Saturday, May 14, 2011

Over 30,000 people protest in Chile against a hydroelectric project

Santiago de Chile. (EFE) .- More than 30,000 people gathered tonight in the capital of Chile to protest the recently passed Hidroaysén megaproject, which includes the construction of five dams in Chilean Patagonia. Early police reports indicated that at least 70 people were arrested across the country, the demonstrations spread to several cities in Chile.

In Santiago, reported the police (military police), 30,000 people marched peacefully to 21.30 local time (01.30 GMT Saturday) when ending the authorization. However, once the time established a group of at least 5,000 people tried to reach the vicinity of the Palacio de La Moneda Executive headquarters, where they clashed with the police, who used "water cannons cars" and lots of tear gas.

Efe were noticed the first four blocks from the popular San Diego streets and Arturo Prat converge near the headquarters of the Executive, street seemed bombed after the end of the protests. You could see lights uprooted, destroyed almost all the signals, several metal shutters of the shops of the place destroyed, cars with their windows broken and bank branches with serious damage.

Meanwhile, Bío Bío radio reported that several of the underground railway stations had to close their doors, while much of Santiago suffered "a spectacular chaos of traffic. The march was called by the group "Patagonia Without Dams", against the project conceived in 2006 and approved on Monday, which includes the construction of five dams on the mainstream of the Pascua and Baker rivers in Chilean Patagonia, with a investment of 3,200 million dollars, to generate a total annual average of 18,430 GWh.

Has twelve government officials, the Environmental Review Commission of the Aysen region, some 1,800 kilometers south of Santiago, voted in favor of the environmental impact study Hidroaysén, driven by companies Endesa Chile, a subsidiary of Endesa Spain, and by the Chilean Colbún. Since then environmental groups have gone every day against this initiative, which will continue demonstrations until next May 21, the day that the president of Chile, Sebastián Piñera, delivered in parliament public accounts of his administration.

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