People living in Posadas, in Argentina’s Misiones Province, will no doubt be among the first to voice their criticisms of Trump’s Mexican Wall idea. Posadas residents have been coming to terms with their own giant wall for the last two years and they are no more pleased with it now than they were when it was erected during the Kirchner administration.
The huge concrete wall, which is 5 meters high, 1,300 meters long and covered in weeds, prevents direct pedestrian access to the Argentine end of the bridge linking Posadas with Encarnación (Paraguay).
As far as the locals are concerned, the structure creates more problems than it’s worth: drivers have to take long detours and those on foot are forced to take a sort of shuttle service to the train station. The rail and bus services are operated by the Misiones company Don Casimiro.
The head of the College of Architects, Javier Bellochio, said “it is a bad urban infrastructure [project] that wasn’t agreed on, which diminishes the real estate value of properties and affects the quality of life of people – they’ve lost the sight of river.”
The wall was built under the Kirchner administration, while Oscar Thomas was executive director of the Binational Entity Yacyretá (EBY) and Florencio Randazzo was Minister for Transport. At the time, no explanation was given about the wall, which many considered to be absurd and discriminatory — a bit like Trump’s really.
Even now, no one really knows the reasons that led to the construction of such an expensive barricade in a place typically known for the amount of traffic moving through it, particularly across the San Roque Gonzalez de Santa Cruz road-rail bridge, which links Posadas with Encarnación.
A couple of years back, when the building started, social media blew up with people protesting against the idea. A petition was even created on the platform Change.org asking that provincial authorities review the plans for the wall, which was going to put a massive eyesore on the waterfront of the city.
Despite the objections, which also involved environmental groups, NGOs and the general population, nothing changed.
If Trump didn’t already realise that walls don’t work – think Berlin post–World War II – maybe he could learn a few things from Posadas… probably won’t though.