Last Friday, thousands gathered in Montevideo to participate in another march opposing UPM 2, the Paso de los Toros pulp mill plan in Uruguay. The march was organized by the National Coordination against UPM, which gathers over 60 organizations.
“The contract that has been signed with UPM will damaged the economic, social and environmental interest of our country” said Ana Filippini, one of the organizers, in an interview. “It will have big impacts. The government has committed to invest USD 5 billion in this project, while the company will not even invest half of that amount, and we will have to pay that debt. Furthermore, the government will build a railway over which UPM will have priority use rights. The contract also promises UPM the right to access the water of the Rio Negro.”
She added, “This company will produce 2 million tonnes of pulp, at the cost of our water and our land. Our land, because the tree monocultures are expanding. We already have more than one million hectares, and this damages the land. Studies from the science faculty show desertification is occurring, that there are problems with the water resources, and we have pollution problems. We experienced this last year with the contamination of cyanobacteria in coastal water, and this year we expect it to be worse.”
Pictures and videos of the march are available on the facebook page of the National Coordination against UPM2.