Protecting Chile’s Rivers from Hydroelectric Development

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Chile has historically relied on its rivers to generate electricity, with 113 hydroelectric plants constructed throughout the country. Many of these projects faced opposition, but none galvanized the country and attracted international attention like HidroAysén, a proposal to build five mega dams on two of Patagonia’s wildest rivers.

The seven-year effort to stop HidroAysén became the largest environmental movement in Chile’s history, as a coalition led by the Consejo de Defensa de la Patagonia (“Patagonia Defense Council”) was united under a single banner, Patagonia sin Represas (“Patagonia without Dams”).

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