Chiloé Island will close to combat Coronavirus after citizen pressure, albeit starting next week

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Chiloé community demand quarantine and suspension of labour activities in the processing plants (salmon farming), especially in the colder factory sections, without deductions for the workers.

Puerto Montt, March 19, 2020 (– The local government of the Los Lagos region announced this Wednesday that the Island of Chiloé will be closed and completely isolated as of this coming Monday, as a preventive action in the face of the coronavirus epidemic. During these past days, citizens’ organizations, students, indigenous communities, and other groups have demanded the closing of the island as a means in order to protect the inhabitants of the archipelago.


The organized citizens of Chiloé demand, in addition to the sanitary barrier on land, sea and air (especially, to control the movement of salmon cultivation ships), «secured spaces for quarantine of people and transports which come from outside of the province; sanitation of public spaces as well as of urban and interurban transports and transports for processing plants workers; and strengthening of immune systems of population in the risk zone of contracting the disease vitamins, reinforced food, protective measures etc.»


Some of the other demanded measures are the training of health volunteers to inform the communities, especially rural, and the distribution of emergency kits consisting of  pamphlets, cleaning products and prevention materials, through the neighbours’ associations.


During the Wednesday afternoon, the intendent, Harry Jürgensen, confirmed that «we have realised the necessity of isolating the Province of Chiloé to create sanitary barriers both by sea as well as by ground and air, and apply resources which allows for containing the contagion.»


The regional authority explained that, between now and Monday, they have to move people towards the point where the blockades will be, such as the Pargua sector, in the Chacao Channel; Castro harbour, Mocopulli Airport and in the southern sector of the island, in the Quellón harbour.


Neighbours and some Chiloé authorities have been asking over the last days for the enactment of the closure of the island, due to the incapacity of the local health care system to respond to an attack of Covid-19.

Public Declaration:

In Chiloé, on March 17, 2020, the signatories declare that in the face of the health hazard facing our territory, we have an obligation to demand that the authorities take all possible measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) as this would entail the collapse of our precarious health system, neglected in favour of projects only favouring industrial activity such as the Chacao Bridge. With only the resources approved for this work, we could count on the means that could secure the health of the population, especially for our senior citizens.

We want this to be the moment in which the authorities demonstrate their interest and preoccupation for the inhabitants of the Chiloé archipelago, and take decisions that are in our interests and not in the economic interest of those who finance them.

Among the measures that we demand:


Sanitary barrier on the ground, sea and air (especially, controlling the movement of salmon cultivation boats).

Securing locations for quarantine of people and transport coming from outside the province.

Sanitation of public spaces, and of urban and interurban transports as well as transport for processing plant workers.

Immune system boosting for the population at risk of contracting the disease (vitamins, enhanced food, protective measures, etc.)

Training of health volunteers to inform communities, especially rural.

Distribution of emergency kits with brochures, cleaning and prevention materials, through the neighbours’ associations.

Quarantine and suspension of labour activities in the processing plants, especially in the colder sections, without deductions for the workers.

Effective coordination between the regional and provincial authorities to face the health crisis.


Administration and analysis of COVID-19 testing in the hospitals of Chiloé.

Regulation of prices of medicine as well as of disinfection, sanitation and prevention supplies.

Improving the workings of hospital networks and all health centers in the province.

Authorization of spaces for intermediate and advanced level critical care in all public and private health centers, with artificial respirators and isolation measures.

Consider installing isolated ICU beds in the homes of those who cannot reach hospitals.

In the case of an exponential increase of infections, suspension of all labour activities and imposing of total quarantine.

Enabling spaces where protection and care can be guaranteed for older adults who require it.


Distribution of food and basic provisions to vulnerable families.

Freezing electricity and water payments during the duration of the emergency.

Subsidies for gas and electricity heating.

This is not the time for hesitation or to look for political gains, our health is depending on the decisions you take and on the effective execution of such decisions, in the face of this health crisis, exacerbated by the precarious state of the public health system due to continuous privatization efforts. Health is a human right, and the State is in charge of ensuring this right. Everything cannot be business.

We demand an immediate response to this request and we reserve the right to take action if this is not the case

Asambleas Sociales y Territoriales de Chiloé

Asamblea Social de Castro

Asamblea del Archipiélago de Quinchao

Asamblea de Quinchao

Asamblea Cívica y Culrural de Dalcahue

Asamblea de Chonchi

Asamblea de Dalcahue

Asamblea de Estudiantes Autoconvocados

Asamblea de Curaco de Velez

Asamblea de Chilotes en Santiago

Cacique Comunidad Fundo Alto Gamboa Clementina Lepio Melipichun

Concejales de Quinchao (Luis Yáñez Ruiz, Armando Barria Oyarzún, Ramón Mansilla Guenchur, Oscar Gallardo Calbuyahue)

Concejales de Curaco de Velez (Estrella Sánchez, Javiera Yañez, Camilo Maldonado)


Agrupación Cultural El Rodezno de Curaco de Velez

Colegio de Profesores Provincial Chiloé

Defendamos Chiloé

Comité de Defensa Medioambiental Chiloé sin Basura

Escuela Superior Campesina

Junta de Vecinos de Lin Lin Los Pinos

Junta de Vecinos de Isla Cahuach

Junta de Vecinos de Villa Quinchao

Junta de Vecinos de Curaco de Isla de Lin Lin

Junta de Vecinos de Isla Quenac

Junta de Vecinos Estero Huichaapiao de Isla Apiao

Comité de Salud de Isla Apiao

Comité de Agua de Isla Apiao

Municipalidad de Curaco de Velez

Comunidad Indígena Piedra Funda de Isla Cahuach

Agrupación Artesanos del Arte de Dalcahue

Estudiantes Privaos XXI de Ancud

Sindicato SIL Walmart Chile

Unión Comunal de Dalcahue

Unión Comunal de Quemchi

Unión Comunal de Puqueldón

Federación Provincial de Uniones Comunales de Juntas de Vecinos Rurales de Chiloé

Sindicato mar de tod@s Marichiweu de Ancud

Defensa de los mares al sur del mundo

Movimiento Social Chiloé ta Privao

Modatima Chiloé

Pensar Chiloé comunica

Comunidad La Melga Chiloé

Agrupación Cultural Aitue

Comité de Artesanos Newen de Dalcahue

Agrupación Fuerza de Mujeres Rurales Mujeres rurales e indígenas Newenmuri Chonchi y Quellón

Colectivo de Chilotes de Valparaíso

Colectiva Social y Cultural Las Fieras de Ancud

Colectivo Feminista Estudiantil de Ancud

Toma Casa de la Cultura de Ancud