On August 28 in Arica, the Red por la Defensa del Medio Ambiente de Arica y Parinacota (Network for Environmental Defense of Arica and Parinacota) organized a march in protest of national government development policies and programs that are expected to have a negative environmental impact in the region of Arica and Parinacota. The protestors, which included diverse participants, expressed their opposition, in particular, to policies aimed at achieving job creation through increased mining and geothermal activities in the region. Demonstrators additionally highlighted the government’s stated plans to open part of the Lauca National Park to mining activities, despite that park’s protection under international treaties. (See previous post on the Lauca National Park).
In addition to concerns about the national government’s failure to seek regional input in general, lack of compliance with ILO Convention 169 has also been cited, particularly the obligation of the government to consult with indigenous peoples prior to authorizing mining or geothermal projects within indigenous territories. Aymara leaders highlighted the effect that large-scale mining activities have had on their territories, in addition to their water rights.