AMERICA/CHILE - The protests of fishermen after the environmental disaster of Ancud still unanswered

Tuesday, 10 May 2016 environment   natural catastrophe   bishops   politics  

Ancud (Agenzia Fides) - The Bishop of the Chilean diocese of San Carlos de Ancud, His Exc. Mgr. Juan Maria Florindo Agurto Muñoz, O.S.M. managed to allow a few trucks with fuel and groceries to pass in order to supply the Chiloé area, blocked by the protests. Fishermen have been protesting for 9 days, blocking the entrance to the city of Ancud and the whole area, according to reports sent to Fides.
Authorities have banned fishing (oysters, mussels, clams) which has put thousands of fishermen out of work and has caused the paralysis of all the economic and commercial activity in the area. The government issued this provision as a result of two serious cases of reported illness.
"What happens here is really an environmental catastrophe, it is like an earthquake, or what happened last year with the flood in Copiapo. It is our sea, which is our source of work and food. And this situation, experts say, seems it will last for a long time", said Mgr. Agurto speaking to a local radio station.
The government has offered to pay each affected family about $ 1,126 each in compensation, an amount fishermen have widely rejected as insufficient, sparking protests in the area.
The Bishop of Ancud, has become the spokesperson for a group of protesters. Ancud (about 40,000 inhabitants) is one of the 10 municipalities in the area which is situated about 1,100 km from Santiago. (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 10/05/2016)