translated from Spanish: The Government will expropriate the lands of Los Penitentes

On Wednesday and by a majority of votes, the Chamber of Deputies gave final sanction to the draft Law of the Executive Branch declaring it public utility and subject to expropriation, six polygons, owned by Los Penitentes, for the exploitation and development of The Turístic or integral of the Center of Esquí.Se deals with a total area of 42 hectares and 9,013.52 square meters, located in the district of Uspallata, in Las Heras.The expropriating subject will be the Province of Mendoza, «who must allocate the properties exclusively, in itself, by itself or in partnership with third parties, to the tourism, sports and commercial exploitation of a pole of mountain activities, rest and any other activity that it deems necessary, always seeking to achieve compromise with the expropriated subjects», notes the text of the Law.As stated in the basics of the project, the application is based «on the judgment given in the file No. 13-04317826-6 labeled «LOS PENITENTES CENTRO DE ESQUÍ S.A. C/ GOVERNMENT OF THE PROVINCE OF MENDOZA P/ ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURAL ACTION», originating from the Second Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice, which rejected the application and confirmed the constitutionality of Decree No. 217/18, which rejected the request for an extension of the concession of the use and exploitation of the tax property located in the district of Uspallata, Department of Las Heras, where the Los Penitentes Ski Center will operate.» The abovementioned property «consists of fractions of tax and private domain, in which countless properties, structures and services indispensable for the tourism and commercial exploitation of the area, which constitutes the livelihood of the inhabitants of the place, making it essential to combine the entire property in question, in order to enable a tender for concession and exploitation as part of the high mountain strategic plan outlined by EMETUR,» they add. They also note that the tax property was sold in fractions and transferred by the provincial State to private individuals in the late 1970s, and that these fractions are intertwined with tax land, on which the infrastructure was built, means of elevation, services, streets, parking lots, stoppers, restaurants, shelters, private accommodation buildings, hotels, etc. Jorge Albarracín (UCR), head of the Committee on Legislation and Constitutional Affairs, said that «it is necessary to value a comprehensive project, which is not only some properties, but the layout, new buildings, means of elevation, among Other. It’s a subject of great tourist interest. It is unfortunate that Penitentes, which was an emblematic ski resort, is now practically at a very high level of deterioration. That is why expropriation is necessary to initiate a new bidding process.» This is an administrative act to regularize 4 years of factual extension. To prevent this deterioration process from continuing, expropriation is necessary,» he added. For their part, both Lucas Ilardo (UC), and Carina Segovia (PJ), advanced the negative vote of their respective blocs on the grounds that «the failure of justice is not firm», and that «there is no rush» for the treatment of the dossier taking into account that «the season it’s closed for lack of snow.» Similarly, Mario Vadillo (Protector) was expressed, who also referred to the haste of treatment. «What a need to expropriate what has no snow, » he said at the compound. In the project elevated by the Executive, he notes that the Los Penitentes Ski Center, has characteristics of high mountain area, located just 4 km from Cerro Aconcagua, with peaks of maximum height of 3,194 meters above sea level and a ski-in slope on its slopes 614 meters. In addition, he stresses that it boasts «-without prejudice to its irregular state of conservation- with means of lifting and slopes of different lengths and slopes for beginner, advanced and expert skiers, consolidating a tourist, commercial and settlement population at this high mountain point, which, although in sharp decline for a few years to date, justifies its recovery, refurbishment and reformulation.» In this line, they describe that «the existence of this tourist center and winter sport, is an immeasurable source of work and opportunities for the local inhabitants, the surrounding areas and even the labor force that inhabits the city of Mendoza, and that season to season goes in search of a job opportunity, especially if you consider the new summer activities in vogue, such as mountain bike, relegation, climbing, zip line, running, etc. Currently, about 30 people live in the village permanently, and up to 300 people as inhabitants and casual workers in winter or summer season.» In this note:

Original source in Spanish

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