Monday kicked off the investigation Commission by the situation of pollution affecting Quintero and Puchuncavi, which was not free to criticisms of the Government to deal with the complicated environmental crisis that affects these two communes of the region of Valparaíso.
The Committee was attended by the Chairperson of the Advisory Council of health of Quintero, Maria Araya, representative of the student movement of Quintero and Puchuncavi, Alexis Rojas, and the associate researcher of Fundación Terram, Hernán Ramírez.
At the same time, in the affected area session the CRAS (Council for the environmental and Social recovery) from Quintero – Puchuncavi. On the occasion, attendees questioned the authorities for the handling of the crisis. The darts were aimed at the location of Oxiquim, the company chaired by Fernando Barros Tocornal and that despite a ban on operation of the Seremi of health resolution not paralyzed their processes.
Oxiquim also arouses strength in the community for his project to build a new multipurpose terminal at Quintero Bay, which is awaiting the pronouncement of the environmental court.
Environment in the CRAS is also lined with a response from the Government because it is being poorly evaluated even from the ruling party, from which come the measures taken are clearly inadequate for the magnitude of the environmental drama.
And at La Moneda they already sound the alarm regarding power that can acquire the conflict, which clearly is coming to Santiago and is impacting the presidential evaluation and the Government, as demonstrated by recent studies.
The poor condition of the field hospital the first to speak was Araya, who criticized the poor condition of the field hospital to meet cases of intoxication that affected villagers, situation which – he said – exposed approximately 3 months ago authorities such as the Minister of health, Emilio Santelices and Mayor Jorge Martínez.
«All these days we have had episodes of intoxication (…) the hospital was collapsed. The State knows, we have put in a position that is happening in the two communes, is a hospital that serves more than 60 thousand people between adults and children. It can not be that we have a field hospital with the best specialists and who treats from 8 until 5 in the afternoon and Monday to Friday», criticized Araya.
In addition, it was considered necessary to change the current yellow alert by a environmental and health, and accused that they have not received response from the State of what is happening in Quintero and Puchuncavi. «We are clear that there is pollution, we are clear that they are saying it may be ENAP, which can be Gasmar (…) «but do not give us the guarantee for our children (…) are extremely concerned».
Araya finished their exhibition pointing out that «I hope that this Commission can at least help us to manage and change the rules, making new rules in Chile, regulations on the gases, which expands on the heavy metals there is some, others not, and us» tell the truth, that say ‘this company is the polluter’. Why punish us? They take an 18, take children to attend class and the companies continue their work. We agree that there are many companies that give benefits to the State, but we don’t have to us the quinteranos and Quintero children pay for this.»
Students require guarantees to return to school later it was the turn of Alexis Rojas, of the student movement Quintero – Puchuncavi, who addressed the null response both the central Government and the regional to get students back to classes with guarantees that an episode of poisoning is not again to repeat.
In his view, the authorities have not been taken the weight of the situation currently affecting these communes and that the measures taken are insufficient, as they are for them are «normal» situations, and that in his view, what is happening in Quintero and Puchuncaví «it is not normal, is something that escapes from any rule,» he said after his departure from the Commission.
«Our petition is now clear (…) We basically focus on a single point, and that point are the guarantees. We do not return to classrooms to classes if we don’t have real guarantees that we won’t go through an new episode of pollution in our schools (…) our message is clear and forceful, we will not return to the classrooms until they give us guarantees that we won’t go through the same thing,»said the student at his exhibition at the Commission.
The leader said that, as in protest to the environmental crisis, currently there are 7 schools between Quintero and Puchuncaví which are taken by the students. «We won’t release the schools until we have solutions and have the guarantee that we will not have a new episode of poison in the classroom.»
Also demanded the suspension of the industrial park, the homologation of the who standard, that there are no reprisals against persons who are participating in the shots and that they are not evicted.
«I find that members are lining up a little with the social demands. All we are looking for solutions», said Rojas, at the time that you added that the Executive»has been very indolent with us, as a community of Quintero and Puchuncaví».
Hernán Ramírez: is urgent an arsenic standard finally it was the turn of Hernán Ramírez, research associate of the Terram Foundation, who presented studies on the presence of heavy metals in the Quintero Bay. On the other hand, criticized the lack of progress that has occurred on a number of recommendations of the Commission of the year 2011.
Ramirez said that a standard of arsenic for the area of Quintero and Puchuncaví is urgent, and qualified as a «disgrace» of Chile’s environmental standards compared to the of the World Health Organization (who).
«I’m hoping that this (Commission) can effectively move forward and put an end to this situation.» Required will, decision, should also be taken a little bit of value by the parliamentarians. There is going to be questioned and measures that are going to have many versions of some groups that such measures are not taken.»
Finally, criticized the Government’s efforts, which, he said, have been «absolutely inadequate and do not give guarantee to the community of Quintero and Puchuncaví that these situations become repeat».
Session of the Commission in Quintero, the President of the Commission investigator by pollution in Quintero and Puchuncavi, Diego Ibáñez, emphasized the need for convening in affected communities. «Politics today cannot be alien to society. Be with the communities and continue listening to their proposals and work from that dimension, this Commission of inquiry is an ethical duty in this health and environmental catastrophe».
Ibanez referred to the Declaration of the Medical Association, who noted that one of the main causes of death in Chile has to do with environmental pollution. «We have arsenic levels exceeding even 23 times the European standard, therefore here there is placed the Bell the cat. In my role as Deputy, I invite the President to declare a health and environmental disaster area so that today can work temporarily».
The parliamentarian criticized also neglect the State and particularly the Superintendency of environmental (SMA), organism that he described as ‘blind referee’.» Today there are only three supervisors who must be aware of this situation. The President of the Republic, according to the investments that he can develop in this disaster, has the ball on their side of the Court and we hope that it can respond to the height of the demands the quinteranos and quinteranas.»