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Argentines protest at Finnish embassy over Uruguay paper mill
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11:08, September 13, 2007

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Argentine environmentalists Wednesday protested in front of Finland's embassy in Buenos Aires over the building of a paper mill by Finnish company Botnia in a Uruguayan town.

Twelve women protestors aged between 24 and 60 chained themselves to the General San Martin Bridge, which links the Argentine town of Gualeguaych to Uruguay's Fray Bentos, where the mill is sited.

The latest protest is part of an extended campaign against the plant, which opposers say is polluting the Uruguay River, a key part of the border between the two nations.

"I am sure they will come and remove us, but we will resist as much as our strength will allow," protestor Raquel Gonzalez said.

The protestors are all members of the Gualeguaych Environmental Assembly, which has blocked the bridge since last November. The Finnish firm Botnia had planned to begin operations in the mill this month.

The protestors burned a Finnish flag and showed off dead fish and birds, which they said had been killed by pollution from the plant, currently in its testing phase.

Jose Pouler, a member of the assembly, said the protestors had left a box of the dead creatures outside the embassy for Finland to carry out autopsies.

The protest coincides with the opening of a hearing at the International Courts of Justice in The Hague, where Argentina is suing Uruguay for approving the plant.

Argentina says the paper mill has violated the terms of the Uruguay River Treaty between the two countries.

Source: Xinhua

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