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Antropología Social y Cultural del Uruguay

On-line version ISSN 1510-3846


CARMAN, María. A certain approach on suffering bodies: re-location of riverside slums in Buenos Aires. Antropol. soc. cult. Urug. [online]. 2015, vol.13, pp.65-74. ISSN 1510-3846.

This article aims to explore the current consolidation of environmental arguments in conflicts involving the occupation of urban space by low-income population in Buenos Aires. I examine the case of villas (slums) that are being evicted for the construction of a riverfront path, within the cleaning-up of the Matanza-Riachuelo basin issued by the Argentine Supreme Court of Justice. My goal is to analyze the moral prescription underlying this environmental and land-use planning, the slum relocation process involved in the cleaning-up of the basin and the impact of displacements on the lives of the afflicted population. What are the unexpected or contradictory consequences of a large-scale project, with a ‘good environmental cause’? What meanings do the different social actors involved attribute to the right to a healthy environment or the alleged improvement in quality of life implicit in the relocation? As we shall see, this innovative judicial sentence does not operate in a vacuum: certain procedimentalizations -and not others- define the rights of the afflicted people according to the appreciation of their capitals and their negotiation possibilities

Keywords : Public space; Moral prescription; Relocation; The right to a healthy environment; Buenos Aires.

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