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Near Patagonia, Protests Begin Over New U.S. Military Base

Near Patagonia, Protests Begin Over New U.S. Military Base

Context:

In Argentina, protests erupt over a new U.S. “humanitarian” military base near Patagonia. Locals believe the base’s real purpose is to protect U.S. interests in the region’s natural resources.

In the News:

In Argentina, political parties, social organizations, human rights groups, workers’ unions and Mapuches held a caravan to protest the installation of a new United States “humanitarian” base in the western city of Neuquen.

“Under the banner “no to the yankee base in Neuquen” representatives of over 60 organizations traveled Tuesday to the site where the base will be built. They demand that the national and provincial government stop the construction of what they call a “military base” and uphold territorial sovereignty. The base, under the name “Emergency Operating Committee” was announced by government officials as a new office for “Civil Defense.” Construction is financed by the U.S. Southern Command and it will function near the city, “next to all the oil resources,” councilman Francisco Baggio said.”

Local Mapuche leader Jorge Nahual said “we must be mobilized”…The base comes to fulfill a strategic intelligence objective of the U.S. military that seeks to protect their corporate interests. The Patagonia is an inexhaustible source of resources and the companies that exploit those resources are from the U.S. That’s what they are here to protect”.

Insight from Peace Science:

  • The economic advantage of controlling the access and supply of a state or region’s natural resources has been proven to cause conflict.

 

  • The more relevant host countries are to U.S. security interests, the more likely the presence of U.S. bases will negatively affect human rights practices.

References:

“Argentina: Over 60 Social Movements Protest US ‘Military Base’.” TRANSCEND Media Service. July 16, 2018.

Peace Science Digest Vol. 1, Issue 5: “Motives of U.S. Intervention: Democracy, Human Rights and Terrorism”; Vol. 3, Issue 1: “Human Rights Implications of Foreign U.S. Military Bases”

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