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9 Dec 2019

Sandra Cuffe, Aljazeera

Chile: Groups launch alternative climate event focusing on access to water & climate justice

"Chile groups launch alternative climate event despite COP25 move", 2 December 2019

More than 100 environmental organisations launched their parallel conference in Chile's capital Santiago on Monday, day one of the official COP25 conference in Madrid... Residents of drought-impacted communities and other grassroots groups held a protest... that has become the epicentre of demonstrations in Santiago against inequality and injustice over the past six weeks... "The UN says that water is a human right. But that has never existed here." [says Barbara Astudillo, protestor] ...Access to water and land have always been the central issues for Modatima, the Movement for the Defence of Access to Water, Land and Environmental Protection, according to Rodrigo Mundaca, the movement's spokesperson. Water was privatised during the 1973-1990 military dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet and Modatima has been fighting for the right to water ever since... "The social crisis is also an ecological crisis," Civil Society for Climate Action notes on its announcement of the ten-day gathering in Santiago... [Eduardo Acuna] came to the protest downtown Monday from just north of Santiago, where he and other residents are organising to push for official designation of local wetlands as a protected area. "Millions of people have marched, including in this Plaza of Dignity... We want environmental justice." [said Acuna].