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Chilean Supreme Court rejects claims of water rights in HidroAysén

Chilean Supreme Court rejects claims of water rights in HidroAysén
October 27
19:04 2011

AYSÉN — The latest chapter surrounding the controversial HidroAysén project has taken center stage at the Chilean Supreme Court.

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Río Baker in the region of Aysén, Chile. Photo credit: Jorge Morales via wikicommons.

HidroAysén is a plan to build five hydro-electric power plants in southern Chile.

The project was approved in May 2011, but there has been much pushback from the Chilean people. Those opposed to the project believe that there is an extreme lack of credible and comprehensive studies on the effects of building the plants.

Two plants are planned to be built on the Río Baker and the other three are planned to be built on the Río Pascua.

Studies say that the power plants could provide about 18,430 GWh annually. Though the construction would impact six national parks, 11 national reserves, 26 conservation priority sites, 16 wetland areas and 32 privately-owned protected conservation areas.

On Oct. 27,  the court declared that documents about water rights collected by environmental organizations against the director general of water were inadmissible in court.

The documents were submitted by Corporación Chile Ambiente and Elizabeth Schindele and Fran Yave Schindele  for the use of the waters of Río Baker.

The Supreme court determined that the findings of the court of appeals in Coyhaique could not be challenged via appeal before the Supreme Court.

The representatives of the Supreme Court: Jaime Rodríguez, Hugo Dolmestch, Carlos Künsemüller and the lawyers Luis Bates and Alberto Chaigneau, agreed to this decision unanimously.

They submitted this ruling: “Decisions of the Courts of Appeals to rule on a complaint appeal are not contested by way of appeal, as there has been in the Water Code to establish the rule that has cited the use of  discretion regarding the decision of these courts of Appeals. So it should be understood that such courts are called upon to solve the ‘single instance.’”

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Avery Cropp

Avery was the the assistant online editor (2011) and a senior journalist at I Love Chile. She is a senior double majoring in Journalism and Spanish at Minnesota State University, Mankato. She came to I Love Chile because she couldn't think of a better combination of both of her majors. She's fascinated by the world and people in it and strives to increase cultural understanding with her writing in the future.

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