Over the next few days we could hear the ruling of the Antofagasta Environmental Court on the company’s allegations. A megaproject already rejected but still seeking to be accepted, more so now in the context of pandemic and the economic crisis that it opens up. Despite the neoliberal dogmas of many authorities seeking approval yes or yes, the Humboldt Archipelago is key for the Coquimbo region and Chile to take a good look at climate change.
Dominga’s aggressive strategy
Particularly this 2020 we have seen a more aggressive strategy of Andes Iron, company in charge of the dominoes-mining megaproject Dominga. The company noticed the success of the campaign against it led by Alliance Humboldt to seek local, regional, national and even international support, and during these months has been dedicated to offering heaven and earth, in a fairly questionable campaign morally and ethically: from donations with the company logo, food boxes in La Higuera , injection of economic resources to warehouses in the region, letters in the journal of Antofagasta and Coquimbo, the hiring of cistern trucks to distribute drinking water, and endless actions deployed to bribe the population. On the other hand, Alianza Humboldt deployed locally and regionally, is focused on the delivery of more than 700 almácigos and family gardens that have been arranged to the families of La Higuera, as well as some interventions on digital platforms.
This is key if we think that the commitment of progressive social movements is the change of model: from family gardens to think of another economy in Chile, from family orchards to the protection of the Archipelago.
From the climate crisis to the protection of the Archipelago
For several decades the idea has come that the area is not only a National Reserve but that it advances to a Marine Protected Area for Multiple Uses. That was about to be achieved in the Bachelet 2 government but having no urgency, Piñera 2 ruled it out. This is a primary long-term goal for long-awaited ocean protection. But in the heat of the pandemic and the national debate that has already opened up on how to deal with the crisis, it is essential to stress that for the Coquimbo region but the country at large to be able to better address climate change, its protection is key.
In this sense, international experience shows that the crisis and its various variables, as well as the facts and good arguments are not enough to generate political and economic rationality, quite the opposite: the threat of Dominga is latent.
The emergence caused by the Humboldt current in this area, makes it of a particular wealth and transit of different fauna. That is why, if Chile, the citizens, the authorities, the scientists, the communities, NGOs and so many actors, have set themselves the goal of Chile’s good face of climate change, the protection of the Humboldt Archipelago is essential to think about the coming Chile.
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