only two air hours away from the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)”, remembered Odarda.
“This foreign troops will arrive to protect the interests of the Lewis and the Benetton families. The approval of this law is highly suggestive and we must prevent its approval in this context of repression and death that the Patagonia is going through. It is controversial that this initiative is voted in moments of high questioning and of great suspicious towards the national authorities and security forces”, stated Rodolfo Aguiar, General Secretary of ATE and CTA Rio Negro.
In the document of the exercises it is detailed that the maneuvers will happen in the aero-naval bases of Trelew (Chubut) and “Commander Espora” of Bahía Blanca (Buenos Aires).
It is also stated that this maneuvers will happen between the months of September and October, with three aircrafts: a P3B Orion of Argentina (with 16 crewmen) and two P3C Orion of the USA (with 30 crewmen).
On its behalf, the Defense Commission of the Deputies Chamber, has already analyzed the project. Arguing that four exercises do not count with the approval since they treat themes of “repression towards terrorism and drug trafficking”. This would be contradictory with the Law of National Defense that prevents the use of military troops for the tasks of internal security and repression.
The executive’s solicitude, signed by Mauricio Macri, his Cabinet chief Marcos Peña, chancellor Jorge Marcel Faurie and Defense Minister Oscar Aguad, details that the Cormoran exercises were not included in the Military Exercises Plan presented previously since its realization was agreed subsequently to the plan’s approval: