Dr. Daniel Woolsey
The Chilean Patagonia is truly stunning, landscape and people alike, but faces the looming threat of disruption. The region of Aysén, in northern Patagonia, is extremely isolated, both literally by land because of the Andes mountains, and also figuratively because its remoteness has caused a sort of historic abandonment developmentally in a country that promotes a neoliberal economic model and where everything seems to revolve around the capital. Two large, powerful companies, HidroAysén and Energía Austral, seek to construct a total of eight hydroelectric dams on some of the grandest and most adored rivers of the region, in order to power mines in Santiago, 2000 kilometers away. Despite the risks and insensibility, it goes far too smoothly and unnoticed for large companies to come and take advantage of people and places so marginalized. In the last decade, an immense campaign has arisen and united against the construction of these dams, under the banner Patagonia sin Represas. This investigation seeks to reveal more about the people involved in this movement and the motivations they hold that have led them to fight for this cause. The research was conducted specifically in Coyhaique, the capital of Aysén, through revision of bibliographic materials and press, and also personal interviews. This campaign is broad and dynamic, supported by people from many different backgrounds, with motivations stemming from a variety of roots and sources, including the beauty of the earth, the injustice of the breach in powers, and a dedication to an ethic or faith duty.
Repository citation: Collins, Kimberly, "Patagonia sin Represas: a Social-Environmental Movement in the Northern Chilean Patagonia" (2014). 13th Annual Celebration of Undergraduate Research and Creative Performance (2014). Paper 138.
April 11, 2014. Copyright © 2014 Hope College, Holland, Michigan.