Justice orders a halt to work on one of the disputed lands

The Court of Appeal ordered the suspension of work on one of the sectors the community wants to declare a nature reserve pending a decision on another piece of land.

Last week, several videos of a conflict between residents of Punta de Tralca and a real estate agency went viral. But this place is not the only disputed land on the peninsula. This morning, the valparaiso court of appeals ruled in favor of the community in the case of another lot, lot 33, where all work and subdivisions were ordered to stop that take place at the specified location, and submit to the System for Environmental Impact Assessment (SEIA) the intervention that takes place on the specified property.

Plot 33, along with Plot 30, which sparked the dispute with real estate company Grupo Feria last week, integrates a natural environment with streams, pre-Columbian archaeological remains, a wetland and home to local flora and fauna that Various public groups, with the support of the municipality, are seeking to apply for its declaration as a nature reserve.

According to the complaint submitted to the court, a neighbor of the sector has carried out works in the sector affecting the landscape and natural values, the existing local vegetation and disruption of watercourses. The court’s decision, which contains reports from various government agencies such as the Environmental Management Authority (SMA), the Directorate General of Water (DGA) and Conaf, requires the suspension of the intervention the defendant has been carrying out on the land, which has undergone an impact assessment on the environment.

The community celebrated the decision, although they hope the defendant will appeal to the Supreme Court, where the case must be determined. The land encroachment is near an urban wetland under recognition, so the case may suffer the same fate as other recent ones where The Supreme Court has recognized the need for any project that may affect an urban wetland to undergo an environmental assessment, even if said wetland has not been recognized.

A sector that wants to be declared a nature reserve

Other disputed plots

In the case of the so-called former plot 30, also part of the sector that the community seeks to protect, there was a confrontation with neighbors last week when employees of the real estate company Grupo Feria entered the land together with the police. The police procedure that took place that day was questioned by Deputy Jorge Brito, who asked the provincial delegation of San Antonio to clarify the actions of the carabinieri. The community filed an appeal for protection, which was allowed by the Court of Appeal, and They propose that said court issue an injunction not to innovate in the field while questioning the current litigation.

As part of efforts to unblock the conflict over this plot, presidential delegate Caroline Siro told local press that After the national holidays, a working table will be convened with the participation of the municipal administration and other relevant authorities. An opinion is also expected from the National Council on Monuments regarding the preservation of the archaeological remains located there during the installation of the company on the field. Another organization that was present on the ground was the National Institute of Human Rights (INDH), whose officials listened to the testimonies of neighbors to investigate the inclusion of this case in map of socio-ecological conflicts.

Public and environmental organizations in the sector express their interest in the preservation of the site and have asked the municipality to change the purpose of this land to declare it a green zone. “This natural space is very dear to the community, we have done a lot of work to take care of it and we want it to remain a place for public use for science, conservation, so that children can be educated about nature. We are trying to materialize a corporation as part of this movement, so that the same people here are responsible for managing and protecting the space, seeking funding to restore some of the ecosystems,” explains Antonio Karević, president of neighborhood council No. 1 from Punta de Tralca.

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