Patagonia Protests Dam Project in Patagonia
Tens of thousands of people recently marched in Santiago, Chile's capital city, to protest proposed dams in the country's ecologically diverse Patagonia region. Echoing the protest, outdoor-apparel retailer Patagonia held its own demonstration at the company's headquarters in Ventura, California.
Founder Yvon Chouinard's travels in Chile inspired the company's name, and continued ties to the fjorded region inspired 500 Patagonia employees to hold a cacerolazo, a Chilean-style protest that involves banging pots and pans.
The five dams proposed for HidroAysen's project would increase the country's energy supply by 15%, but would destroy 15,000 acres of wilderness. Public opinion in Chile has shifted against the dam project, with at least 60% opposed, according to one poll.