Historia de la destrucción de una provincia: Tucumán, 1966, by Roberto Pucci

40787334Since the year began, I’ve been spending some time at libraries, researching for the graduation project I think I’ve mentioned before. So, I read this book at the National Library, for that purpose. It wasn’t my intention, at first, to read it in its entirety, as it covers some years that exceed the timeline of my project, but I ended up finishing it, and still getting good bits of information from those other years.

As the title bluntly says, the book exposes the damage that was done to the province of Tucumán, beginning in 1966 with Onganías’s dictatorship. Despite determining this starting point, the author describes the previous history of mishandling of Tucumán’s affairs by central government that ruled by their own interests, dismissing Tucumán’s own. As if Tucumán’s main industry and economical force, the sugar cane industry, was a curse, a disease for the national interests that must be vanquished.

For many years, and particularly during Onganía’s rule, the province was under the government’s intervention, meaning that the people weren’t able to vote for their own governor and an inspector (the “interventor”), chosen by the central power, was set in place. One of the things that interested me about this is that, as the author explained, these man arrived to the province “brainwashed” to do exactly what the national government said, and, with those predicaments, solve and fix “the Tucumán problem”. All the inspectors began working like this but, at some point, they realized that things were not only not working but that Tucumán’s situation was worsening. This is what the authors calls the “tucumanization” of the inspectors, when they address the central power about this contradiction and either keep asking for more help or suggesting or demanding a change of politics. After this, they were almost immediately replaced by another inspector and the cycle began again.

And this is just a little bit about the terrible things done to Tucumán described in this book. These were also the reasons why the group of artists I read about in Del Di Tella a “Tucumán Arde” decided to expose this situation. And is the subject of my graduation project.