Blogs

Magallanes Under Attack: the Salmon Farming Invasion of the Ultima Esperanza Province

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According to the registry of the Sub-Secretariat for Fishing (SUBPESCA), in September 2009, nearly 1000 applications for concessions for a “portion of water and depth” were presented in the Ultima Esperanza Province, whose capital is Puerto Natales in the Magallanes Region. 
 
This is the probable last try by the salmon industry to reach the production levels that they once registered in the Lakes and Aysen regions of southern Chile. Its now impossible to recover their prior production levels in these regions alone due to the environmental degradation that they themselves caused to the aquatic environment.  
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Myths and the Electric Mafia

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One of the aspirations of residents of the Aisen Region is low-cost energy. Lately, Aisen residents are also demanding better quality energy.
 
This issue has been exploited, like so many others, by practically all of the political candidates. But afterward, unfortunately, they remain mere promises. It is also how began the myth how the myth that Aisen has the most expensive energy in Chile.
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La nevazon y el viejito pascuero troyano

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Tras el casi terremoto blanco (“chubasco de nieve” según el pronóstico de meteochile) que nos ha afectado en la región y tras todo lo que ha pasado, no puedo dejar de hacer algunas comparaciones con lo ocurrido con el terremoto del 27 de febrero en las regiones del centro sur. Si bien los daños y consecuencias son incomparables, nos encontramos en ambos casos con algunas similitudes, especialmente en lo que respecta a la vulnerabilidad y la improvisación con que se actúa.
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La pesca artesanal en Chile: el fin de una cultura

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La Pesca Artesanal es una Cultura, el producto neto de la relación social entre el Hombre y la Naturaleza que le rodea y que le sustenta, a decir de Fernando Mires, cientista social chileno radicado en Alemania. Una Cultura de producción orgánica, que no usa antibióticos, pesticidas, colorantes, pinturas antifouling, balsas jaulas de cobre, hormonas de crecimiento, modificaciones genéticas… ni una red de influencias en los Poderes del Estado ni en la prensa oficial.
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Interview: Chile President Piñera Speaks to Patagon Journal About Conservation, Dams and Patagonia

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The center-right government of new Chilean President Sebastián Piñera is nearing its first major environmental decision: whether to approve HidroAysén, a controversial US$ 7 billion project to build five hydroelectric dams on two rivers in Chilean Patagonia.
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Big Hydro Falls Behind

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The big hydro industry always used to consider the "new renewables" as Mickey Mouse technologies that could never match the billions of kilowatt hours humming through the lines linked up to the world's megadams.
 
But times have changed. Big Hydro is learning that lots of small projects can add up to a lot more juice than a small number of very big ones.
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In Memoriam: Fernando Siebald

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I met him in 2006, when I worked for the Regional Council for Small Fisherman in the Lakes Region and we had just started a decisive fight against the salmon industry. Fernando Siebald was one of the lawyers for the Pumalin Foundation, and there, whenever he could, he would give us some legal advice to help us become more efficient in the fight that had just begun. 
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Exclusive Interview with Marcelo Castillo, Lawyer for the Patagonia Without Dams Campaign

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Marcelo Castillo, an environmental lawyer in Santiago, represents the Council for the Defense of Patagonia (CDP), a coalition of Chilean and international organizations campaigning to stop the HidroAysen project, an ambitous plan to build five large-scale dams in southern Aysen and send the power to Santiago via an enormous electric transmission stretching nearly 2,500 kilometers. At the end of June, HidroAysen is due to file a second addendum to its environmental impact study at the request of regional environmental authorities. The second half of this year, then, will be a critical time for determining the fate of this project. 
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The Right to Write About Patagonia

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Recently, I received a letter from Humberto Merino, the editor of Enfoque, a regional magazine based in Puerto Montt, in which he angrily tells me at one point that because he was born and raised in Chile that he has more rights than me to write about Patagonia. “I believe, Mr. Langman, that I have more rights than you to write about my country.”
 
Patagonia engenders strong emotions. For Merino, it appears to be jealous possessiveness toward foreigners. For me, after my first trip down the length of the Carretera Austral in March 2001, like so many others from around the world the region’s immense natural beauty provoked inspiring awe.  My strong admiration for this region eventually led me to write several articles, start on a book and found this magazine.
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