Chile: AES Andes S.A. allegedly hired firm to surveil environmental defenders critical of Alto Maipo hydroelectric project; co. did not respond
In November 2021, media outlet Interferencia reported that electricity company AES Andes S.A. hired a consultancy firm to surveil and to infiltrate private WhatsApp and Facebook chats of environmental groups critical of the Alto Maipo hydroelectric project, based on a review of intelligence reports they accessed that were prepared by the consultant between February-August 2020.
These reports included information on organisations and social movements opposing the project, such as Coordinadora No Alto Maipo and the Red Metropolitana No Alto Maipo, as well as information on other environmental movements working for the right to water in the country, such as the Movimiento por el Agua y los Territorios. The reports also included personal data of environmental defenders and classifies the actions organised by these groups as “eco-terrorist acts” and labels several human rights defenders as "eco-terrorists".
Environmental defenders and groups mentioned in the reports have been raising concerns about human rights and environmental risks associated with the Alto Maipo project, which is AES Andes S.A., a subsidiary of AES Corporation.
The Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited AES Corporation and AES Andes S.A. to respond to these allegations. They did not.