Most of the homes are led by women victims of gender violence.
“Devastating”. This was the word used by Nelvia Agañaraz, a leader of Parque Esperanza neighborhood, Juárez Celman municipality, Córdoba, to describe the eviction suffered by 120 families in the early morning of Friday, June 1st, when police officers raided their homes, beat several people, evicted them and destroyed their houses with bulldozers, without prior notice of the eviction or relocation options.
Most of the buildings were made of cement, and a few of them had been built with wood, cardboard and plastic. The majority of the heads of the households were women who had suffered gender violence and built this cooperative because there isn´t any housing policy for them or their children.
Now, some of the families are taking shelter in a chapel near the land they had been occupying for four years. But the chapel has room for only some of them, and the rest have to camp outside.
Nelvia said in an interview with Real World Radio that the supposed owner of the lands wants to recover them to build a gated community, as part of a real-estate business project in the province. For the eviction, he had the support of the mayor and the legal system.
The gentrification of this area is expelling people who suffer many socioeconomic and environmental violations. The violent eviction started at five in the morning, when some of the people were returning to their homes after a day of work, and others were just leaving. The shock and violence did not allow them to take their belongings out of their homes.
“There are people who have nothing now, they couldn´t take anything from their houses”, said Nelvia at the chapel, surrounded by children, some of them newborns, others sick due to the cold and hunger. “There are families who don´t have a place to live. If we could afford houses, we wouldn´t be usurping lands”, said Nelvia.
While the occupation of Parque Esperanza was not part of the actions of the Cordoba Peasant Movement (MCC), they and the National Peasant Indigenous Movement (MNCI) expressed their solidarity with the people evicted “because of the meaning of the struggle for the right to land”. “No more evictions in the countryside and the city”, they demanded.
“We want dignified housing for each family”, said Agañaraz. This is why on Thursday, June 7, they will mobilize to demand answers to local, provincial and national authorities, who so far have not reached the 120 families about relocation plans.