Rios Libres Video Dispatches: Part 2, The History

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Editors Note: this video is part of a series of 4 videos to be released every Monday this month by the U.S. group Rios Libres.
 
It was a good rain that morning in Aysén up a glacial tributary of the Rio Baker. Drips came down through the roof of a one-room house where a young man named Filipe Henriquez stood next to the crackling cocina telling me about how the privatization of water in Chile, the selling of rivers, has interrupted the flow of life. Henriquez said, “My father can’t take water out of the Baker for his livestock. It was sold to HidroAysén. It belongs to Endesa and Colbún. Sure, you can irrigate with it, but it is illegal.”
Endesa, a multi-national power company owned by the Italian energy giant Enel joined the Chilean energy company Colbún in planning to dam the Baker and other rivers in this un-dammed region.
 
The table in the house was made with a chainsaw, and on it stood a half-melted candle and an empty wine bottle from the night before. We had just finished breakfast.
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Rios Libres Video Dispatches: Part 1, The People

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In the weeks immediately following the Aysen region’s environmental approval of the HidroAysen dams project in May 2011, historic protests mobilized as many as 40,000 people into the streets in downtown Santiago. 

One year later, Chilean energy company Colbun, a partner in HidroAysen, publicly recommended that work on the environmental impact study for the mammoth, 2300-km transmission line needed to connect the dams power to Santiago be shelved indefinitely, acknowledging the need for a new national debate on energy policies.
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37,500-acre El Rincon donated to expand Perito Moreno National Park

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Editors Note: Bravo ! Another conservation victory in Patagonia thanks to Doug Tompkins. His aims are vastly misunderstood in the region, with the rumor mill over the years attempting to turn him into something altogether different. Who is he? At the most basic, he is a longtime climber who became incredibly successful in business and used his wealth to do something to save the planet. The world could use a lot more of that. 
 
Nadine Lehner, Conservacion Patagonica, BUENOS AIRES, MAY 16, 2013 – In an official ceremony with the Ministry of Tourism and the National Parks Administration, Conservacion Patagonica donated Estancia El Rincon to the national parks system of Argentina today. In the northwest area of the Santa Cruz Province, the 37,500-acre El Rincon will expand Perito Moreno National Park. El Rincon encompasses the Lácteo River Valley, which provides access to the dramatic—and still-unclimbed—south face of San Lorenzo, Patagonia’s second-highest peak.  Its granite walls and iconic pyramidal form make it the “Everest” of the region.
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The intrinsic value of Aysén and Chilean Patagonia

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No one doubts that the world is entering a new era. There are numerous signs, from our own natural world, such as climate change, to our culture, with the emergence of social movements and the new “springs” in diverse countries around the world.
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Running with wildlife through Patagonia’s frozen lands

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On July 28, 2012, summer in the Northern Hemisphere and the first day of the London Olympics, two figures brace themselves against the driving snow at the foot of continental South America. Above the roaring wind and crashing waves, they scream the start of their own Olympic-sized challenge -- the “5000 mile project,"  an unprecedented run the length of South America, more than 250 marathons in a year, for the continent’s wildlands and wildlife.
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