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Trabajadores Unidos por la Tierra
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225 families are building a cooperative for food sovereignty and agro-ecological production of vegetables, eggs and meat. Fresh products are delivered to the soup kitchens of Cordoba.

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About the organisation

Trabajadores Unidos por la Tierra (TUT-United Earth Workers) was created as an organizational tool to build effective and bottom-up responses to the need for land for a dignified life of the people, in alliance with other rural and urban experiences in the Province of Córdoba, and the country in the face of the advance of monocultures, Mining corporations and the real estate business.

At present, the organization is composed of 225 families belonging to the towns of José de la Quintana, Villa San Isidro, Los Molinos, Despeñaderos, San Agustín, Monte Ralo and Corralito (Departments of Santa María and Calamuchita, Province of Córdoba – Argentina)

These are distributed in 42 productive units with a focus on food sovereignty and agro-ecological production of vegetables, eggs and meat. The work in these spaces is organized in a self-managed way and cooperative, with rotating roles of coordinating tasks and managing the common funds.

The productive use of the land coexists with the housing and social use in very reduced spaces.

As a result, and after much bureaucratic and grassroots work, TUT occupy the land from the Ex-Army Artillery Group 141, a former military battalion and weapons factory, located on the south of Los Molinos River, which was used as a clandestine detention center during the last Argentine military dictatorship. The property was occupied and recovered since 2018 by our organization and renamed (Refugio Libertad) Freedom Refugee Camp. In total, it has approximately 900 hectares, being mostly mountainous and protecting the native forest. In its productive 60 hectares are 8 of the organization’s production units (in poultry, beef production, beekeeping, horticulture, earthworms and fruit trees) and also functions as the “heart” of the collective experience, hosting the training workshops and the general and decentralized assemblies of the organization.

At the same time, a cultural, sports and historical memory space is being created, seeking to regenerate a place that was at the service of the death project (Plan Condor) of the last military dictatorship in Argentina.

All these tasks imply a permanent work dynamic in collective days that articulate the different productive units in general maintenance tasks of the property (fences, irrigation channels, clear-cutting, selective thinning of invasive species, etc.) and recovery of infrastructure and buildings that are in a state of great neglect.

It is important to clarify that the property has a geostrategic location of great importance, given that not only are the Provincial Company’s electricity generation and distribution plants located there, also the start of the Los Molinos-Cordoba Canal, which supplies water to the to the entire southern part of the capital city and the green ring of the same, where a large part of the vegetables that supply the Central Market and the Malagueño Market. You can also find it at the limit between the pampas and the first mountain range of the Argentine territory (arriving from the east), and is therefore an area of resistance to deforestation, the advance of agrobusiness, the privatization and pollution of rivers and the real estate business.

Finally, it should be noted that the organization has a notable majority of young and adult women, in many cases, this is their first experience of social participation, of building personal empowerment and autonomy. They are being – in the midst of the economic crisis and mass unemployment – the economic support for their families; a situation that is transforming relationships.

The gender perspective at the local level is the result of a repositioning and revaluation of the role of women’s and young people in general in the communities.

TUT activities
  • Agro-ecological food production, seeking not only the food security of local communities but also sources of decent and exploitative work for thefamilies.
  • Advance in the production scale in order to break the fences of the “agro-ecological markets” and to supply the Slums communities kitchens from partner organizations in Cordoba City, also seeking a change in the food culture in our country, starting from the poorest who suffer chronic anemia and malnutrition.
  • Care of biodiversity, rivers and native forests, defense of rural and natural lifestyles.
  • Recovery of the historical memory of the Aboriginal Communities.
  • Gender equality.
  • Community building, not only at a local level, but also with families and organizations that participate directly or indirectly, at the provincial, national and international level, adding from this we are committed to a holistic and resilient vision of the eco-social and productive work we do.
Objectives and needs

This project is the very first one of the Global Resilience team and targets a very specific and urgent problem.

Specific need:
Financial support: 7000 US Dollars

The people of TUT need to put electricity in some houses abandoned and looted, which we are recovering with much collective effort, because we understand that these houses must be occupied by rural working families of the organization, in order to strengthen the hard and incessant fight we are waging against real estate sectors that are trying to take over the Los Molinos River.

It is urgent for us to be able to get the water and power supply to these houses (there are 6 in total), which implies a water path of 500 meters and light of 350 meters, which means a cost of materials of approximately US$ 7,000.

Relevant information regarding the needs

TUT has denounced the situation, legally and in the media, and has also resorted to non-violent direct actions. This permanent struggle, which has been going on for almost two years, has had consequences for our partners, including violent threats from armed para-security people at the home of some of our references.

Faced with this situation, from the organization we have opened trails on the west coast of the river, so that the community can continue to access (it is much more complex and longer to access), and we have positioned from that coast.

This strongly territorial dispute is threatened by these sectors that want to advance by means of direct threats to steal our lands. For this reason, it is urgent for us to be able to get the water and power supply to these houses.

Relevance in regard of the climate and ecological crisis

It should be noted that the territory we are owning and protecting is a total of 900 hectares, of which 800 are still native forest, and has a river coast of 11 kilometres and 1 kilometer from the water mirror of Lake José de la Quintana, all that is being strongly threatened and which TUT protects with its life.

The potential of our actions, agricultural production and networks with other organizations is immeasurable, nationally, continentally and globally.

Feedback 16.04.2020 (in Spanish)

Querides compañeres de XR-Global Resilience:

Desde el Refugio Libertad y Trabajadores Unidos por la Tierra queremos agradecerles enormemente los €2242,48 (equivalentes a 221765 pesos argentinos) que nos hicieron llegar. Es un aporte importantísimo para nosotras, que nos va a permitir extender la red de luz y agua hacia las viviendas de las familias trabajadoras rurales que van a habitar en el Refugio Libertad. Además, esperamos poder avanzar en solucionar también algunas situaciones urgentes, como reparar una parte del tendido eléctrico que se cayó con las tormentas del verano y mejorar la provisión de agua para los corrales y espacios de producción.

Como saben, estamos todos atravesando una situación sanitaria dificilísima, con medidas de aislamiento social y demás. Acá, con la economía parada, el hambre crece a pasos agigantados y nosotras somos concientes de que tenemos que redoblar los refuerzos en la producción alimentaria, porque de ello van a depender nuestras comunidades y también en buena medida la red de comedores populares urbanos que abastecemos.

Para eso estamos trabajando, cumpliendo todas las medidas de cuidado y con muchas dificultades para adquirir insumos necesarios, etc., pero caminando y accinando en el cuidado de la Madre Tierra y la Vida.

Vamos a ir compartiéndoles los avances que logremos gracias a su esfuerzo y colaboración. Y aprovechamos para remarcar la importancia que vemos en la iniciativa piloto de Global Resilience, creemos que debería potenciarse y expandirse. Nosotras estamos convencidas de que los pueblos originarios, campesinos y rurales tenemos un rol estratégico en el cuidado del territorio, la biodiversidad, la resistencia frente a los efectos devastadores del cambio climático. Sentimos que hoy se vuelve urgente una tarea que nuestras comunidades han hecho desde siempre: resguardar y multiplicar espacios de vida para la convivencia armónica de la humanidad y la naturaleza, no permitir que avance la destrucción a la que nos someten. En esa tarea, que creemos primordial, necesitamos muchísimo de su apoyo y acompañamiento. Hacemos todo lo que podemos (y más) sin dinero, pero eso muchas veces significa autoexplotación y precariedad. Nos gusta decir que queremos vivir en otro campo, que no sea “una fábrica de discapacidades y precarizaciones”, sino un campo donde el uso equilibrado de los recursos y tecnologías limpias habiliten una vida y trabajo dignos. Saludamos el accionar de Global Resilience, lo valoramos y nos gustaría verlo crecer.

Les abrazamos desde el tejido de la solidaridad de los pueblos.

Trabajadoras y trabajadores Unidos por la Tierra – Los Molinos – Córdoba – Argentina

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