Together We Will Unplug HidroAysén

Kate Ross

On Sunday afternoon the heart of Santiago will be filled with the sounds of cumbia, salsa, reggae and folk music as Chilean musicians take the stage in front of the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (National Museum of Fine Art) as part of the cultural event “Juntos Desenchufemos HidroAysén – Together Lets Unplug HidroAysén!” Organized by the Patagonia Defense Council – a coalition of citizens, community groups, and national and international NGOs working to protect Patagonia from destructive projects – the event will bring together residents and groups from Patagonia, activists, families, and members of the public to celebrate the end of the year. It's also an opportunity to demonstrate that Chileans want to and can “unplug HidroAysén!”

A new opinion poll released in November showed that 64.8% of families surveyed do not want HidroAysén. Similar polls taken over the past few years have consistently shown that a large majority of Chileans are against the project. And this opposition has been evident in countrywide and even worldwide protests against HidroAysén. The unpopularity of the project, led Colbún – 49% owner of the project – to announce in May of this year that they were suspending plans to seek an environmental license to build the HidroAysén transmission line. And just this week Colbún announced that it's open to selling its stake in the project, after stalling the project due to strong public opposition.

Sunday's event comes in the lead-up to a meeting of the council of ministers – which had been expected to take place in December – to rule on the fate of the five proposed HidroAysén dams. It's now unclear when this meeting will take place. However our partners in Chile continue to work to ensure the greatest transparency in these processes and we'll be watching to see if and when the meeting does finally take place.

The event on Sunday will feature Chilean groups La Mano Ajena, Quique Neira, Nicasio Luna, Los Vásquez and Juana Fe, along with Latino-rock singer Joe Vasconcellos and French-Chilean hip-hop star Ana Tijoux. Here's a little taste of Sunday's entertainment in the video below:

Take Action:

While I'm sitting here wishing I could be in Santiago this weekend, there is a way that you and I can get involved. On Sunday, in co-ordination with hundreds of people gathered in Santiago join the Titter mob and add your voice to the call to help unplug HidroAysén. Here's how:

  • On Sunday morning (when the event is happening in Chile, starting at 3pm local time) and throughout the day Tweet the following messages to HidroAysén, the company behind the project, echoing the call to "unplug HidroAysén." Note that part of HidroAysén's propaganda is their Twitter handle – "Chile with energy."

    @chileconenergia Together the people will unplug HidroAysén #patagoniasinrepresas

@chileconenergia Together the world will unplug HidroAysén #patagoniasinrepresas