Chile: Mapuche protest Panqui hydro project

As protests have repeatedly rocked the Chilean capital Santiago in recent days, environmentalists and Mapuche indigenous leaders rallied peacefully in the remote town of Curarrehue (Cautín province, Araucanía region) Oct. 16 to oppose the planned Panqui hydro-electric project, which would inundate several small Mapuche communities. The company charged with building the 9-megawatt dam, RP El Torrente SA, has met with Curarrehue municipal authorities to win support for the project, but it is opposed by the local Movement for the Defense of the Territory of Curarrehue. (Radio Biobio, Oct. 16; La Opinión, Santiago, Sept. 27)

Protesters won a victory earlier this year with the suspension of the massive and controversial HidroAysén project, slated to be built in Aysén region to the south. (See map.)

See our last posts on Chile, the Mapuche and regional struggles for control of water.

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