Home Institution

Connecticut College

Publication Date

Fall 2005

Program Name

Chile: Culture, Development, and Social Justice


The mining project Pascua Lama has attracted much attention for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, the location of the project is such that any type of environmental problems, whether it be contamination of the water or destruction of the masses of ice that lie in the project zone, could have detrimental affects on the entire valley and the 70,000 people who live there. However, there are many other important aspects of the project, such as the question of economic growth, the process of citizen participation in its evaluation, and the relations among the various actors involved and affected by the project. In the last month, I have had the opportunity to meet with and discuss the subject of Pascua Lama with three distinct groups that I chose, as I felt they were the most important actors involved: the mining company, ecologists, and, most importantly, the people of the valley. Though I have strong opinions about this project, I have attempted to be as fair as possible in presenting what I have observed. It should be noted that my investigation of the various themes I chose to focus upon was done in such a manner that, rather than reaching definite conclusions, I have asked questions and presented what I see as the different perspectives that exist on the subject. I hope that my investigation will, at the very least, be informative for those who are unfamiliar with Pascua Lama and bring consciousness to the fact that there exist many different points of view surrounding this project.


Natural Resource Economics


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