Thousands of Chileans take to the streets in the fight against the climate crisis

Thousands of Chileans took to the streets across the country this Friday to demonstrate against the global environmental situation and the climate crisis that affects the planet in the framework of the global calls for "Fridays For Future" that took place far and wide of the globe.

In Santiago, thousands of people, mostly young people, cried out for the consequences of the global environmental situation and the repercussions that this can cause in the coming years, such as rising temperatures or sea level.

The march, which began in the Plaza Italia, the usual point of convening protests in the Chilean capital, toured downtown Santiago between songs and music, in a festive atmosphere but with strong demands.

"Human change, not climate", "There is more plastic than common sense" or, in a local key, "Piñera, understand, water is not sold" were some of the most repeated phrases both in the shouts of the protesters and in the thousands of posters they carried.

Also present at the march was Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, promoter of this worldwide protest, although not personally, in this case thanks to the masks with the image of her face that hundreds of young people had covered their faces.

The mobilization was replicated throughout the day in dozens of cities in the southern country, and young people, adults, elderly people and families with their young children attended everywhere.

From the organizing organization Fridays For Future, the coordinator of the movement in the Chilean capital, Trinidad Fiorentino, described the call in Chile and worldwide as "historic" and highlighted the "unity for the same cause."

"The social and cultural boundaries are broken today to unite, save the planet and have a decent future," he told reporters before the mobilization through the capital center began.

Fiorentino indicated that the objective of the march was to demonstrate to the Government of President Sebastián Piñera that Chilean society is "conscious" and "united" by the climate struggle.

At the local level, the Chilean activist said that they demand for the southern country "a decent decarbonization plan for all the people who live in the areas of sacrifice and are in a critical state," places such as the coastal towns of Quintero and Puchuncaví, in Valparaíso region.

In these places, located 130 kilometers northwest of Santiago, they are surrounded by a large industrial park with 17 plants, which includes a Codelco copper refinery, AES Gener thermo plants and hydrocarbon sector companies such as Copec, Oxiquim, GNL Quintero, Enap , Enex and Gasmar.

Fiorentino also indicated that the Executive is required to sign the Escazú Agreement, an international treaty that protects the rights of environmental defenders.

"We hope that the Escazú Agreement will be signed in order to protect the environmental rights of all of us, because in the end all of us here need a healthy environment and have the right to participate in the policies that must be created in that regard," he warned.

On the climate policy of the Chilean Government and the recognition in New York to Piñera with the prestigious "Global Citizen Award" granted by the Council of the Atlantic this week for its defense of the environment, the coordinator of Fridays For Future Santiago criticized the situation.

"The measures (of the Government of Chile) have been extremely insufficient, a leadership mask has been sold to the other countries and the internal situation in Chile is really critical and that cannot continue that way," said Fiorentino.

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