Centro de Documentación Mapuche Documentation Center
  Reportatge de la setmana
versión castellana
english version

Diumenge 25 de febrer 
del 2001
a les 21:30 h.




Nicolasa and Berta Quintreman are two brothers belonging to the Mapuche Pehuenche ethnic groups. They are both over 70. They live in the Ralco Lepoy community in a remote area of Chile. They and three other families have been at the heart of a battle to stop a massive hydroelectric project. Work on diverting the river began a few weeks ago to allow building of the dam wall. But the seven families refuse to exchange their ancestral lands for plots elsewhere, even though 83 other families have done so. 

It is an unequal struggle. The families have formidable interests ranged against them - the Spanish-owned Chilean utility, the Chilean government and most of the country's political parties. Opposing them are a handful of natives, ecologists and hippies. The law courts will deliver their judgment on the issue in a few weeks, but things look bleak for the Indians. 

Those opposing the dam argue that the project will destroy an irreplaceable eco-system as well as two of the seven remaining Pehuenche Indian communities. Those in favor say that Chile needs the electricity to fuel its economic development. Advocates point out the Spanish company has spent a fortune on environmental measures and that those Indians who accepted the land swap have done very well out of the deal. 

The whole battle is part of a wider struggle by the Mapuches to recover their ancestral lands. This is one of the lesser-know consequences of Pinochet's dictatorship during which the army expropriated Indian land and sold it to timber companies and agribusiness at knock-down prices. The result has been countless skirmishes between Indians and heavily-armed police. The Indians refuse to buckle under because their land lies at the root of their culture and religion. 

This vivid documentary shows two worlds in collision and the high price paid for progress. It shows the first shots of the battle zone and the dam under construction.

És un reportatge de Carles Guàrdia.
Imatge: Ferran Prat.
Producció: Tona Julià.
Muntatge Jesús Villanova.
Post-producció de so: Ramon Ruiz.

 "30 minuts" is also aired on the following tv platforms:
EL 23-F, DES DE DINS (24-02-2001)
EL 23-F, DES DE DINS (24-02-2001)
Next thursday, "60 minuts" on channel "Canal 33" brodcast:
EL LLEGAT D'UNS CRIMS (01-03-2001)

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