lunes, 19 de febrero de 2018

La calidad del aire es responsabilidad compartida | El Mundo

La calidad del aire es responsabilidad compartida | El Mundo



La calidad del aire es responsabilidad compartida

Autor: Dirección
19 febrero de 2018 - 12:00 AM

las acciones deben ser concertadas desde todos los sectores para lograr el objetivo, por lo que, más allá de hacer exigencias a Ecopetrol, cuya calidad de combustibles hoy está por encima de la mayoría de los países latinoamericanos, son los demás actores los que deben emular esa conducta.



En días recientes, el alcalde de Medellín, Federico Gutiérrez Zuluaga, envió al presidente de Ecopetrol, Juan Carlos Echeverry, una carta en la que le solicitaba a la empresa estatal petrolera distribuir en Medellín y los municipios del Valle de Aburrá un diésel de 10 partes por millón (ppm) de dióxido de azufre (actualmente está en 50 ppm) y una gasolina de 50 ppm de dióxido de azufre (actualmente está en 300 ppm) como medida para mitigar la contaminación ambiental en la región, agravada no solamente por sus características geográficas sino por el aumentado desbordado del parque automotor. Si bien es importante y deseable que Ecopetrol produzca y distribuya, no solo en Medellín sino en todo el país, combustibles de la más alta calidad, no se puede perder de vista que las acciones para mejorar la calidad del aire no pueden descargarse en un solo responsable sino que deben hacer parte de una política en la que todos los actores involucrados actúen de manera coordinada.
Sería injusto no reconocer que Ecopetrol, desde hace ya varios años, ha venido haciendo cuantiosas inversiones para modernizar sus refinerías. Por ejemplo, en la Planta de Hidrotratamiento de Barrancabermeja se invirtieron 1.100 millones de dólares, mientras en la Refinería de Cartagena la inversión terminó contaminada por sobrecostos desproporcionados que están siendo objeto de las debidas investigaciones, pero no por ello ha dejado de cumplir el propósito de mejorar los combustibles. Sin embargo, los ministerios de Minas y de Ambiente no han dado el paso para modificar la regulación vigente y exigir en estas plantas la producción de diésel y gasolina acordes a la norma Euro V, en momentos en que en el Viejo Continente ya están dadas las condiciones para comenzar a exigir la norma Euro VI, momento en el cual nuestro país quedará aún más rezagado en materia de política ambiental.
Por su propia iniciativa, algunas empresas comercializadoras de vehículos de carga y pasajeros han comenzado a importar al país equipos bajo la norma Euro V que al ser operados con combustible Euro IV, que es el vigente en Colombia, sufren problemas técnicos que desincentivan el esfuerzo privado. De otro lado, Ecopetrol argumenta que producir combustible bajo la norma Euro V para un país donde la mayor parte del parque automotor trabajo todavía con máquinas que apenas cumplen la norma Euro III conllevaría un esfuerzo económico vano, pues el efecto sobre la calidad del aire sería nulo. 
Es  evidente, entonces, que las acciones deben ser concertadas desde todos los sectores para lograr el objetivo, por lo que, más allá de hacer exigencias a la petrolera, cuya calidad de combustibles hoy está por encima de la mayoría de los países latinoamericanos, son los demás actores los que deben emular esa conducta. En ese sentido le cabe responsabilidad al Estado para exigir la renovación de su parque automotor y dictar medidas que obliguen a los privados a hacerlo mientras que, de manera paralela, se incentiva el uso de fuentes alternativas como los biocombustibles, el gas natural y la energía eléctrica, se promueve el mayor uso del transporte público en detrimento de carros y motos particulares y se estimula la utilización de la bicicleta, lo cual debe ir acompañado de una política de ampliación, conservación y defensa de las ciclorrutas, que hoy día son constantemente invadidas por carros, motociclistas, peatones y venteros ambulantes, lo que atenta contra quienes se quieren sumar a este modo de transporte.
La revisión técnico-mecánica y de gases es otro aspecto en el que las autoridades deben afinar los controles, pues se han denunciado numerosas formas de hacerle trampa a este control, lo que es evidente para cualquier ciudadano que haya visto transitar por las calles verdaderas chimeneas rodantes para las cuales sería inexplicable el haber pasado la prueba. Tampoco se pueden dejar de lado las fuentes fijas de contaminación, que emiten el 33% del material contaminante en la región, ni el sector de la construcción, cuya maquinaria pesada también utiliza combustibles, además de ser el que mayor uso hace de las volquetas, que aunque en la región son apenas el 5% del parque automotor, contribuyen con el 22% de la carga contaminante. 
Como responsabilidad compartida, el mejoramiento de la calidad del aire pasa por la implementación de iniciativas que busquen también generar conciencia por igual en todos los actores, a quienes se les deben exigir compromisos y resultados, algo que no quedó muy claro en el recién firmado Pacto por la Calidad del Aire que fue presentado el pasado 2 de febrero y que, según información oficial, fue suscrito por 66 entidades. Insistimos en que algo se logra con la sumatoria de resultados individuales pero la sinergia será mucho mayor cuando haya una coordinación clara en las acciones a tomar. Más allá de las activaciones mediáticas encaminadas a mostrar que sí se está haciendo algo, lo que verdaderamente le aportará a la salud de los ciudadanos y a la sostenibilidad será hacer cumplir y ajustar cuando sea necesario, las estrategias ya existentes, como es el Plan Integral de Gestión de Contaminación del Aire, una estrategia planteada a 2030 para mejorar progresivamente la calidad del aire del área metropolitana del Valle de Aburrá, para salvaguardar la salud pública y elevar el bienestar social, tarea cuya coordinación está encomendada al Área Metropolitana.

Survived a bomb blast at 13, she went on to speak at the UN: Malvika Iyer’s inspiring life story | The Indian Express

Survived a bomb blast at 13, she went on to speak at the UN: Malvika Iyer’s inspiring life story | The Indian Express

Survived a bomb blast at 13, she went on to speak at the UN: Malvika Iyer’s inspiring life story

Malvika Iyer, lost both her hands and sustained severe injuries to her legs at the age of 13 due to a bomb blast. She could not walk for the first six months, and after 18 months of hospitalisation she taught herself to walk again and use a pair of prosthetic hands.

Written by Ishita Sengupta | New Delhi | Published: February 19, 2018 7:42 pm
 good stories, inspiring stories, Malvika Iyer, malvika iyer story, malvika iyer incident, disability, people with disability, indian express, indian express news
“The only person who can write your happily ever after — is YOU,” bomb blast survivor Malvika Iyer says. (Source: Humans of Bombay/Facebook)


Life may throw different challenges to different people, but ultimately it depends on an individual to provide a shape to their life, and in many ways define it. Bomb blast survivor Malvika Iyer serves as a wonderful example of survivors against all odds. Owing to a mishap, Iyer lost both her hands and sustained severe injuries to her legs when she was 13. She could not walk for the first six months, and after 18 months of hospitalisation, she taught herself to walk again and use a pair of prosthetic hands. “This was halfway into what was supposed to be 10th grade, but I had missed so much school that the only option was to lose more time,” she shared while speaking to Humans of Bombay, a Facebook page that champions inspiring life stories.
Iyer did not stop at that. Not only did she clear her examinations but set a goal again for herself and got a state rank. After overcoming self-doubts and reading up about people with disabilities, Iyer realised, “like me, most of the disabled hated being pitied, we were alive and this was a celebration,” she said. “In 2012, on the anniversary of my accident, after years of insecurities, hiding my new body, and a million stares and questions from strangers later, I finally wrote down what had happened and published it on my Facebook,” she said. As luck would have it, the post went viral and Iyer was soon sharing her inspiring her story with people all across the world. She has completed her PhD and is the first woman to receive the World Emerging Leaders award in New York. Last year, she was invited to speak at the UN Headquarters and co-chair the World Economics Forum’s India Economic Summit in New Delhi.
“Look at me — I’m a Phd with no hands! Just know that a bad phase or a disability is a chapter in your book…it’s not the entire story and the only person who can write your happily ever after — is YOU,” she said. Indianexpress.com has reached out to her for comment.
“I was an inquisitive child — at 13, I was rummaging through my garage when my life changed forever. There had been a fire at an ammunition depot near by that left fragments everywhere, and a grenade landed up in my garage — it exploded when I held it. I was rushed to the hospital, where by some miracle I survived the night — the doctors then began to piece me together.  I’d lost both my hands and sustained severe injuries to my legs including paralysis of the nerves. For the first 6 months, I couldn’t walk and was confined to a wheelchair. At some point, iron rods were drilled in both my legs. After 18 months of hospitalisation and surgeries, I would have to learn to walk again and use a pair of prosthetic hands. This was halfway into what was supposed to be 10th grade, but I had missed so much school that the only option was to lose more time — but I decided to take it upon myself to not. I shifted my entire focus to studying non stop, and enrolled myself in classes that trained me in crash courses. I was so determined that with the help of a writer, I cleared my boards — my first big victory! I loved that I had set a goal and achieved it so I did it again — and this time I got a State rank — I was even more motivated than before!
I went on to study Economics followed by a masters in Social Work — those early years of college were the most difficult. I was on my own for a while and felt like I was surrounded by perfect people with perfect lives, while I was broken. I kept myself covered to avoid talking about what happened. It was hard for me to see myself as worthy. I felt incomplete. It was at this point that my family stood by me like a rock — they believed in me each day and cheered my every victory — I had to hold it together for them. It was also during this time that I met the love of my life who looked at me like I was the most complete person…my handicap wasn’t even a factor for him —why was it one for me? I began to remind myself that me being alive was a complete miracle–if I got through my accident, I could do anything. I researched the life of people with disabilities. I realised, like me, most of the disabled hated being pitied, we were alive and this was a celebration.
I decided to celebrate me — In 2012, on the anniversary of my accident, after years of insecurities, hiding my new body, and a million stares and questions from strangers later, I finally wrote down what had happened and published it on my Facebook — that post went viral!  Soon I was giving my first TEDx talk and before I knew it, I had given over 300 speeches around the world. In 2016 I was awarded the first Women in the World Emerging Leaders award in New York and that same year I completed my PhD. Last year I got invited to speak at the UN Headquarters and even to Co-Chair the World Economics Forum’s India Economic Summit in New Delhi! So this is my journey full of ups and downs — there were days I didn’t want to live because the pain was unbearable. Even today, when I visit India, I face discrimination if I’m not wearing my prosthetics, but I’m on a mission to change that. 
I take everything with a pinch of salt and anything new I do now is an adventure — at the moment I’m learning how to cook using my elbows!
I want to show the world, that you being exactly who you are is your greatest power, and the way you look or what you ‘lack’ doesn’t change that. Look at me — I’m a Phd with no hands! Just know that a bad phase or a disability is a chapter in your book…it’s not the entire story and the only person who can write your happily ever after — is YOU.”

“I was an inquisitive child — at 13, I was rummaging through my garage when my life changed forever. There had been a fire at an ammunition depot near by that left fragments everywhere, and a grenade landed up in my garage — it exploded when I held it. I was rushed to the hospital, where by some miracle I survived the night — the doctors then began to piece me together.
I'd lost both my hands and sustained severe injuries to my legs including paralysis of the nerves. For t...
Ver más

For all the latest Trending News, download Indian Express App

Novel blood, urine tests may predict autism in kids | The Indian Express

Novel blood, urine tests may predict autism in kids | The Indian Express

Novel blood, urine tests may predict autism in kids

The new blood and urine tests search for damage to proteins and could lead to earlier detection of autism and advance treatment. Genetic causes have been found in 30-35 per cent of cases of autism and the remaining 65-70 per cent of cases are thought to be caused by a combination of environmental factors, multiple mutations, and rare genetic variants.

By: IANS | London | Published: February 19, 2018 6:39 pm
autism in kids, Novel blood, urine tests, autism treatment, autism cure, autism studies, indian express, indian express news
The new blood and urine tests search for damage to proteins and could lead to earlier detection of autism and advance treatment. (Source: File Photo)

In a first of its kind, scientists have developed novel tests that can indicate autism in children, a finding that could lead to earlier diagnosis of the developmental disorder that impairs the ability to communicate and interact.
The new blood and urine tests search for damage to proteins and could lead to earlier detection of autism and advance treatment.
“Our discovery could lead to earlier diagnosis and intervention,” said lead author Naila Rabbani, Reader at the University of Warwick in Britain.
“We hope the tests will also reveal new causative factors. With further testing, we may reveal specific plasma and urinary profiles or ‘fingerprints’ of compounds with damaging modifications.
“This may help us improve the diagnosis of autism and point the way to new causes of autism spectrum disorders,” Rabbani said.
Genetic causes have been found in 30-35 per cent of cases of autism and the remaining 65-70 per cent of cases are thought to be caused by a combination of environmental factors, multiple mutations, and rare genetic variants.
However, the researchers believe that the new tests could reveal yet to be identified causes of autism.
In the study, published in Molecular Autism, the team analysed blood and urine samples from children who were diagnosed with autism and a control group of healthy children.
Chemical differences were observed between the two groups.
They found a link between autism and damage to proteins in blood plasma by oxidation and glycation — processes where reactive oxygen species (ROS) and sugar molecules spontaneously modify proteins.
Further, the changes in multiple chemical compounds were combined together using artificial intelligence algorithms techniques to develop a mathematical equation or “algorithm” to distinguish between autism and healthy controls.
The outcome was a diagnostic test better than any method currently available, the researchers said.

For all the latest Lifestyle News, download Indian Express App



Japan’s steel industry urges Trump to make careful trade decision | The Indian Express

Japan’s steel industry urges Trump to make careful trade decision | The Indian Express

Japan’s steel industry urges Trump to make careful trade decision

The US Commerce Department recommended on Friday that Trump impose steep curbs on steel and aluminium imports from China and other countries, ranging from global and country-specific tariffs to broad import quotas.

By: Reuters | Tokyo | Published: February 19, 2018 6:54 pm
donald trump, fbi, us school shooting, florida high school, school shooting suspect, indian express
US President Donald Trump (Reuters)

Japan’s steel industry said on Monday the US Commerce Department proposal to President Donald Trump to impose curbs on steel imports violate the principles of free trade, calling for Washington to make a careful and appropriate decision. The US Commerce Department recommended on Friday that Trump impose steep curbs on steel and aluminium imports from China and other countries, ranging from global and country-specific tariffs to broad import quotas. “The recommendations violate the principles of free trade, which are the foundation for development and prosperity of the global economy,” Japan Iron and Steel Federation Chairman Kosei Shindo said in a statement.
“We hope Trump would make a careful and appropriate judgement,” said Shindo, who also heads Japan’s biggest steelmaker Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp.
Yasuji Komiyama, director of the metal industries division of Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, on Monday declined to comment on the US Commerce Department’s proposal, saying a US final decision has not been reached. “But Japan believes any steel and aluminium imports by the US from Japan do not pose any threat to the US national security,” he said.
Japan exports about 2 million tonnes of steel products a year to the United States, only about 5 percent of its total steel shipments abroad, but the nation’s steelmakers are concerned over the US trade policy.
“My biggest fear is how far President Trump will close down trade,” Eiji Hayashida, president of JFE Holdings Inc, Japan’s No.2 steelmaker, said last week.
“If the US takes action (to curb imports), it may trigger retaliation by other countries. What is most troublesome is to see the world heading to protectionism,” he said.
Nippon Steel’s senior executive also said the company is worried that U.S. trade action could flood Asia with steel products as there is nowhere else for them to go. “I don’t know if a US move would really make US steelmakers, steel users and consumers happy,” Kiyoshi Imamura, Managing Director at Tokyo Steel Manufacturing, Japan’s top electric-arc furnace steelmaker, said on Monday.
Some US lawmakers and steel and aluminium users have urged caution in taking any trade actions that could cause disruptions or price spikes in raw materials that are found in everything from autos to appliances and aircraft and construction.
For all the latest World News, download Indian Express App

Australia, US, India and Japan in talks to establish Belt and Road alternative: report | The Indian Express

Australia, US, India and Japan in talks to establish Belt and Road alternative: report | The Indian Express

Australia, US, India and Japan in talks to establish Belt and Road alternative: report

The official said that the project was on the agenda for Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull's talks with US President Donald Trump during that trip and was being seriously discussed.

By: Reuters | Sydney | Published: February 19, 2018 11:46 am
Australia, the United States, India and Japan are talking about establishing a joint regional infrastructure scheme as an alternative to China’s multibillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative in an attempt to counter Beijing’s spreading influence, the Australian Financial Review reported on Monday, citing a senior US official.
The unnamed official was quoted as saying the plan involving the four regional partners was still “nascent” and “won’t be ripe enough to be announced’ during Australian Prime Minister Turnbull’s visit to the United States later this week.
The official said, however, that the project was on the agenda for Turnbull’s talks with US President Donald Trump during that trip and was being seriously discussed. The source added that the preferred terminology was to call the plan an “alternative” to China’s Belt and Road Initiative, rather than a “rival.”
“No one is saying China should not build infrastructure,” the official was quoted as saying. “China might build a port which, on its own is not economically viable. We could make it economically viable by building a road or rail line linking that port.”
Representatives for Turnbull, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Trade Minister Steven Ciobo did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, asked at a news conference about the report of four-way cooperation, said Japan, the United States, Australia, and Japan, Australia and India regularly exchanged views on issues of common interest.
“It is not the case that this is to counter China’s Belt and Road,” he said.
Japan, meanwhile, plans to use its official development assistance (ODA) to promote a broader “Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy” including “high-quality infrastructure”, according to a summary draft of its 2017 white paper on ODA. The Indo-Pacific strategy has been endorsed by Washington and is also seen as a counter to the Belt and Road Initiative.
First mentioned during a speech by Chinese President Xi Jinping’s to university students in Kazakhstan in 2013, China’s Belt and Road plan is a vehicle for the Asian country to take a greater role on the international stage by funding and building global transport and trade links in more than 60 countries.
Xi has heavily promoted the initiative, inviting world leaders to Beijing last May for an inaugural summit at which he pledged $124 billion in funding for the plan, and enshrining it into the ruling Communist Party’s constitution in October.
Local Chinese governments as well as state and private firms have rushed to offer support by investing overseas and making loans.
In January, Beijing outlined its ambitions to extend the initiative to the Arctic by developing shipping lanes opened up by global warming, forming a “Polar Silk Road”.
The United States, Japan, India and Australia have recently revived four-way talks to deepen security cooperation and coordinate alternatives for regional infrastructure financing to that offered by China.
The so-called Quad to discuss and cooperate on security first met as an initiative a decade ago – much to the annoyance of China, which saw it as an attempt by regional democracies to contain its advances. The quartet held talks in Manila on the sidelines of the November ASEAN and East Asia Summits.
For all the latest World News, download Indian Express App

I should pay significantly higher taxes: Bill Gates | The Indian Express

I should pay significantly higher taxes: Bill Gates | The Indian Express

I should pay significantly higher taxes: Bill Gates

"I've paid more taxes, over $10 billion, than anyone else, but the government should require the people in my position to pay significantly higher taxes," Bill Gates said in an interview to CNN.

By: IANS | New York | Published: February 19, 2018 10:11 am
I should pay significantly higher taxes: Bill Gates
“I need to pay higher taxes,” Bill Gates, who is worth over billion, said in a CNN interview on Sunday. (file photo)

Microsoft founder and billionaire Bill Gates has said that he should pay more in taxes and that the government should require other super-wealthy people like him to contribute “significantly higher” amounts.
“I need to pay higher taxes,” Gates, who is worth over $90 billion, said in a CNN interview on Sunday. “I’ve paid more taxes, over $10 billion, than anyone else, but the government should require the people in my position to pay significantly higher taxes,” he said.
Gates, the second richest man in the world after Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, did not mince his words when it came to the Republican tax law, which cut taxes for corporations.
“It was not a progressive tax bill. It was a regressive tax bill,” Gates said, arguing that the biggest benefits will be felt by the super-rich, despite the Republicans’ insistence that the tax cuts will help America’s working and middle classes. “People who are wealthier tended to get dramatically more benefits than the middle class or those who are poor, and so it runs counter to the general trend you’d like to see, where the safety net is getting stronger and those at the top are paying higher taxes,” he told CNN.
Asked of how he felt about “rising inequality” in the US, Gates, who has given away more than $40 billion of his personal wealth to charitable causes, said: “All advanced democracies have to think about that.
“You still have about a sixth of the population living in conditions that should be very disappointing to us, and government policies need to really think, ‘Why aren’t we doing a better job for those people?'”
For all the latest World News, download Indian Express App

LA ARGENTINA DESPOJADA, CADA VEZ MÁS DESPLAZADA (HACIA EL ABISMO) ▼ Argentina: Villa Inflamable, la vida tóxica a cinco kilómetros de Buenos Aires | Argentina | EL PAÍS

Argentina: Villa Inflamable, la vida tóxica a cinco kilómetros de Buenos Aires | Argentina | EL PAÍS

Villa Inflamable, la vida tóxica a cinco kilómetros de Buenos Aires

La Corte Suprema argentina declaró en 2008 inhabitable esta zona rodeada de empresas químicas, pero 1.800 familias siguen allí y no encuentran alternativa

Un par de niños en una de las calles de Villa Inflamable.

Un par de niños en una de las calles de Villa Inflamable. 






En Villa Inflamable la contaminación no solo se huele y se respira. También se ve y se toca. A los pocos minutos de estar en esta zona declarada inhabitable por la Corte Suprema argentina en 2008, la ropa empieza ponerse negra. Son los restos de un enorme polo petroquímico que está a pocos metros, el de Dock Sud, con 40 empresas con enormes chimeneas que echan al aire los residuos durante las 24 horas. Pocos minutos después caen en forma de ceniza tóxica sobre estas casas precarias de chapa, madera y un poco de ladrillo donde viven 1.800 familias rodeadas de empresas químicas y toneladas de basura.
Estamos en la zona cero de la cuenca del Riachuelo, la más contaminada de Argentina. Un lugar habitado pero oficialmente invivible a solo diez minutos en coche desde la capital. Hace muchos años que les han dicho que no pueden estar allí, pero se quedan porque no encuentran alternativa. "Llevo 30 años acá. No se va nadie. Al contrario. Viene más gente. Crecemos", cuenta Judit, una vecina que organiza, con apoyo de la agrupación Barrios de Pie, el comedor popular Las Hormiguitas, que da de merendar a unos 60 niños por día. Lleva 30 años en el barrio. Aunque parezca inexplicable al recorrer sus calles de tierra desbordadas por la basura, o la laguna casi fluorescente que bordea las casas, siguen llegando vecinos que no encuentran otro lugar donde vivir. Todo es alegal aquí, así que el que encuentra un hueco, muchas veces sobre aguas fétidas que tapan con tierra, hace su casa y no tiene que pensar en los créditos, avales, papeles y gastos que les van expulsando de otras zonas mejores.
La vida se abre paso y algunos, como el paraguayo César, incluso se consideran afortunados por vivir en un espacio abierto, aunque esté encajonado entre ríos contaminados, industrias pesadas y el muro de la autopista. Para él, la contaminación no existe. "Mira, ahí está mi huerto. Todo crece bien y rápido. Y si crece, es que no hay contaminación", señala con su lógica aplastante desde lo alto de su casa, que está ampliando para su familia. Las autoridades de salud explican que las napas están llenas de residuos químicos, pero a César no le importa.
A orillas del Riachuelo hay unas 20.000 personas que han construido sus viviendas sobre un barro contaminado, explica Daniel Menéndez, líder de Barrios de Pie, uno de los movimientos sociales más activos en estos lugares abandonados. Los vecinos se aferran a estas organizaciones porque es lo único que les queda, y ellos buscan fondos y presionan al Gobierno para hacer una labor de contención que evita que la situación estalle. "Los datos macroeconómicos hablan de una supuesta recuperación en Argentina pero acá abajo no llega. Nadie sale de las villas, que siguen creciendo. Deberían realojarlos desde 2008, cuando la Corte Suprema decidió que era zona inhabitable, pero no hay viviendas para ellos". Menéndez culpa de la situación a todos, no solo al Gobierno de Mauricio Macri. Villa Inflamable pertenece a Avellaneda, un municipio popular del sur de Buenos Aires gobernado por los peronistas.
Desayuno en el comedor comunitario Las Hormiguitas, en Villa Inflamable.
Desayuno en el comedor comunitario Las Hormiguitas, en Villa Inflamable. SILVINA FRYDLEWSKY
"A los comedores viene más gente y no sólo chicos, también gente mayor. Hoy aparecieron dos mujeres ancianas, una de 97 años, vienen también familias enteras a buscar la merienda, un vaso de leche. Esta imagen no la habíamos visto desde 2001", asegura Rocío, promotora de salud de Barrios de Pie, que analiza todos los datos que acumulan con las 80.000 personas que tienen trabajando en las más de 4.000 villas miseria que hay en todo el país donde viven 1,3 millones de personas. Rocío insiste en que esa recuperación no llega abajo. "La pobreza ha bajado del 32% al 28% según los datos oficiales, pero el problema es que subió la indigencia, y este es el problema principal, por qué este problema cómo lo resolvés? El 48% de los niños en el conurbano de Buenos Aires están malnutridos. Las familias construyen una dieta para saciar el hambre, no rica en nutrientes porque no hay forma de tener una dieta equilibrada con ingresos tan deteriorados", explica.
Todo es complicado en estas zonas abandonadas a pocos kilómetros de una gran capital rica y esplendorosa como Buenos Aires. En ocasiones los intentos de realojo han fracasado por enfrentamientos mortales. La pasión por Dock Sud y San Telmo, los dos clubes locales, divide la zona. Los de un barrio se niegan a vivir en el otro por miedo a la violencia, y los realojos fracasan. Las batallas no son solo por el fútbol, sino sobre todo por el control del territorio.
"Acá todo está contaminado: la tierra, el aire y el agua", dice Judit. Y en el pasado incluso fue peor. "Antes, con la planta de coque, veíamos el deceso de bebés", recuerda. Las protestas lograron cerrar la esa fábrica. Pero no las demás.
Un hombre circula en bicicleta por una calle de Villa Inflamable.
Un hombre circula en bicicleta por una calle de Villa Inflamable. SILVINA FRYDLEWSKY
Cada familia recibe un bidón de agua potable de cinco litros por día pero es insuficiente. En muchas viviendas precarias viven hacinados padres con cuatro o cinco hijos, y hay que racionar el agua para beber, cocinar y lavarse porque la que sale por el grifo es muy tóxica. "El bidón de agua y una tarjeta alimentaria de 200 pesos (10 dólares) para cada familia, esa es la única respuesta que ha dado el Gobierno a través de Acumar, es una vergüenza. Los pibes nuestros se mueren porque tienen plomo en la sangre", se queja Judit. Ha habido realojos, sobre todo a las familias que tenían plomo en la sangre y corrían riesgo vital, pero se pueden contar con los dedos de las manos, cuentan.
Los niños tienen prohibido meterse al arroyo a jugar, pero cuando llueve y sopla viento del sudeste las calles de barro se inundan, el barro fétido lo cubre todo y el ritmo diario se interrumpe. "A las casas llega agua hasta con excremento. El olor es nauseabundo porque al no haber cloacas ni nada, te imaginás", describe Judit. Los menores no pueden salir de su casa para ir al colegio y el camión del agua y las ambulancias no pueden entrar al barrio.
Entre los habitantes son comunes las enfermedades cutáneas y respiratorias. "Hay mucha prevalencia de bronquiolitis y de neumonías que va deteriorando cada vez más la salud de los pibes y compromete su crecimiento", confirma Rocío. "Hoy acaba de fallecer un niño que tenía leucemia crónica. Pero es todo un proceso con el que venimos luchando desde el principio, desde hace 30 años", continúa Judit.
Para cualquiera que la visite desde fuera, Villa Inflamable es un infierno. Pero para Judit y sus vecinos es su casa de toda la vida. Y por eso quieren irse, pero no de cualquier manera. Reclaman al Gobierno un realojo en condiciones que cada día parece más lejano. Saben que están sobre suelo inhabitable, pero se han dejado allí todos sus escasos ahorros. El caso de Judit es el de la mayoría: "Yo llegué porque no podía pagar el alquiler. Trabajaba en un hotel, me quebré la pata y no podía pagar más. Acá me dieron un trozo de agua. Empecé a trabajar de peluquera a domicilio y con mucho esfuerzo y camiones de tierra, construimos todo esto. Ahora no vienen con una propuesta seria, porque todos los vecinos que estamos acá tenemos una inversión hecha. Obvio que queremos dignidad y queremos vivir mejor, pero queremos garantías". Casi diez años después de ser declarada invivible, Villa Inflamable sigue llena de vida, y nadie se quiere ir si no es para mejorar.