A Chilean native leader who was arrested for supposedly participating in a robbery has obtained a notable environmental prize for his role in preserving a holy river in his homeland. Alberto Curamil from the Mapuche community secured the Goldman prize for rallying local residents, experts, and lawyers in Chile’s Araucanía region to inhibit the building of dams, which he disputed would damage rivers, forests, and wildlife. In 2016, the country canceled arrangements for the hydroelectric projects on River Cautin, referring to public opposition for lack of permission and insufficient determination of environmental effects for the other.
Daughter Accepts the Award on his Behalf
Curamil, declared as one of the winners on 29th April, was not present to get his prize since he’s on detention last August. He rejects any wrongdoing, and his advocates say his imprisonment is waiting for a trial later in this year and is highly motivated by political motives. The award was accepted by his eighteen-year-old daughter, Belén, at the ceremony in Francisco. Giving out her speech, she said the Mapuche effort is an ecological battle, a fight for life and its continuity. As people of the world, their main role is to safeguard everything that enables existence, established on a spirituality connection with natural features.
More about Alberto Curamil
The forty-five-year-old is a front runner of the Alianza Territorial Mapuche. The organization claims his arrest is a consummation of a lengthened process of political oppression. Curamil, who has participated in protecting forests and local rivers, has also assisted the Mapuche to maintain their indigenous language and secure their culture. His fight against intentions to build dams near the Cautin River started in 2013 after the projects, authorized by the government and other private energy corporations, got proclaimed without conferring the Mapuche despite Chilean regulations instructing that consent must be given before any development undertaking.