Thursday, November 29, 2007

Enrique Accorsi, President of the Chamber of Deputies’ Environmental Commission backs demands of anti-dam cavalcade

(Nov. 29, 2007) Dep. Enrique Accorsi (PPD), the president of the Chamber of Deputies’ Environmental Commission, offered a gesture of support Tuesday evening for the aims of the Cavalcade for a Patagonia without Dams (Cabalgata Patagonia Sin Represas).

Although the Cabalgata concluded its nine-day tour of XI Region to protest of the proposed HydroAysén dam project on Tuesday, the protestors mailed a list of grievances to Regional Governor Viviana Betancourt before their journey began. Their letter called for measures to promote sustainable, locally-based economic growth and also denounced the ownership of the region’s water rights by corporate interests, insisting they be returned to the people of Aysén.

On Tuesday, Dep. Accorsi publicly insisted that Regional Govenor Betancourt respond to the protestors’ letter. Accorsi had intended to travel to Coyhaique, the capital of Aysén region, to greet the Cabalgata but cancelled at the last minute due to illness.

Still, for leaders of the Cabalgata, Accorsi’s actions represented a strong show of political support for their movement. They hope the intervention of the national lawmaker will produce concrete results in their campaign. On Tuesday they dismissed the governor’s initial response to their demands as “unsatisfactory.”

Accorsi told the Santiago Times Wednesday that the Commission was working to address the protestors’ concerns.

“Unfortunately, the current legislation allows the waters of our country, the waters of all the Chilean people, to remain in the hands of a few,” he said. “We want to promulgate a new framework for environmental law in this country.”

Accorsi also stressed the importance of promoting non-conventional, renewable energy sources that provide alternatives to large-scale hydro-electric projects like HydroAysén.

Here is the full article.