Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Protests in Chile to save Punta de Choros

Historiauv reports that Tuesday the Regional Environmental Commission (COREMA) of the Coquimbo Region approved Franco-Belgian Suez Energy's bid to build a coal-fired thermoelectric power plant at Chungungo cove near the town of La Higuera.  It's to be built just south of the historic Punta de Choros, a region famous for marine ecological diversity. 

Silvia Viñas blogs that the Chilean president Sebastián Piñera's had promised to, “oppose all thermoelectric plants that seriously undermine nature, communities and quality of life.”

The project is said to pose a threat to the Humboldt Penguin National Reserve, consisting of three islands located off Punta de Choros.  The islands are also home to seabirds, a colony of bottlenose dolphins and migrating whales.  There is a marine reserve around the archipelago. 

Around noon 500 people demonstrated in the center of Coquimbo, a port city.    In Santiago the environmental group Pescao Chao convened a protest today at the corner of Alameda and Ahumada. Gonzalo Rocker (6 twitpic) was there live at Ahumada in Santiago.  He took photos of  police using water cannons to disperse a large crowd of peaceful protesters. There were demonstrators in other other parts of the country, most notably in Valparaiso at the Plaza Sotomayor.     

Other power plants are planned for the coast of Chile that threaten other spectacular natural spots, for example the Los Robles energy project to be developed on the coast of the Maule region, close to the sea lions of Loanco, wetlands, and the Reloca Frederick Albert National Reserve. (maulee!)

Astu Science has been following the controversy on his blog, and posts this video:

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