Buenos Aires’ Recoleta neighbourhood got a new subte station this week with the opening of the Law Faculty terminal on the H line.
After opening the station for passengers on Wednesday, City Hall inaugurated its latest subte stop in a low-key event on Thursday morning. In attendance were Buenos Aires Mayor Horacio Rodriguez Larreta and President Mauricio Macri, among others.
The country’s current economic and social climate, as well as strike activity and the litigation that City Hall is pursuing against a group activists, made any other form of celebration difficult.
Subte workers held several partial strikes this week after their union confederation sealed a meagre 15-percent pay rise. Annual inflation is set to surpass 25 percent this year, according to private estimates.
City Hall is also involved in some nasty litigation, suing two activists and an anti-demolition group known as "Basta de Demoler" for 25 million pesos, for interrupting its initial plans to open the same station at Plaza Francia, a protected historic area.
Activists describe the litigation as intimidatory and say the government is operating in cahoots with constructors and real estate moguls to discourage future action against urban development projects involving demolition.
“Among the people approving [demolition permits] are people who respond to the pressure of real-estate interests and other political interests,” Santiago Pusso, one of the men being sued, told this Times in April.
“The result of our intervention, in specific cases because of the symbolic nature of certain areas, has been positive and we have seen bills passed to protect certain neighbourhoods. But the government does not respect the very law it passes.”
The new station at the University of Buenos Aires' Law Faculty is named Julieta Lanteri, after a feminist politician who was the first woman in Argentina and Latin America to vote.