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(en) Argentina, Rosario FA: FAR's position regarding the latest events in Rosario (ca, de, it, pt, tr)[machine translation]

Date Mon, 1 Apr 2024 10:13:21 +0300

Between the murder of workers by drug traffickers and the State's repressive effort ---- "What might the leaders of the drug cartels think about the organized peasantry, about the unions and the student movement? What ideas will form in the heads of the owners of the system when the movements demand their rights, or take to the streets looking for new conquests? They may think the same if they are drug traffickers in the state of Guerrero, or industrialists in China, or owners of the heaviest accounts in the Wall Street financial casino. They may think the same if those who govern are the dominant patterns at any scale, both at the world system level and at local levels. Those are loaded with the most selfish and reckless weapons humanity has ever known. They have armies for wars, prisons, the thousand forms of repression exclusive or associated with their hitmen on duty." - Uruguayan Anarchist Federation, 2014.

We arrived at this situation from the growth, for more than two decades, of drug gangs that, over time, began to have links with organizations in Brazil and Mexico, while managing to control peripheral territory in a region like the Gran Rosario, with a lot of capital circulation and violent contrasts. A transit area for an important export of raw materials, record real estate growth, gentrification and elitization of some areas and neighborhoods, overcrowding and marginalization in others, high levels of poverty and precariousness, with high rates of unemployment and informality, with abandonment of services and insufficient containment of the public sector, barely sustained with dignity by the workers themselves.

It is enough to remember that our city was one of the first epicenters of the looting of '89, 2001 and 2012. A year ago we highlighted, from the FAR, that if there were sources of work or "life projects for youth and families of the popular neighborhoods, these drug trafficking companies could not use the desperation of the popular sectors to carry out their attack...". It is also worth clarifying that the network of these gangs reaches the complicity of judges, prosecutors, politicians, businessmen, merchants, commissioners and even chiefs of the provincial police were associated. In some way, and as has happened in other parts of the world, the growth of narco-criminal gangs can only be explained by the deepening of neoliberalism unleashed after the last military dictatorship. The increase in poor neighborhoods as a product of extractivism, the concrete loss of universal rights achieved such as quality education and public health, labor flexibility and precariousness, along with the promotion of values such as individualism and competition. All this left fertile ground for the current scenario. Where the State was more concerned with controlling with targeted policies, repression and segregation, than with guaranteeing a future for the popular sectors. Failing even in its mission, until reaching the point where it could not promote access to services, where there was no more containment to provide, and thus finally granted territorial control to these criminal gangs. This is nothing more than the political class delegating, privatizing control of a large part of security, "commerce" and numerous aspects of social life in poor neighborhoods. Only the community, social and union organizations remain, resisting marginality and fragmentation, and in the face of the advance of these gangs we are left in a situation of great asymmetry of power.

Another element to highlight is the dangerous consensus among the Argentine political class - of all colors - on the need for saturation of repressive forces in the city. Added to that the Provincial and Municipal governments have just delegated to the national Executive (leaving the handling of the conflict in the hands of Buenos Aires politicians). In March 2023 we marked Rosario as a "testing laboratory", as we see today, this is accentuated with the arrival of the Army, at least in the foreground as "security logistics operating personnel". It is worth noting that at the time of writing this position, it scandalously contrasts the parades of the arrival of soldiers to Rosario, while the rain of the last few hours floods the popular neighborhoods of the city, the result of the apathy of the Provincial and Municipal States.

In that sense, the "security policy" drawn up and implemented by Bullrich, since the time when Macri was president, suggests several issues that, far from solving the underlying issue, alert us to its seriousness. In that document from March 2023, we also warned that Bullrich's "stance[...]is part of a more general doctrine of the "war on drugs" created by the United States in the early 1970s, clearly linking its proposals to the American embassy and the CIA. This war, which seemed distant from Argentina, more typical of Colombia or Mexico, is the imported product of the moment and includes a complete package that ranges from financing, weapons and even the disembarkation of North American personnel." We cannot separate this from the recent announcement of granting part of the control of the navigable waterways of the Paraná River to the United States (where Trump's return is foreseen). The interest in full control of transnational corporations and imperialism over the region becomes more than evident.

On this point, we must pause briefly to look at how this security doctrine of imperialism developed in Latin America. What is happening in Argentina, specifically in Rosario, is part of the "construction of the idea of new threats", taught by United States government agencies - among them the Southern Command of its Armed Forces. Once the Cold War ended, this doctrine associated the "fight against drug trafficking" and the "combat against terrorism" when advancing the North American military deployment as part of a regional process of the presence of imperialism. We highlight this because, beyond the disastrous geopolitical consequences, in all these years, both the interference of the North American army and the intervention of the local armies of each country, in internal issues such as drug trafficking, have had calamitous consequences for the popular sectors. . In all cases, far from being resolved, the context of social violence deepened. The military forces even took part in the business. And here we do not even expand on the aggravation of Human Rights violations, verified in each intervention. Such negative results show the experiences of Mexico, Colombia, Brazil or Central America.

At this point, we have to highlight as an aggravating factor the attempts by Milei and Bullrich to constantly link the control of the streets to drug trafficking and the targeting of social protest as if they were part of the same thing. It is within this framework that the government promotes militarization, reviving the application of the Anti-Terrorist Law (in force since 2014) and the Chocobar doctrine. The question arises about how the repressive forces installed in the city will react to the constant local mobilizations, in a context of social and economic crisis, in one of the cities in the country with the largest population below the poverty line.

We must not fail to observe that what is shown as a combat between the State and drug gangs is a much more complex relationship. Although there is a dispute over the monopoly of violence, they are concurrent in other objectives. In this sense, the streets of the city look deserted these days, mobilizations and protests have been cancelled, people have been paralyzed by fear. This favors both the adjusting government and the drug gangs because it has also partially paralyzed, as we already said, production. Likewise, the relationship becomes even more complex when the drug business uses the interest of politicians and businessmen to participate in it.

Are there short term solutions?
When thinking about a way out of this context, we have to assert that there are no short-term solutions and that it is not a situation exclusive to Rosario. As we saw above, the increase in repression is detrimental to the living conditions of the population, already punished by the national context. In this sense, the "return to normality" is no longer an option for those at the bottom, not even if we proposed it.
Could the situation get worse? It is more than likely, since it has all the ingredients for that to happen. On the one hand, it was possible to learn of a truce proposal between the different drug factions (the Alvarado and Los Monos clan as the main actors). Also, we already noticed a serious shifting of the limits in the latest murders: babies and children belonging to families involved were deliberately shot, then the victim was randomly chosen on the public street. Finally, workers in sectors linked to transport - taxis, buses, service stations - were attacked. This last action attempts to alter the normality of life in the city, since inevitably the murder of a worker will imply the cessation of activities in the sector in question. To this, we must add the absurd media exposure of the Provincial and National governments, based on spectacular images (weapons, police with their faces covered, prisoners subdued) and provocative statements by officials in a tone of bravado, as parts of a defective imitation of the repressive model. of Bukele.

That is why the organized popular sectors cannot lose the axis in our construction strategy, nor remain mere spectators of the situation. On the one hand, we must think about continuing with the agenda of each sector, regarding the confrontation of the hunger and adjustment policies of the National and Provincial Government. One of the objectives of these Governments is to move the needle to implement the adjustment without resistance. On the other hand, in a local context of drug violence against workers, it is urgent to demand a reduction in the working day, including eliminating night hours, given that the majority of murders occurred at night. For this, it is necessary to stimulate an assembly state in the workplace, breaking with the normality that the employers' chambers and the State want to establish. Productivity must be interrupted depending on our own life. The continuity of strikes and mobilizations will be the genuine tools to carry out demands of the context, particular to each sector and general. Our militant task must also contribute to strengthening the creation of multisectoral and inter-union groups, since they are effective tools when organizing large-scale measures, giving good results even when generating impact. We already experienced it with the Strike of January 24 (with 3 important blocks) or the recent mobilizations of teachers and state workers against the Provincial Government.

During the last few years, our organization has warned about the serious damage that this capitalist system has been generating, impoverishing and destructive of life and the eco-system. We have also written considerably about the exhaustion and limits of the democratic-representative system, where it has been demonstrated that rhetoric of defense of rights can coexist with reactionary, ultraliberal and fascist institutional practices. Today, we believe in the proposition today, from FAR we point our analysis and strategy against this same system that fuels the growth of social violence with more fragmentation and individualism. The lack of perspective of a decent life for the popular sectors (the main input of the drug gangs in Rosario) has no solution if we do not aim to change everything. On the eve of a new March 24, the need to go for a Social Revolution (the one for which the 30,000 disappeared comrades fought) is more current than ever.

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