Category: Chile News
Some of Barcelona’s most popular players have taken to Twitter to show support for Chilean teammate Alexis Sanchez and his birthplace, Tocopilla.
TOCOPILLA — “¡Fuerza Tocopilla!. Reconstrucción y médicos especialistas. Ya” (Strength to Tocopilla! Reconstruction and medical specialists already!). With these words in a post on Facebook, Alexis Sánchez gave his voice to the social movement in Tocopilla, with his teammates showing support.
Among the players to express their support were Cesc Fabregas, Andrés Iniesta, Dani Alves and Pedro Rodríguez. The support of these stars has now made Tocopilla’s plight world news.
November 14, 2007 saw a 7.7 earthquake shake the foundations of the city. While government figures claim that reconstruction from the 2010 8.8 earthquakes is almost complete, Tocopilla continues waiting.
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Black flag of protest in the Municipality of Tocopilla. Photo: Fernando San Román via Twitter
The themes of decentralization, power, energy and isolation have led to a similar situation to 2012′s uprising in Aysén.
Sánchez described the situation in Tocopilla to Spain’s Sport. “We’ve been waiting a long time for help. When people are seriously ill, they need to travel two hours to see a specialist. The earthquake destroyed schools and left people without a roof. We’ve been waiting a long time but the help still hasn’t arrived.”
The Barcelona player recently visited Tocopilla during his vacations, with a promise to invest in social programs for the community. He has also taken the role of Santa Claus each Christmas, giving gifts to children of the town.
Among the demands from the Tocopilla movement is a discount on energy prices. “We produce almost all the energy in Chile, yet we pay the highest price,” said San Román in a speech. The full speech can be seen at El Ciudadano.
The health problems generated by Tocopilla’s thermoelectric plants were the subject of a 2009 documentary, “Tocopilla Me Mata“.
Like in Aysén, the lack of response from the top authorities in La Moneda has caused frustration at a local level. Negotiations between San Román and Antofagasta’s regional authorities have not reached an agreement, with the Tocopilla community demanding a ministerial visit.
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