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Chile’s Temucuicui says no to 155-MW wind scheme

Chile’s autonomous Temucuicui Mapuche community on Monday announced it is strongly opposed to the construction of a planned 155-MW wind farm, as it views it as a form of “plundering, attack and usurpation” of its ancestral territory.

The announcement comes just a couple of weeks after the country’s Environmental Evaluation Service (SEA) gave the green light for the wind park to be built on ancestral Mapuche territory, namely the towns of Los Lolocos, Pinoleo, Pichilen, Pitriqueo and Pailahueque.

According to Temucuicui, the approval contradicts a number of Chilean laws, aimed at protecting indigenous lands and territories while also violating the rights that the indigenous peoples have over them.

The community claims that it should have been informed for the project in advance and that representative institutions should have sought their consent. As the authorities failed to do so in a timely manner, the requirements for the wind farm approval under the Chilean laws have practically not been fulfilled, according to the statement.

The 155-MW Los Trigales wind farm is estimated to require a total investment of USD 290 million (EUR 259.3m). It is designed to use 43 wind turbines, the land for which has already been cleared of the thousand-year-old local trees without seeking the permission of the community. In addition, Temucuicui believes that such a large-scale wind plant could endanger the biodiversity in the region, it noted.

(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.894)