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All Eyes on Aysén: Tense Talks Follow Unrest in Chile’s Far South

ISSN:1060-4189
LADB Article ID: 78534
Category/Department: Chile
Date: 2012-03-16
By: Benjamin Witte-Lebhar

The most sparsely populated of Chile’s 15 regions, Aysén is in many ways the most isolated as well. In recent weeks, however, a burst of popular unrest has lifted the normally out of sight, out of mind outpost to the top of President Sebastián Piñera’s priority list. Frustrated by what they insist has been a long history of neglect by Chile’s Santiago-based central government, activists in Aysén launched a series of protests beginning Feb. 13, when a group of artisan fishers occupied an airport landing strip on the island of Melinka. The following day, protestors barricaded the road between Puerto Aysén, one of the far-southern region’s principal cities, and nearby Puerto Chacabuco.

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