Environmentalists Claim Brit Tycoon Joe Lewis Blocked Access To Lake With 40 Armed Men - ViralTab

Environmentalists Claim Brit Tycoon Joe Lewis Blocked Access To Lake With 40 Armed Men

Argentine environmentalists have reported British tycoon Joe Lewis for setting an army of 40 armed men on them for trying to access a secluded lake where his property is located.

Last Friday, social and environmental organisations began the sixth march for the ‘Sovereignty of Lago Escondido’ (‘Hidden Lake’), located 40 kilometres north of the town of El Bolson in the Argentine province of Rio Negro.

Protesters demand that Lewis, 85, and his administrators respect previous court decisions that ruled that two trails leading to the lake, which encircles the billionaire’s 12,000-hectare property, are public and of free access.

Environmentalists while trying to access the Escondido Lake in Argentina, on 5th February, they denounced this that they were threatened and detained by a group of guards of Joe Lewis. (@FIPCAok/Newsflash)

In the past, Lewis’ frontman Van Ditmer is quoted as saying: “We are going to defend the private property with the Winchester in the hands, with blood if needed.”

Environmentalists claim the public routes are still gated and reinforced with bars and barbed wire.

The group, which trekked through the mountains for three days before arriving at the lake, claimed that around 40 men, allegedly armed with machetes and firearms, blocked their route.

Environmentalists while trying to access the Escondido Lake in Argentina, on 5th February, they denounced this that they were threatened and detained by a group of guards of Joe Lewis. (Newsflash)

A spokesperson for the government’s Secretariat of Human Rights said: “We received complaints from people who are currently on the mountain road heading to Lago Escondido, on land owned by Joe Lewis. Over 40 civilians arrived at the scene with firearms to threaten them and stop them from continuing the journey.

“It should be noted that this is a path authorised by the Justice to provide access to the lake. We have already asked the authorities of Rio Negro Province to guarantee the safety and free movement of all of them.”

Numerous Argentine organisations have filed complaints against Lewis, a friend of former Argentine president Mauricio Macri.

Environmentalists while trying to access the Escondido Lake in Argentina, on 5th February, they denounced this that they were threatened and detained by a group of guards of Joe Lewis. (Newsflash)

Julio Cesar Urien, leader of the Interactive Foundation to Promote the Culture of Water (Fipca), called the march to Lago Escondido “in defence of national sovereignty”.

He added that the area is now “Lewis’ British enclave where Argentine citizens cannot enter”.