Chile environmental activists reject sale of Guafo island

Indigenous activists state that the Chilean State has the responsibility to return the island to the original peoples.

Indigenous activists and activists in favor of the environment, as well as the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF, for its acronym in English) rejected this Friday in Chile the sale for 20 million dollars of the Guafo island, located in the archipelago from Chiloé, in the south of the country.

«The coastal marine spaces of native peoples are created to protect the ancestral use, in order to maintain traditions and uses of natural resources by the communities linked to the coastline,» WWF Chile highlighted in its official account of the social network Twitter .

This instance develops a campaign to prevent Guafo Island from being sold, after its current owners, entrepreneurs Paul Fontaine and Rodrigo Danús, published an announcement in this regard on the website of the American company Private Islands Inc.

The head of conservation of marine biodiversity of WWF Chile, Yacqueline Montecinos indicated that «the island is the entry point to the Gulf of Corcovado, which is the most important feeding place for blue and humpback whales on the Chilean coast.»

For his part, Diego Ancalao, president of the Indigenous Development and Leadership Institute Foundation, told an international media that a series of regulations during the 20th century contributed to this space falling into private hands and that it is now for sale.

Ancalao points out that under this political model «all the collective rights of the indigenous peoples» were usurped, so that the Chilean State has the responsibility to expropriate or buy the island to return it to the original peoples.

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