The Province

Historical Overview

The National Territory of Central La Pampa comprised La Pampa Province, Río Negro Province and partial areas in the following provinces: Mendoza, San Luis, Córdoba and Buenos Aires.


• The aborigine stage
The territory that La Pampa Province occupies today was a stage that nomadic groups of hunters and pikers covered during thousands of years. They were the ones who initially set foot on different places and regions seeking for food to survive. Present knowledge cannot help us in accurately determining the arrival date of the first Amerindians in our region, though there is an actual piece of information relevant to the findings of Hombre Casa de Piedra (stone-house man). This discovery, made by Carlos Gradín during the preliminary stage of the construction of the homonymous dam over the Colorado River, allowed to date the remains in 8,620 years (6670BC).
There is no doubt that their entrance to La Pampa must have been made by following the corridors of the Colorado and Atuel-Salado-Chadileuvú Rivers, which were the sources of permanent water supply. Probably -in times of water bonanza with higher number of lagoons, streams and springs- they would have started penetrating by following large preys like rheas, guanacos, or other little ones like armadillos, viscachas, hares, etc.
This scenarium prevailed up to 16th century, when the arrival of European man in the south of the American continent dramatically altered life conditions. The change, that implied the presence of an intruder culture, was initially rendered as a curious attitude and turned later into hostility, which derived in resistance to the Spanish presence.
Paradoxically, the European culture gave -unintentionally- the aborigine the possibility to attack and defense by means of horses. These animals, that the aborigines were able to tame, allowed them to enjoy freedom for more than three hundred years. But as Spaniards and criollos were interested in settling themselves permanently in the area, this marred a sad destiny for native inhabitants: the final defeat established by the conquest of the so-called “desert” (1879) expulsed them out of the territory traditionally they used to live in, which resulted in the European settlement.
Since that time it has remained abundant toponymy, which designates the majority of the natural landscapes of La Pampa, as well as the memory of the great caciques that inhabited the territory: Yanquetruz, Painé, Pincén, Calfucurá, Namuncurá and many others.

• The modern settlement stage
In 1882, when military campaigns ended, the national government started distributing the lands recently conquered. This proceeding was supported by four national Law, which allowed the disposal of the famous “15,000 leguas”1 taken away from the aboriginal group. The Laws were: Nº 817 (Avellaneda’s) dated October 19, 1876, to promote the European immigration and the colonization; Nº 947, dated October 5, 1878, which authorized a public subscription to finance the “Desert Campaign”; Nº 1532 (Public Auction Law), dated November 3, 1882, which protected the distribution of land to new owners; and Nº 1628 (Prize Law), enacted to reward the military men participating in the campaigns.

•The National Territory of la Pampa
Once the National Territory of La Pampa was occupied and demarcated (1884), General Juan Ayala was the first governor appointed (1884-1891), and General Acha became the capital of the new political unit. By 1882, two foundations had previously taken place: Victorica and General Acha, both around small forts. Afterwards, there followed Bernasconi (1888), Hucal (1890), Santa Rosa and Parera (1892), and Toay (1894), which emerged as a result of private owners’ claims. At the same time, several settlements emerged spontaneously in different areas of the territory. The meeting places were of diverse nature: shops, campaign taverns, messenger relays, lot corners, farms, colonies, etc.
This first stage shows a population comprising criollos, meek aborigines and some immigrants who, by 1887, totaled 12,000 souls coming from Buenos Aires, San Luis, Mendoza, and some were from Río Negro and Neuquén. The basic activity was the husbandry of sheep and beef cattle, and in a lesser degree, farming and mining in Lihuel Calel (copper) and Salinas Grandes.
This arrangement and the economic activities changed dramatically in late 19th century (1890) due to the financial crisis that affected the country. As a result of the speculative systems established, the crisis introduced changes in the ownership of a great number of pampean properties. This lead to the arrival of new group of owners, who saw the land as a productive tool, not to be used for speculation. At the same time, a paramount event took place in our early History: the arrival of the railway from the ports of Buenos Aires and Bahía Blanca. The influence of the railway, knew by everybody, was reflected in a myriad of towns that grew around the stations, due to the establishment of farm colonies and thousands of immigrants arriving from very different places, who enthusiastically devoted themselves to cultivate eastern lands.
During this stage -arbitrarily, from 1891 through 1915- there was a remarkable growth: between 1900 and 1909, 32 settlements appeared, and from 1910 through 1915, 12 more. Whereas the II National Census of 1892 recorded 25,914 inhabitants, the Territorial Census showed 88.863, and the III National Census of 1914 totaled 101,338 individuals.
A special event took place in 1900, when the governor of the Territory, Dr. José Luro, empowered by a national executive order, moved the capital from General Acha to Santa Rosa, which stirred up a sharp dispute at that location.
Almost contemporaneously, settlements such as Uriburu (1897), Telén (1901), Larroudé (1903), Macachín, Van Praet and Catriló (1904), J. Aráuz, Quetrequén, Lonquimay and General Pico (1905), Monte Nievas (1906), Trenel, Realicó, and Vértiz (1907), E. Castex (1908), I. Luiggi (1910), and Naicó (1911) emerged among others.
This bonanza was suddenly stopped owing to the outbreak of World War II and resulted in the interruption of works in the railway laying, a sharp decrease in the arrival of immigrants and the supply of imported goods. Except for the towns devoted to the production of firewood, to substitute the coal from Cardiff, the rest was seriously affected by the military conflict.
Once the war was over, the Territory of La Pampa started recovering, though the railway would no longer expand. The agricultural economy shows now a stage of expansion, and the Territorial Census of 1920 reports 122.535 inhabitants.
Besides, it should be mentioned that in different places of the territory there was a generalized claim: the provincialization, and therefore the possibility of deciding the future of the new Province among the pampeans. Although the claim was put forward on the grounds that Law 1532 fixed at 60,000 the necessary number of inhabitants to change its category and La Pampa had doubled that number, such petition had to wait for a long time to be heard. Even though population and economic growth was sustainable, hopes started fading during the terrible decade of 1930. It all began with the economic crisis of 1929 in the United States, which affected our country in 1930, and was coupled with the constitutional government overthrow caused by a coup d’etat. It continued with the ash rain of 1932, to crown it all with the droughts of 1935-1937. The consequences were disastrous: thousands of farmers ruined and impoverished, fierce lands, animals, fences, houses and pools covered by sand banks. The distressing situation made many farmers -in debt to banks- to lose their lands. These years, called “the bad years” caused the emigration of 35.000 inhabitants and gave La Pampa Province the expelling characteristic that prevailed during many decades.
Another rearrangement took place owing to an internal exodus, either from little towns or the country, around grater locations, seeking for job opportunities. Besides, the population was relocated as the Atuel River was cut and the Salado-Chadileuvú River receded. In the first case, the Atuel River allowed the development of large number of sheep and few bovines. When the “El Nihuil” dam was built (1947), the lack of water caused the death of most sheep and the compulsory exodus of farmers and inhabitants out of the towns located by the river, towards General Acha and Victorica.
While this happened, the Highway Administration designed and implemented the construction of several highways that in the course of time transformed the basic layout of the pampean traffic: Nº 5, 35, and 152. The first two competed directly with the railway; the second connected the pampean territory with the southern region of our country.
Despite its nationalization, the railway started slowly to decline, and after a time the ’50 crisis condemned it to a sad twilight. The last years of the territorial stage show certain stagnation at general levels. The agriculture had not yet overcome from the critical years, though cattle breeding slowly recovered, favored by World War II and subsequent times. The forestal activity maintained its strength up to early ’50 decade, when it started to decline. Meanwhile, population had experienced a slight increase; according to the IV National Census, there were 169,480 inhabitants, of which 18,809 were established in Santa Rosa.
It should be mentioned that during the last twenty years of existence of the Territory, the “Governors” (in fact, national executive power representatives) were officers who showed total commitment to the pampean land. They were: Pérez Virasoro (1933/1939), Miguel Duval (1939/1946), Juan Páez (1946/1948), and Juan C. Neveu (1949/1951).
Although the national government did not always answered their claims, they aimed to settle the serious problems of that time. In the case of General Duval, he is recalled because of his special consideration to river matters, either for the claims put forward due to the cut of the Atuel and Salado Rivers or the plan to develop the Colorado River valley for farming purposes.
In 1952, Eva D. de Perón sent a letter to the National Senate requesting the enactment of a law to provincialize the national territories of La Pampa and Chaco. The missive was favorably accepted and on July 20, 1951, the Law 14037 was promulgated providing the creation of the new provinces.
Afterwards, it was constituted a Convention, which dictated the first pampean Constitution, enacted on January 29, 1952. The Constitution named La Pampa Province “Provincia Eva Perón”; but in September of 1955, the name was changed for “Provincia de La Pampa”. Dr. Ananía was the first governor of the brand new province.
It is an extremely difficult task to summarize the first seventy years of existence -concurrent with the time in which we were a national territory- due to the large number of events that took place during those years.
During the territorial stage, many things put in motion the land where the aborigine once reigned: the emergence of towns, the construction of schools, hospitals and roads, the establishment of different services like mail, police station and communications. Today, as a Province, we just go into the pioneers’ work.

Current health policies envision modern achievements in medical assistance: service quality, rational use of appropriate technology for each case, and management efficiency. Besides, they reinforce the main values of healthcare: health prevention and promotion, so as to guarantee inhabitants safety and welfare. At the same time a fundamental achievement is maintained in the provincial Health: the accessibility, both in the most populated areas and in the ones with lower number of inhabitants, thus ensuring the provision of medicines for ambulatory and hospitalized patients.
As regards healthcare delivery, the population’s needs are met by means of 104 healthcare centers, which operate over a network that ensures healthcare delivery all over the province and assistance through the appropriate transfer means, by which access to the highest level of complexity is guaranteed, while the State assumes, partially or totally, the financial role for the services requested to third parties.
Along these lines, the public system implemented measures for the generation of genuine financial resource, apart from the contributions of the provincial Revenue Service, by the enforcement of Law 1429, “Ley del Financiamiento del Sistema de Medicina Social” (Law for the Social Medicine System Financing), by collecting money from the services rendered and invoiced or from the agreements signed with different social security financial institutions, including the provincial Healthcare Insurance Plan. These measures intend to guarantee the system’s equity, as well as to restrict the permanent subsidy of the State to Healthcare Providers.
The provincial administration focuses the development of its activities on the following proposals:
• Social Justice: it allows the elimination of access barriers, such as the economic ones, democratizing the right to health.
• Social Criterion: by considering that health is one of the fundamental value to achieve the people’s goals, which becomes a crucial strategic value.
These are the basis on which action is taken: 1) Support and improvement of the assistance work: by a) improving the organizational structure; b) improving the system management; c) adopting new financing methods; d) training human resources continuously; e) settling the high complexity issue; f) defining functions and objectives through the Management Agreement, where policies and steps to be taken are defined, as well as the different levels of responsibility in each case.
2) Development of a sustained program for the Primary Healthcare. The mentioned proposal is the strategy considered to be valid to deepen the cited policies, in the sense of providing healthcare to cover the “real needs” of people. Therefore, “Primary Healthcare” should be defined as the essential medical care provided on the basis of practical methods and technology, scientifically proven and socially acceptable, available to any individual and family of the community, at an affordable cost for the community and the country , in all and each stage of development, with a sense of self-determination and self-responsibility.

Industrial Sector
The Pampean manufacturing industry is the most important one. However, the good conditions in the province as well as policies which impulse the industrial development show a positive scenario. The main industries in La Pampa have found a fimm supply and service structure both in parks and special areas. The most representative products are: wheat flour, sunflower oil and its derivations, dairy products, honey, boneless beef or not, balanced food, gasified water, soft drinks, textiles, shoes, car parts and other metallurgical pieces, concrete, wood and binding pre-assembled pieces, thermoplastic recipients, polypropylene bags and plaster panels, among others.

According to the census of 1991, there are 84,000 houses in La Pampa. 88% (73,920) belongs to occupied houses, and 12% (10,180), are unoccupied. IPAV has built 22.686 units since 1974 until December 1999, that is to say 21.98% total housing park (103,198). La Pampa's Government together with the financing of the National Building Society started to build in 1993 5,000 units in the province, during a period of five years, that contribute to solve housing deficit.

Other Housing Programs: the Subsecretariat of Community Promotion and Assistance, through EPAM (Mutual Aid and Own Effort Program) has built houses in the main towns of the province, mainly in the west. Other programs are: Program for Environmental Sanity and Housing and Improvement, "Plan Joven" and Limay Mahuida houses.

Ongoing Projects: in 1999, the Autarchic Housing Institute started the execution of "Proyecto 3000", which comprise the building of 3,341 units in 58 cities of the province during three years. Up to present time, June 2000, 983 units are accomplished.

La Pampa Free Trade Zone

La Pampa Free Zone has the aim of consolidate to La Pampa province and the whole region in a new challenge that implies to introduce them in the context of the so-called global market. We have the firm conviction of impelling the regional growth, in function of the existent infrastructure that integrates the air, vial, rail and marine transport systems known as multi-modal transport system. In addition, we are enhancing the communications and the basic services, summoning to the best resource that possesses our region: their human resources. Simply, we want to create the favorable framework that serves as base for the construction of our region, and in the one where our children can develop their aptitudes in order to live in a highly competitive world with the biggest capacity of interaction.

Location: In order to settle down La Pampa FZ, it has been chosen the neighboring of General Pico city, located in La Pampa province, Argentina, as could be appreciated in the figure (in the right). Several reasons have been taken into account, namely: Fertile zone of central and humid pampas. • Wide and basic infrastructure inside the area of the free zone as (communication, natural gas, electric power, drinking water, sewer system, buildings, among others). • Advanced social and educational services (basic and complex health infrastructure; primary, secondary, undergraduate, and graduate education; etc.). • Infrastructure to the development of the so-called Multimodal Transport (aerial, terrestrial, and railroad).

Advantages FZs: a bigger easiness and simplicity. The merchandises coming from foreign countries can enter to the FZ without paying tariffs or import taxes being able to remain in this area without limit of time. They can be re-exported without or with any elaboration process at any moment. Because of the import and export temporary rules of Argentinean FZs, the industrial companies will be able to design and to use operations of industrial reason that adapt to their necessities. In relation to the acquisition of imported "capital" goods, likewise the rest of the merchandises, they don't pay taxes related with the importation so that they reduce the financial cost of investment to the C.I.F. price of the imported ones. Also, the capital goods enter to the FZ without paying IVA (Added Value Tax), which it reduces the fixed investment cost significantly.
It is clear that the FZ generates expectations regarding the tax benefits that grant. Specifically, (and according to the law 24.331 and tax complementary norms), the companies located in the FZ (concessionaire and users) are exempt the added value tax (IVA) so that the purchases of goods and services performed in the TAG (GCT General Customs Territory) are not tax. For the company in the TAG (GCT) that carries out a sale (of goods or services) the same one constitutes an export on which will charge the corresponding refund once the sold merchandise is exported definitively to other country. The exports carried out by the FZ companies will enjoy refunds exclusively on the value added in the area.

General Pico (La Pampa) Free Trade Zone: Free Trade Zones aim to boost trade and export industrial activities, thus obtaining lower costs in the activities that are carried out in them.

The Free Trade Zone is a customs area perfectly delimited in which there are benefits (not only of fiscal nature ) and incentives for the development of commercial and industrial activities and services. These benefits are given by the State, which aims to stimulate the different forms of production, by giving a strong boost to exports. All of this to increase productive volumes, on the basis of a development pole, which generates employment and opportunities for the progress of the population. This concept is based on the purest idea of a free market economy. This is why these zones aim to compete directly at international levels, by promoting economic activities and creating the appropriate atmosphere for the development of business. The companies that operate within the free trade zone are subject to a regulatory framework that is highly competitive, and it is based on the reduction of operating costs and a substantial decrease in tax burden. In the new worldwide scenarium, where globalization has boosted the constant optimization of manufacturing processes and the demand of high-quality final products, free trade zones have become the principal resource to attract investors, mainly in developing countries.

Servicios y Tecnologías Aeroportuaria S.A., a company of the Aeropuertos Argentina 2000 S.A. group, obtained the concession for the operation of the General Pico Free Trade Zone (ZFGP) from November 1998, when the contract with La Pampa Province was signed. A year later, on November 1999, on occasion of the 94th anniversary of General Pico, the Free Trade Zone was inaugurated, and it is recorded as new milestone in the history of the province.

The ZFGP is strategically located in the center of the country, comprising the most important turistic and consumption centers of the Country (Mendoza, Córdoba, Neuquén, Rosario, Buenos Aires) within a radius of 700 km.
General Pico is the industrial and technological pole of La Pampa, has a stable population of 50,000 inhabitants, and has three well-known university schools, which generate a highly qualified labor that is specialized in the different field of business organizations.

The concessionaire is committed to provide the services required by the companies that may establish there, generating and developing the necessary logistics for importers and exporters and offers consulting services, communications, infrastructure, support for the development of the activities and the normal execution of processes.

Another advantage of this Free Trade Zone is that you can sell in the Country the products manufactured with foreign materials and parts. Temporary Export for passive execution from GCT (general customs territory) to FTZ (free trade zone), for the subsequent reimport to GCT or export to foreign countries. Temporary export for the passive execution from FTZ to GCT for the subsequent reexport from GCT to FTZ.

This is a brief summary of what the Free Trade Zone of La Pampa offers. The commitment made by the Concessionaire and La Pampa Province is to position this undertaking at the highest international level that the most competitive worldwide free trade zones, which will also improve the quality of all areas of development in the Province.

Ezeiza International Airport
Ministro Pistarini
Terminal B 1st floor
1802 Ezeiza
Buenos Aires - Argentina
Tel: +54 11 5480-2500
Fax: +54 11 5480-2677


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