Stories written by Gustavo González

ELECTIONS-CHILE: Presidency in Sight for the Right

The right in Chile has not come so close to winning the presidency since Gen. Augusto Pinochet stepped down in March 1990, bringing a 17-year dictatorship to an end.

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Sanction Reopens Debate over Piracy in Chile

The United States has chastised Chile for failing to protect patents, especially for pharmaceuticals. The European Union also has its eye on the South American nation for possible violations.

Santiago, Chile. - Photo Stock

Clean Air Plan for Santiago Fails

According to business leaders, the year's first declaration of "pre-emergency" for air pollution meant 3.9 million dollars in losses. They urge President Bachelet to take action.

Mountains in Torres del Paine National Park, 2,500 km south of the Chilean capital. - Photo Stock.

Cell Phone Tower Threatens Park

The construction of a 36-meter telephone tower would harm the majestic scenic beauty of Torres del Paine Park, in the extreme south of Chile, says Greenpeace.

Chile is rich in glaciers, like those of Torres del Paine, in Patagonia - Photo Stock

Gold Mining Project Threatens Andean Glaciers

Increasingly vocal groups oppose mining for gold and silver along the Chile-Argentina border because the project would mean removing three glaciers in the Andes Mountains.

The Sins of the Salmon Industry

Salmon farming in Chile, second in the world only to Norway, represents 30,000 direct jobs. But NGOs denounce the industry's labor practices.

Mapuche women in Chile's Chol Chol community - Giovanna Beratto

Mapuche Land Dispute a Pending Problem

Indigenous leaders, who continue their demands for their communities' rights over ancestral lands, continue to be stigmatized as ''terrorists'' in Chile, say rights activists.

Who Killed the Swans?

Ecologists argue that a cellulose factory caused the mass die-off of black-necked swans (Cygnus melancoryphus) in southern Chile. But the accused respond that the activists lack proof.

A native forest in Chile -

Chile's Sleeping Beauties

The substitution of concrete for wood in the construction of sleeper cars for the Chilean railroad is worrying owners of native forest parcels.

The development of ''clean'' fuel for cars is crucial for Latin America - Mauricio Ramos

Renewable Energy Not Always Sustainable

Latin America obtains more than 20 percent of its energy from ostensibly renewable sources. But much of it comes from hydroelectric dams, which can harm ecosystems.

Private Conservation at a Snail's Pace in Chile

The number and size of protected areas in private hands have grown, but they still lack official recognition and there are no incentives for them, say NGOs. There are more than 375 thousand hectares of privately run reserves in Chile -- a tiny area compared to the 14.1 million hectares under public protection.

Natural Gas Crisis Shifts Focus of Chile's Energy Debate

Faced with cuts in natural gas supplies from Argentina, environmentalists in Chile call for diversification of energy sources, while officials consider moving up the operational start date for a controversial hydroelectric dam on the Bío-bío River.

Environmental Law Old After a Decade

Leaders of environmental NGOs in Chile are calling for reform of the environmental law enacted in March 1994. They are demanding the creation of a truly "green" environment ministry.

Salmon Producers Go on the Offensive

Chilean salmon farmers deny their fish are carcinogenic, contrary to what was reported in Science magazine. Ecologists and consumers are demanding more rigorous standards to certify salmon that is safe to eat.

Pumalín Park, in Chile's Lakes Region. -

Sovereignty Debate Surrounds Chilean Nature Park

Politicians say the declaration of protection for Pumalín Park, in southern Chile, is a violation of national security. The park is the property of a U.S. millionaire.

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Eco-Demands Give Way to Money

Environmentalists say the payment of more than a million dollars to four indigenous women who had opposed construction of the Ralco hydroelectric dam is a blow to democracy. The energy plant is to begin operations in 2004.

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Andean Glaciers Are Disappearing Fast

"Eternal ice" no longer exists in Latin America. Peru's glacier on Huascarán Mountain, one of the most famous in the Andes, has shrunk 40 percent in the past 30 years.

No Poor Wanted in Peñalolén Eco-Community

An exclusive ecological community in Chile is protesting the relocation of poor residents to a nearby area. The matter is to be resolved in August.

“La Nina” Ignites Energy Debate

A debate about diversifying Chile’s sources of energy has been ignited by fears that a La Nina-spawned drought could lead to rationing of electricity.

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A Dangerous Splash

Bathers are no longer safe even in the waters of Latin America's most beautiful beaches -- the culprit is contamination.

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Marijuana's Virtues Cast in Doubt

“Weed” might relieve pain, control nausea and reduce stress, but in Latin America, only a handful of scientists and politicians advocate legalising marijuana for medical use.

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