Monday, May 15, 2006

International — The Carnival Queen of Argentina attended the EU - Latin American Countries Summit in Vienna to expose Greenpeace's concerns about the pollution of the Uruguay River.
In front of Presidents Vazquez of Uruguay and Kirchner of Argentina she put on a provocative costume to convey a provocative message: stop the two huge European-owned paper pulp mills which threaten to pollute the river area of her home.The proposed plants are to be built in Fray Bentos, on the Uruguayan shore of the Uruguay river, and its toxic byproducts will flow into the Argentine city of Gualeguaychu.The conflict has put a strain on relations between Argentina and Uruguay, and on 30 May 2006, 100,000 people protested on the bridge that unites Gualeguaychu and Fray Bentos. The unexpected appearance of Evangelina Carrozzo, the dancing Carnival Queen, brought the issue even more attention.Greenpeace demands a clean production plan for the industry in the region that includes the total elimination of all chlorine compounds in the bleaching process as well as the relocation of these new pulp mills far away from any urban centre. "We urgently need to have legislation that governs the production of pulp and paper in the region. Such legislation should include the total elimination of all chlorine compounds to allow a closed system for effluents." says Paula Brufman, Toxics Campaigner for Greenpeace Argentina.Every year a new Carnival Queen is elected amongst thousands of participants. The election takes place in the city of Gualeguaychu where the biggest carnival celebrations in the southern cone take place. Evangelina Carrozzo was elected Queen in February."Being Queen of Carnival means a lot more than just a dancing beauty contest. Being Queen of Carnival in Gualeguaychu means that I represent the Uruguay river... I speak for our people and the nature around us. I am entirely qualified to demand to any Head of State that they protect our environment”, said Miss Carrozzo.The smiling activist wore a long raincoat and hid among photographers before springing out in front of the assembled political leaders with her message.

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