In Argentina, more than 200 refugees are occupying buildings and staging hunger strikes in protest against their conditions.
In Argentina, more than 200 refugees are occupying buildings and staging hunger strikes in protest against their conditions. The main centre for the protest is Buenos Aires, but other actions are being held simultaneously in Canada and the United States. Most of the refugees are from Chile.
SYNOPSIS: Hundreds of refugees are being billeted in mission hostels in Buenos Aires. They claim a wide range of grievances, ranging from the level of assistance they are getting, to their legal status in Argentina.
They exist in cramped conditions, often more than one family to a room. The sit-ins and hunger strikes held to draw attention to the conditions, are timed to coincide with a United Nations conference on developing countries being held in Buenos Aires. Some of the refugees' demands are directed at United Nations agencies.
During the hunger strikes, only children and pregnant women are given food. The Chileans among the refugees are concerned about their status in Argentina, which is disputing territory with Chile at the southern tip of South America. They say the blue cards issued to them are not recognised by the Argentine authorities.
The refugees are seeking better conditions through improved control of United Nations funds, and they want the right to leave Argentina.