Parque Indoamericano

Parque Indoamericano

Parque Indoamericano (Indoamerican Park) is a park in the Villa Soldati and Villa Lugano neighbourhoods of Buenos Aires, Argentina. It covers approximately 130 hectares (330 acres), and is thus the second-biggest park in the city.[1]



View of Villa Soldati and the Indoamerican Park (background) in 1980.

Located on a flood-prone plain in what was, until the middle of the 20th century, the southwestern outskirts of Buenos Aires, the park began to take shape during the 1960s, when the area was designated as the Parque Almirante Brown redevelopment zone. The construction of public housing followed, and during the military dictatorship that took power in 1976, Mayor Osvaldo Cacciatore had the Cildáñez stream tubed for flood control.

His administration announced plans in 1978 to convert the undeveloped plain into a public recreational area through two projects: the Parque de la Ciudad (an amusement park) and the Parque Zoofitogeográfico.

The latter would include an arboretum and be the new location for the Buenos Aires Zoo. The amusement park was inaugurated in 1982, but an economic crisis and irregularities in the contact for the arboretum's development and concession led to the projects cancellation (the zoo remained in its Palermo neighborhood location).[2]

The park, located far from most of the city's residential or business areas, suffered from neglect in the ensuing years, and what would have been a reservoir along its northern end, Lake Soldati, became a shantytown known as Los Piletones.[3] UCR Councilman Carlos Louzán ultimately obtained passage of a resolution for the construction of a city park in the remaining areas 1993,[4] and on December 1, 1995, Mayor Jorge Domínguez inaugurated the Parque Indoamericano.[5]

His successor, Mayor Fernando de la Rúa, inaugurated the Paseo Islas Malvinas ("Falkland Islands Promenade") in April 1999. The promenade features a memeorial to the fallen, including an eternal flame and 649 cypresses (one for each fallen Argentine serviceman in the 1982 conflict).[6] Mayor Jorge Telerman followed these works with the December 2006 inaugural of the Paseo de los Derechos Humanos ("Human Rights Promenade"), a memorial to the estimated 30,000 dissidents murdered during the Dirty War, thirty years earlier.[7]

Incidents at the park in 2010

These improvements, built mainly along the park's western end, left much of the extensive area still undeveloped. Cabinet Chief Aníbal Fernández stated "It's not a park. It's just a field with lots of weeds on it."[8] Flanked by shantytowns on both the northern and southern ends, much of the remaining prairie in the Indoamerican Park was occupied by squatters on December 9, 2010. A census of the occupants was conducted four days after the takeover, and reported 13,333 persons in the park;[9] at least 80% of the more than 13,000 squatters, colloquially known as Okupas from ocupar in Spanish language, had homes in one of the slums outside the park.[10][11]


The squatters were mostly Bolivian and Paraguayan in origin, and reaction from the largely working class residents in the park's vicinity was, at times, violent. Two deaths among the squatters were reported: Bernardo Salgueiro (22 years old, Paraguayan) and Rosemarie Churapuña (28 years old, Bolivian) died.[12] The deaths of 1 Paraguayan and 3 Bolivians were reported in Paraguayan media.[13] Clashes between police and the squatters have left three people dead and 14 others injured according to CNN.[14] The standoff also prompted a political conflict between the Mayor of Buenos Aires Mauricio Macri (who was called a "xenophobe" by the President's Cabient Chief, Aníbal Fernández)[15] and the President of Argentina, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner.

National Border Guards and the Navy's Albatros Special Forces secured the perimeter of the park and prevented the ingression of persons not previously living in the park and any construction materials.[16] After an agreement between Macri and Kirchner in which the City will match funds provided by the central government to the squatters,[17] Chief Cabinet secretary Aníbal Fernández announced the clearing of the park via a Twitter post shortly after 6:30am local time.[17] After initial deadlock in negotiations between the national and city governments,[18] both jurisdictions eventually reached an agreement to clear the park of illegal inhabitants, including providing low-cost loans for housing construction to former squatters;[10] the park was cleared by the morning of 15 December 2010.[19]


  • President of Bolivia Evo Morales called on Bolivians in the park to disperse, stating that their actions decrease the status of all Bolivians in Argentina.[20]
  • Mayor of Buenos Aires Mauricio Macri called the incident "an uncontrolled migration" and said that the city government will continue working to "recover the park".[21]
  • Maria Eugenia Vidal, the minister of social development, stated that the national government will continue to give out food around the park.[21]
  • Buenos Aires City Cabinet Chief Horacio Rodríguez Larreta stated that "there is a mafia behind the situation at the Parque Indoamericano, which is trying to make a business by dividing the park into lots and offering the pieces of land to the neighbours of Villa Soldati", and that the squatters' leader Alejandro Salvatierra "is a Kirchnerite picketer that works for former education minister Daniel Filmus. Salvatierra is the one who encouraged the squatters to take the park."[22]

See also

External links


  1. ^ "Parque Indoamericano". Gobierno de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires. 2010. 
  2. ^ Villa Lugano (Spanish)
  3. ^ "Recordarán en un paseo a los caídos en Malvinas" La Nación
  4. ^ "La ciudad ya tiene nuevo mapa" La Nación, 3 August 1999
  5. ^ "El Indoamericano, el segundo más grande" Página/12:
  6. ^ "Hay un árbol por cada uno de los 649 caídos en Malvinas" La Nación
  7. ^ "Una plaza por los derechos humanos" La Nación
  8. ^ "'After assessing the city on the situation, solving the Villa Soldati conflict is up to them,' Cabinet Chief". Buenos Aires Herald. December 14, 2010. 
  9. ^ "Según el Censo: 13.333 ocupantes en el Parque". La Razón (Buenos Aires). 14 December 2010. 
  10. ^ a b "Squatters vacate Argentine park after deadly confrontations". Fox News. December 15, 2010. 
  11. ^ "Okupas: denuncia de Margarita Barrientos". La Razón (Buenos Aires). 14 December 2010. 
  12. ^ Fidanza, Andrés. "Vivir como okupa". Newsweek. 
  13. ^ "Paraguaya sostiene que toma en el Parque Indoamericano fue por internas barriales". Noticias Paraguayas. 2010-12-14. 
  14. ^ Dominguez, Claudia (December 14, 2010). "Clashes in Argentina park highlight immigration debate". CNN. 
  15. ^ "Aníbal Fernández calificó a Macri de "xenófobo" y tildó sus dichos como "un espanto"". 9 December 2010. 
  16. ^ "Border Guards block entry of construction materials in Soldati". Buenos Aires Herald. December 14, 2010. 
  17. ^ a b Wurgaft, Ramy. "Los 'okupas' desalojan el Parque Indoamericano tras el anuncio de un plan de viviendas". El Mundo (Spain). 
  18. ^ "Nuevas tomas, más violencia y protestas de los vecinos". La Razón (Buenos Aires). 14 December 2010. 
  19. ^ "Tras el acuerdo Ciudad – Nación, los "okupas" dejaron el Indoamericano". La Razón (Buenos Aires). 15 December 2010. 
  20. ^ "Pedido de Evo Morales a sus compatriotas". La Razón (Buenos Aires). 14 December 2010. 
  21. ^ a b Mustafa, Sam (9 December 2010). "Mounting Tension as More Arrive at Parque Indoamericana from Villa Soldati". The Argentina Independent. 
  22. ^ "City Cabinet Chief says Kirchnerite picketer leads squatters". Buenos Aires Herald. December 14, 2010. 

Coordinates: 34°40′00″S 58°27′40″W / 34.6666667°S 58.46111°W / -34.6666667; -58.46111

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