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AMERICA/ARGENTINA - Thousands occupy houses and land, the Bishop denounces the absence of state authorities

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Posted on: 11/21/15
Merlo - The Bishop of the Diocese of Merlo-Moreno, His Exc. Mgr. Fernando Carlos Maletti, denounced the lack of political will to resolve the conflict that now involves thousands of people camped along the provincial 1003 road in the province of Buenos Aires, occupying public housing and private land.
The first occupation occurred on October 21, in an area destined by the federal plan for 340 social housing, then continued with the occupation of other nearby land of private ownership. According to reports, there are about 3,000 families who in the days before the elections of October 25 settled in the area.
The Bishop, who visited the area of 60 hectares where 3,000 families are camped, stressed that there is not even a real concern to assist these people and to ensure peace and tranquility of residents in adjacent neighborhoods. "We see with concern that the authorities who are concluding their mandate do not deal with the problem, but we also note that those who will take their place have not reacted strongly enough", said the Bishop according to note sent to Fides by a local source. For Mgr. Maletti it is an "inescapable duty of the State to intervene immediately" and to avoid a worsening of the "climate of violence and fear" that is perceived in the community.
Mgr. Maletti also published a letter in which he reflects on the management of land and housing in urban areas, and warns that the poor "suffer most from the consequences of ambition and the lack, or acquiescence of state authorities to unregulated activity" .
"We have seen how some social and political movements have taken advantage of this situation - says the Bishop - who have raised legitimate flags of the violation of the rights to occupy public space, but without a real interest for the just resolution of conflicts". "The Catholic community of Merlo-Moreno cannot remain indifferent to these facts that threaten the peace of the community and that is a cry of alarm regarding the living conditions of the poor and the use of land in the suburbs", wrote Mgr. Maletti.

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