Clarín did not stop paying attention to the BAUEN. In fact, other than Página/12 from the opposite perspective, it is probably the newspaper that has paid the most attention to the recovered hotel. Most of the other almost 400 recovered businesses, not so much. As the situation was not being resolved, the Iurcoviches, supported more and more openly by Clarín, turned up the pressure. Besides the website, the workers found out through several deputies that the Iurcoviches were touring Congressional offices, lobbying against the expropriation, and they were trying to find people to be voices within the members of the cooperative to try split it from the inside. It goes without saying that failed miserably.
On June 6th, Clarín published a new and suggestive article on the case of the hotel, now openly favorable to the position of the business.1 Under a thin veil of apparent impartiality, it regularly repeats the arguments of the Iurcoviches (described right in the headline as “the owners”), and is careful to link the cooperative with the workers of the old business. For the newspaper, the hotel (they repeat) went broke, “dragged by the crisis of 2001,” and “ended up in the hands of a cooperative,” giving the impression that a group of people that had nothing to do with the hotel occupied it and use it for their own benefit (“a venture managed by some 130 employees that make up, as they present themselves, a worker cooperative that bears the abbreviations of the hotel”). The web of scam, fraud, and asset-stripping created by the current owners of the Mercoteles business (which claims ownership) and previous owners of Bauen SA does not appear in all the article, which ends by predicting that the eviction will be carried out “peacefully and before the winter judicial recess.”
The final offensive arrived when the judge again set an eviction date, September 10th. Once again, the newspaper headline announced that “time is up.” “Tension in the BAUEN,” it went on to say.2 This time, it was with statements by Hugo Iurcovich himself, the “legitimate owner.” Iurcovich said that “the courts have already denied use on four occasions, the hotel isn’t equipped for use, [the cooperative] does not have expertise of any kind, does not pay a single tax, and is outside of the Law” (“Law” was capitalized in the original). The cooperative, for its part, made it known that they weren’t going to give up their jobs.
Despite the catastrophic headline, when the time was up, there was no eviction.
- “Conflict grows in the BAUEN and the owners ask for eviction,” Clarín, 16 June 2014. Recovered from https://www.clarin.com/ciudades/crece-conflicto-bauen-duenos-desalojo_0_rkjFzQh5DQx.html↩
- “Tension in the BAUEN because today is the deadline for eviction,” in Clarín, 19 September 2014. Recovered from https://www.clarin.com/ultimo-momento/bauen-ocupacion-desalojo-cooperativa_0_B1bmaKcwQg.html↩