Indigenous peoples of Patagonia demand that the Law that prohibits the salmon industry in Argentina be replicated in Chile

Salmon farming ban in Argentina opens the way to fully eliminate the transnational salmon industry in Chilean Patagonia
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«From our territory, we have the representation of our constituent delegate, who must do a great job to put our demands, one of the main ones being the safeguarding and protection of our territory. And that nature is a subject of law and create laws that protect them, » Yagan people said.


Punta Arenas, July 14, 2021. (radiodelmar.cl) – After the Parliament of Tierra del Fuego, in Argentina, approved a law that prohibits the installation of salmon farming centers in that province, communities of the Kawesqar and Yagan peoples, urged Chilean citizens to replicate this initiative for the protection of ecosystems and coastal communities in Chile.

While María Luisa Muñoz, from the Yagan community, affirmed that what happened in Argentina is «historical» and is «worthy that the rulers of this country can replicate,» David Alday, also Yagan, added that «the Law approved in Argentina must be replicated in Chile and that Puerto William should establish its development based on what the local communities propose. For her part, Leticia Caro, from the Kawesqar people, stated that «the struggle for the protection of the territories continues and will continue as long as the state-governmental system does not undergo significant changes.»

The southern indigenous communities recalled that what was achieved in Argentina has milestones in the struggle that took place for years between the citizens of Chile, Argentina and the indigenous peoples, when they expelled the salmon concessions of the corrupt transnational Nova Austral in the Beagle Channel; and then when they rejected the lobby that the kings of Norway came to do in the Southern Cone.

«And it should be said that this fight began from this side of the Onashaga(Canal Beagle), achieving a tremendous precedent, that Nova Austral will remove all its facilities,» says Yagan María Luisa Muñoz.

New Chilean Constitution and respect for Marine Ecosystems, Indigenous Peoples and Coastal Communities

Consulted by radiodelmar.cl, the indigenous representatives are hopeful that the constituent process will advance towards the respect and protection of ecosystems and communities. «This is what we hope will result in this new constitution,» says Leticia Caro, adding that «it is important to highlight the action of the neighboring country, since it has allowed its inhabitants to decide their development priorities and these become effective.»

«It is imperative to restructure the form of government, install a direct democracy that respects the processes for both indigenous Peoples and citizens in general,» says Leticia Caro.

María Luisa Muñoz adds that “from our territory, we have the representation of our constituent delegate, who will have to do a great job to put our demands, one of the main ones being the safeguarding and protection of our territory. And that nature is a subject of law , so it is necessary to create laws for its protection.

Meanwhile, David Alday, also a member of the Yagan people, appreciated the joint struggle between the citizens of Argentina, Chile and the indigenous communities. «This example shows that there are no borders, the channel does not separate us and on the contrary, it makes us stronger.»

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