A community from chubut province has filed a criminal action lawsuit against Luciano Benetton, whom they hold responsible from usurping Mapuche lands.
From Real World Radio A member of Santa Rosa Leleque community, Mauro Millan, said in an interview with Mas Voces radio station that Benetton is Argentina’s “largest estate-owner” and that he owns 300 thousand hectares only in Chubut.
The plaintiffs estimate that the business group owns 970 thousand hectares in the Patagonia, where it produces 10 per cent of the wool used for its clothing.
Millan reminded that in the past months, the Santa Rosa Leleque community has denounced this “bad neighbor” for their “zero tolerance” practices, financial support to police stations and for allowing training military in their lands.
Millan said: “The arrival of the Benetton business group took place amid a situation lived by the country in 1991 and 1992, of privatizations, especially of state-owned companies, and great part of the lands, especially in the Patagonia did not escape from this situation. During Menem’s administration, the Benetton business group arrived and acquired shares in Argentine Southern Land Company (Compañía de Tierras Sud Argentino), which was owned by an English business group. Since Benetton arrived, it applied a policy, first to its employees, in this case rural workers. It fired over 50 per cent of its employees, reduced rights that are basic to live in this place and had tolerance zero with its neighbors, the Mapuche communities, which are affected by the policies applied by Benetton. They fund police stations and recently, we have denounced the training of specialized police forces to repress people in Benetton properties, that is why we say it is an unwanted neighbor”. (source.)
On February 14th 2007, several Mapuche recovered the land known as “Santa Rosa”. Later, an act was read, “through which all the present members were constituted as a community, and also a proclamation”
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