Preparations for a united movement in Chile underway

Preparations for a united movement in Chile underway

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John Ahni Schertow
July 16, 2007
 

On the weekend, several social, cultural and environmental organizations met in Chile to draw out an initiative to create a unified movement in Chile, who will explicitly work to change the current system towards one that is respectful to “natural resources, social justice and cultural diversity.”

From Real World Radio – Representatives from the Student Federation of the University of Chile in Santiago, from the National Confederation of Artisanal Fishermen of Chile, from the Confederation of Sea Workers, from the Council in Defense of Valley de Huasco and from the Cultural Corporation former Valparaiso prison, participated in the meeting. The participants considered that thinking about the creation of a new grassroot movement made up by different social actors is a possibility, so they agreed to promote an Encounter of Peoples’ Unity to move forward in this initiative.

The meeting will be held in Valparaíso on September 7, 8 and 9 although there will be previous preparatory meetings, the first one to be held on August 1st.

A draft of the call to the September meeting was also approved. The call mentions that the political model applied by the Concertation governments has worn out. It also expresses the frustration because after Pinochet’s dictatorship a “powerful caste” came to power and marginalized the social forces that have struggled against the de facto regime.

“The injustice model that emerged during the dictatorship has deepened since the 90s. The situation is reaching an extreme that endangers the republican project. The stealing all over the country, the usurpation of resources, the abuse of the powerful does not seem to have an end. The destruction of the Andes mountain range and the rivers is an example that the problem has gone further than imagined”.

The draft also makes direct reference to the consequences that the application of this model has had on the environment. “Economy has been focused only on exploiting natural resources and workers. The outcome of the implementation of these policies are hard to describe because of how dreadful they are. The authorities and businessmen do not seem to care about the fact that the environment is damaged as a result of an economic activity, as it happens everywhere in the country. For example in Santiago, a city full of smog and with a very bad public transportation system. In the northern town of Camarones the level of arsenic found in the water is over a hundred times the levels allowed by the WHO (World Health Organization). In other places, water has ran out. It was consumed by the ambitious mining activity”.

The document reports that this is just an introductory analysis to the problems affecting Chile, so that they are addressed by the participants. The unified grassroots movement is expected to gather cultural and social groups, health and mining sectors, peasants confederations and representatives from native peoples. (source)

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