On Tuesday, a thousand people in Argentina marched along the beaches of Mar del Plata against an oil exploration project off the coast of the Atlantic.
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The protesters carried placards in which read "Oil is death," "A sea without oil tankers," and "No to pollution." Classical dancers performed during the march fronted by environmental demonstrators and left-wing activists.
The protesters disagree with the recent decision by President Alberto Fernández's government to authorize the seismic exploration studies by the Norwegian oil company Equinor, state energy firm YPF and Anglo-Dutch company Shell. The work will be developed in offshore areas of the Argentine Sea, 300 kilometers from beaches attractive to millions of tourists.
Julieta, an organizer who declined to give her last name, declared that the works would "kill marine animals." "We're calling the march 'El Atlanticazo,'" she stated, adding, "There is a 100 percent chance of an accident and pollution, according to a study by the University of Tandil."
"If there is an accident, the oil spill could reach neighboring Uruguay. There have been recent accidents all over the world. The sea is life; it is creation; we are water," she added.
Juan Manuel Ballestero, surfer and lifeguard, explained to AFP why he is against the exploration, noting the "disastrous data on oil spills in Brazil and Mexico." He affirmed, "I give a resounding 'no' to this exploitation."
According to the government, the project was approved after a public consultation hearing; on the other hand, Greenpeace stated that "98 percent of participants" objected to the project.