Authorities from one of Argentina’s most exclusive gated communities, Nordelta, were forced to make concessions regarding internal transportation policies after accusations of discrimination by residents to workers went viral.
Namely, authorities announced their willingness to allow public transport in the community, and committed to ensuring that workers are not prevented from riding private shuttles that circulate within its walls.
This news comes after a sequence of incidents of mistreatment occurring in this luxurious corner of the province of Buenos Aires, in which a substantial portion of the region’s elite lives. The events went viral following publication by the La Izquierda Diario news site, publication by the Frente de Izquierda (FIT) party, and then picked up by Argentina’s primary news outlets.
Employees told La Izquierda Diario that the problems started when residents of the area who used the shuttle bus, or combi, “placed bags occupying more than one seat so we couldn’t sit next to them.” Workers, while deeply upset and disturbed by this, said it was bearable because at least they were still allowed to travel.
The situation grew progressively worse, with drivers making different excuses to not let them onto the shuttles. Different articles reported that Nordelta residents complained that the workers “smelled bad,” and “talked too much” when requesting they not be allowed on.
One woman recorded a video where she seems to not be let onto the shuttle. “There’s another one coming right away,” and “I’m only following orders from the company,” the driver tells the woman who published the footage.
“There are 8,000 employees who work in Nordelta. There are 32 neighborhoods. [The private transport system] is the only way to get in and around,” one employee explained.
As the controversy continued gaining ground in the public conversation, Tigre Mayor Julio Zamora introduced a resolution in the district’s council to allow public transport into Nordelta, but its treatment was wrecked by lack of quorum, largely due to the pressure from Nordelta residents.
However, as push-back increased, Eduardo Constantini, owner of the company that developed Nordelta, said: “Nordelta SA’s decision is to accompany and guarantee the provision of an inclusive and accessible transport service for all,” and will support the entry of public transport if the Tigre Council finally approves the resolution.
If this ends up being the case, the 723 bus line will likely be the one which makes its way into the exclusive gated community. As for the discrimination, well, that seems to be a whole other conversation that can’t be solved by a city council resolution.