The government of the city of Buenos Aires decided to evict the occupation called “A Força das Mulheres”, located in Villa 31, the most populous favela in the federal capital. The name is not in vain: most women in the occupation are victims of gender-based violence and lived there with their children, and created a community space that they opened and cleaned to resist economic difficulties in a land, previously abandoned and used as a dump. and housing.
About 80 women and 175 children had been living on the ground since July this year and were expelled on Friday (1). The government had offered a housing subsidy of 6,000 to 8,000 Argentine pesos (R$140), an amount far from reaching a rent and lasting only six months.
Families mobilized at the Obelisk, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, this Monday (4), to claim their right to housing. The march walked towards the Buenos Aires city hall and brought together hundreds of people who denounced the eviction of families from a vacant lot.
Representatives of the occupation asked the government of the autonomous city of Buenos Aires, governed by Horacio Rodríguez Larreta (Republican Party), to open a dialogue table to solve the families’ housing problem. However, the answer was the eviction, without prior notice, at 7 am last Friday (1), while many were still sleeping.
“Neither the prosecution, in charge of Valeria Messaglia, nor the city government wanted to set up a dialogue table,” said the families’ lawyer, Ramiro Geber. In addition, the Buenos Aires Presente Program (BAP), which serves vulnerable families in the federal capital, did not provide food and clothing assistance for the cold as requested by the inhabitants of the occupation.
Read more: In a plebiscite, Berlin votes for the expropriation of properties from large real estate companies
The images of an excavator flattening the materials already destroyed by troops from what used to be the homes of poor families viralized and mobilized the population.
“They destroyed the only toilet we had,” said a child in tears in front of a microphone, in an interview with a channel that was filming the eviction.
At a press conference held close to the site, representatives of social organizations reinforced the demand for “a definitive housing solution” to the government of Buenos Aires and demanded compensation for the damage accused by the court decision that gave the green light to the eviction.
The city government justified that the eviction would have been necessary for the construction of a school. However, there is no open tender for the construction of a school on the site, and the project is also not included in the 2021 Educational Budget, as published by the newspaper Página 12.
The unemployment rate in Buenos Aires is 9% and 13.9% of the population lives in poverty — and 2.2% in destitution. The data is from a recent report by the Argentine Institute of Statistics and Census (Indec) on the second quarter of this year.
At the same time, data released by the organization Inquilinos Agrupados reveal that, during September, 20% of the inhabitants of Argentina devote half of their salaries to rent; 24% dedicate 30%; and another 24% even allocate 40% of their income to housing.
Read more: Argentina controls Delta variant infections and eases use of masks
Social and political organizations that accompanied the families’ march to the Buenos Aires city hall delivered a letter to Horacio Larreta requesting once again the opening of a dialogue table. The concern is focused especially on assisting children who, evicted and homeless, also demand an answer for school continuity, since they attended a school close to the occupation where they lived.
So far, the Ministry of Women, Gender and Diversity of the Nation has not commented on the case. There is expectation about the manifestation of the folder, since the case involves, especially, women and mothers who suffered gender violence.
Edition: Thales Schmidt