Buenos Aires' White Elephant

There are 4 replies in this Thread. The last Post () by Splinter.

  • The destruction of the White Elephant renews the ongoing question: Is there any acceptable resolution to the Villa situation?


    https://www.theguardian.com/ci…form-a-buenos-aires-slum-

    The several "Villas" (we caled it "Villas Miseria" in a bit cotemptuous way, begun in the 1950's when increased the inmigration from the deep Argentina to BA, where more opportunities to have jobs had appeared and also better wages. But this inmigration was different from the important european inmigration from 1880 to 1930, where there were more opportunities to have sustainable jobs, where there was no inflation and lots of land were sold with easy affordable quotes of money, even 30 years, so an inmigrant could purchase their own land an build by themsemves their own private and formal home. Also sewage and water supptly servives were assured, as well as electricity.

    These newcomers were different. They search better opportunities but lacked special skills, so their incomes were coming from small commissions to do short works (we called "changas" and no sustainable and permanent jobs. Therefore they never could spare money to purchase land.

    The consequence was a "de facto" appropriation of private lands, and this was not punished by the government just to prevent social unrest, and be criticized for being insensitive to this social problem. Neither the military dared to wipe out these villas.

    The result that the villas imporved a lot, and now they are encircling important places like Retiro Station and the great railway track lots near Buenos Aires downtown, since they are not used because of railway traffic decay.

    Now the Macri's government is trying to "civilize" the villas instead of turning them down with a bulldozer, and converting them into real boroughs, with sewage and water supply, lighting, paved ways and so forth. And also (this is what the social concerned people do not say) putting power measures devices in order to pay for these services. Now they are "illegally" connected to the electricity network.

    I think that the demolition of the White elephant is a good idea (a thing like that was made in St Louis, (USA) many years ago with the Ptruitt Igoe housing complex, who built under the premises of the Modern Movement became a blunder, the cradle of crime and misery as well).}


    The only thing that I disagree is that they are to give land to people which had illegally previously occupied lots of land, built very poor buildings (with the danger of being destroyed because ill- construction methods.. This is unfair. There are lots of people who had payed its land in places in the outskirts, about 2 hs. travel to BA and they must spend 4 hours per day to go to their jobs. The current people of the villas would be now benefited with the property of the illegally occupied land.

    A poor message to a country that needs work ethics, as I always demand.

    The stupid ones made sacrifices to purchase the lots. the smart ones, will get it without effort, only with their dishonesty.

  • Thank you for your history and insight, Carlos . Always very much appreciated.


    This is by no means central to the topic, but a detail that I don't understand:

    The article quotes someone who had purchased their house in the Villa. How can property there be sold, when not legally owned?

  • Thank you for your history and insight, Carlos . Always very much appreciated.


    This is by no means central to the topic, but a detail that I don't understand:

    The article quotes someone who had purchased their house in the Villa. How can property there be sold, when not legally owned?

    Many uneducated people purchased the land to tricky people who lacked proper deeds of property and therefore no real rights to do that. They were victims of a cheat.

    That is very common here, where ignorance of the proceedings to get land legally are ingnored.

    The problem is that the low level of information of these people is very serious. Do not forget that they came from the lowest social classes of this country.

  • It's a compromise. If you can't boot them out for all sorts of reasons, you have to find socially acceptable middle ground.

    Look at Villa 31 at Retiro which has a population of around 50,000 - a ticking time bomb that's been passed from one administration to another, but at least that population isn't being used to blatantly collect votes through urbanisation. Maybe a little, I'll grant you.