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Mega hydroelectric projects threaten Peoples and their territories in Chile

Mega hydroelectric projects threaten Peoples and their territories in Chile

By Alfredo Seguel

Businesses of a few to the detriment of the great majority: "These hydroelectric projects are intended to be located at the expense of territories, ecosystems and their populations, which would affect the quality of life, culture, society and various livelihood activities such as Tourism, among several other sustainable "More hydroelectric plants and continue destroying rivers, towns and ecosystems ?: No. Thank you.


After the tragedy of Ralco in the Pewenche territory in the Altos del Bio Bio, in 2007 a strong territorial conflict has exploded as a consequence of several Hydroelectric projects that mainly intend to impose three "large" companies: The Transnational ENDESA (The same of the and Ecocide in Ralco); COLBÚN (From the Matte economic group, owner of Forestales y Celulosas, among others); And the Norwegian capital company SN Power, under State protection and government complicity.

These hydroelectric projects are intended to be located to the detriment of territories, ecosystems and their populations, which would affect their quality of life, culture, society and various livelihood activities such as tourism and several other sustainable ones, as is what would happen in the same way. of example in the nascent Region of the Rivers.

Energy crisis in the country or business interest?

In Chile, the pro-business informational siege and various partisan political spokespersons have referred to the country's energy crisis as an urgent matter, however, in the face of this communication offensive, it is well worth asking, is there really an energy crisis for the Peoples, their Communities and Citizens in Chile? Or rather, we should ask ourselves, is there a need for large-scale electricity for mega extractive projects of large economic groups? Or are there only commercial and economic interests of a few with this type of project?

What is completely safe, the electricity consumption of communities and citizens is not the problem or the risk. The skein unfolds when you try to answer the last two questions.

Business of a few to the detriment of the majority

Hydroelectric projects that, although they are located and are justified by “public utility” or “national interest” are businesses of a few, to the detriment of the great majority and their territories. They violate fundamental rights and generate serious and irreversible impacts. Floods, population displacements, social, cultural and economic losses, displacement of enormous machinery, deep excavations and earth movements, intervention of native forests, loss of flora and fauna, among many other consequences.

There are various antecedents that show that political power networks in Chile are fused with economic and commercial interests in this type of investment, therefore, it is not surprising that the actions to impose this type of projects are made with the promotion, complicity and protection of the State and a large part of its institutions, out of all morals, ethics, sense of justice and democracy, with blatant looting.

Who Should Save Energy?

Regarding the location and questioning about energy consumption, this responsibility has not been made to the large industrial and commercial companies, which are the main energy suckers. If the requirements were for these to save, without a doubt, new hydroelectric plants would not be required, they would be left over. Do the Mattes (owners of Colbún) save energy in their pulp mills and sawmills at CMPC? Do large commercial stores save on energy in their buildings and advertising? Clearly No, and we could continue to list many others of this type.

What about the other Energy Alternatives?


The same informational siege has shown that the discussion on energy in Chile should focus on the alternatives offered by hydroelectric plants or explore the possibilities offered by nuclear plants, escaping all rationality and exceeding the absurd.

Chile is a country of enormous wealth and great alternatives for renewable energy sources. In some parts of the world, studies have been carried out on other types of energy, which would perfectly cover all the energy needs of any Country and with no or minimal impact. Energies such as thermoelectric solar, photovoltaic solar, wind, offshore wind, are necessary possibilities and that must be considered and demanded as real possibilities and in passing, return the sovereignty over Natural Resources that these economic groups have been usurping against the rights of Peoples and their Communities (Rights of water, Subsoil, Forests, etc.).

Defending Rights: a Fair and Legitimate Social Protest

Stopping the advance of these types of mega projects is a must. “Pueblos y Aguas Libres” indicates the self-convocation that communities and citizens threatened by Hidroeléctricas are making for this November 30 and December 1 in Panguipulli. It is not only the expulsion of these companies, it is the defense of fundamental and collective rights; It is the requirement of the Chilean State to respect and repair these Rights; It is the defense of territories as living spaces; It is to take away the Sovereignty that these factual Power Groups have usurped, mainly in terms of Natural Resources; It is to be able to exercise the Self-determination that the Peoples and their communities have in Chile and that they are the ones who determine what type of development is wanted for the Country and what type of sustainable and renewable energy is to be developed. More hydroelectric plants and continue destroying rivers, towns and ecosystems ?: No, thanks.


Video: Bunji Hydropower Project. A mega Project of Pakistans. 7100 MW (July 2021).