“Legislators and congressional candidates gathered in Santiago’s former Congress building Monday to pledge their support for clean energy alternatives to major hydroelectric dam projects in Patagonia.
Launched by the Defense Council of Patagonia, the campaign “Vota Sin Represas (Vote No Dams),” calls for presidential candidates to formally pledge their commitment to keep Patagonia free of dams and invest in renewable energy before this year’s election.
“It’s basically a political tool,“ Juan Pablo Orrego, president of the advocacy group Ecosystems told The Santiago Times, describing the campaign. “The Chilean people are against this dam and they’re not going to support a candidate who is for it. This campaign is a means to bring more transparency to the issue.”
HidroAysén is a major dam project which encompasses plans for five hydroelectric dams in the Aysén Region of Patagonia. Though the project was approved under the administration of President Sebastián Piñera, progress stalled in June 2012 due to widespread protests in Chile.
Some parliamentary candidates, present at Monday’s event, have already signed on to the campaign, including former student leaders Camila Vallejo, now running as a Communist Party (PC) deputy candidate, and Giorgio Jackson.”
Read more: International Rivers