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Protests continue in Chile after more student poisonings

This is not the first time numerous kids in a Chilean community displayed signs of gas poisoning from inhalation. 50 students and 25 instructors from Quintero alone reported experiencing headaches, nausea, itchy eyes, and a metallic taste in their mouths. Four adults and twelve children needed emergency care.

  • 12 months ago
  • June 21, 2023
3 min read
Authorities suspend all classes due to a massive amount of reports from students in the industrial commune of Puchuncaví who experienced symptoms of poisoning. Authorities suspend all classes due to a massive amount of reports from students in the industrial commune of Puchuncaví who experienced symptoms of poisoning. | Photo courtesy of Jorge Robledo Zúñiga
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Today’s Photo Gallery comes from Jorge Robledo Zúñiga of Chile. It features photos from the protests in Chile after numerous children experienced the horrible effects of pollution poisoning. View more of Orato’s Photo Galleries from around the world.

May of 2023 saw a new occurrence of severe air pollution in the Quintero and Puchuncavi areas due to high concentrations of hydrocarbons. The incident led to concerns about young children experiencing pollution poising. As a result, officials suspended all classes.

This is not the first time numerous kids in a Chilean community displayed signs of gas poisoning from inhalation. 50 students and 25 instructors from Quintero alone reported experiencing headaches, nausea, itchy eyes, and a metallic taste in their mouths. Four adults and twelve children needed emergency care.

Citizens, including teachers and students, organized protests to stand up against the constant air, water, and land pollution present in their town for the past three decades. The mobilization took place at the Las Ventanas Crossing, right on the highway. 

They shouted slogans such as “From North to South, from East to West, we want clean air at all costs”. They hope to summon the corresponding regional authorities and environmental organizations to take charge of this problem, which affects the entire Valparaíso region.

Due to the severe air pollution in Quintero-Puchuncaví, authorities issued a Sanitary Alert.

Over 150 children from various local schools in Quintero, Puchuncaví, and Concón suffered the consequences of industrial pollution. 

In protests against this dire situation, local inhabitants resorted to more radical measures, including blocking the La Greda-Las Ventanas crossing. They aim to express their strong opposition to this ongoing conflict.

The community expresses its deep dissatisfaction with the broken promises made by successive governments in addressing this environmental catastrophe.

Furthermore, the protestors denounced the hostility and indifference of those who prioritize corporate interests over public health. They called for an urgent resolution of this situation to safeguard the health of those affected by industrial contamination. 

All photos are courtesy of Jorge Robledo Zúñiga.

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