Tax Resistance in Lezama/Chascomús, Argentina

Here’s some information about a tax resistance campaign that’s just getting off the ground in Lezama, Argentina (translation mine):

Rejection, picket lines, and tax resistance

The decision of the provincial Chamber of Deputies not to take up the Lezama independence proposal set off a strong reaction from segments of the population of that region who launched a blockade of Route 2 and decided to stop paying municipal taxes as a form of protest.

The picket line on both sides of the principal thoroughfare on the Atlantic coast, as far as kilometer 126, was started and vowed, at first, to extend “continuously” until the legislature enacts the initiative, something that in parliamentary circles was considered “impossible.”

At last, shortly after , forces from the Infantry corps proceeded to clear the route, a measure that did not encounter major resistance from residents, although a youth whose name was not released was detained and transported to the Chascomús station.

Now, in an assembly that will be held starting at , the grassroots residents will decide whether to apply this and other controversial initiatives to frame their rejection of the attitude of the legislature. In this framework, although not in an organic form, some residents of Lezama announced their decision to stop paying municipal taxes as a form of protest.

“It’s a decision from the grassroots. Let’s begin by not paying the local taxes, and if they don’t collect the garbage, we reckon we will undertake to do so,” explained one of the spokesmen for the protest, who requested to remain anonymous. “Some threw out the idea of recalling the delegation and requesting the resignation of the delegates, but that was rejected,” he continued.

“The people are exasperated, some guys are fired up because this decision of the executive delivered to a peaceful community on the road after three years of struggle,” noted Julio Prado, real estate agent and resident of Lezama.

The demonstrators in favor of independence took to the road early to stay two days in La Plata in an improvized encampment in front of the legislature, where at dawn they received notice that the proposition was not taken up.

“There is a schedule of permanent cuts. They don’t understand that we live on the side of the road. If they evict us, we will return in half an hour. This will be continuous,” said Prado.

I don’t know much about the issues involved here. There’s an Autonomía para Lezama blog that’s been in operation for three years, and seems to have a good archive of recent coverage of the struggle, if you want to investigate further.

So far as I can tell, the “independence” that the folks of Lezama are seeking is from the larger municipality of Chascomús, to which their town was annexed in . There is also a party of Chascomúskovite unionists who oppose the Lezamanian secessionists. At this distance it seems a tempest in a teapot, but I really don’t know what all is at stake.

Anyone know how to translate “autoconvocado”? I’ve been using “grassroots,” but I’m not confident that it’s correct.