Sacrifice Zones

Decades ago, the industrial zone of Puchuncaví and Quintero has had to face acts of contamination that seriously affected the health of the inhabitants of that locality that to date has been qualified as a sacrifice zone.

In a new edition of our program, A Generous Country, We talked with Esteban David Contardo, who has a degree in Hispanic Literature from the Pontifical Catholic University (PUC). He is also the author of the book Nausea: Chronicle of a Sacrifice Zonewho on this occasion spoke to us about how he conceived this work and how This complex situation persists to this day.

How was the book Nausea: Chronicle of a Sacrifice Zone by author Esteban David Contardo conceived?

Regarding the motivation for this book, Contardo explains that it arose in order to make visible what has been happening for so many years in the Puchuncaví and Quintero area. «In 2020, for a month, I stayed in Horcón to talk with the inhabitants affected by these contamination events”, said the author.

“This book brings together several contamination events that have come out in the press. Like for example the intoxication of the School of Greda in 2011 or the so-called case of the green menhe added.

It indicates that these cases are too “horrible” not to be known about, so the need arises to safeguard the memory of these peoples. They appear in the press, but we forget that we live with many sacrifice zones in Chile«.

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Regarding how these people live in the area, the PUC attorney affirms that the statements are “heartbreaking”. «At the Escuela de la Greda, one of the people I interviewed was the teacher Claudia Tapia, who was one of the most affected by the event”, began to tell about this case.

“He had a considerable amount of heavy metals in his body. When I interviewed her in 2020, she had cancer. This weekend I went to personally deliver your book. His son received me and He told me that he had died of lung cancer.“, revealed the author.

Unfortunately, note that These cases are totally daily. since there are several people who know others who have become ill or died of respiratory problems.

Nausea Sacrifice Zones
Credits: Constanza Zúñiga – A Generous Country

Pollution “is killing us, but it gives us the chance to live”

Regarding a study recently carried out by the University of Valparaíso, the writer explains that the gene that protects humans from cancer, was modified in the inhabitants of Puchuncaví and Quintero, protecting them from this disease. “There are studies, but there is no effective cadastre of the number of people who die for cancer or who get sick with respiratory diseases, “he added.

Regarding the existing industrial area in the town, he explains that the cord covers about 15 companies that are found around Quintero Bay. “Each has a different function and pollutes differently to the habitants”. He explained to our program, A Generous Country.

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It also explains the case of the Escuela de la Greda that was closed, which it was built in the year 1900with the companies arriving in 1957. «A school was closed that was (close to) 50 years before the companies to stop poisoning children”, regrets the author of Nausea: Chronicle of a Sacrifice Zone.

Finally, he explains that the attitude of the inhabitants of the area began to harden when poisoning began to show. Although it says that there is now a combative environment in the Puchuncaví and Quintero area, «many workers or relatives of workers have the double meaning that this ‘is killing us, but it gives us the chance to live’».

«It is very complex to try to align what each of the inhabitants wishes or wants. I think that it is necessary to make at least one convening citizen consultation to be able to know where they want to go, who are those who inhabit the territory«. Add.

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Where to buy the book?

to find the book Nausea: Chronicle of a Sacrifice ZoneEsteban David Contardo clarifies that he is on the platform FreeSearch, in large bookstores in the Metropolitan Region; and in the website of the publishing house La Pollera, which sponsors this book. I make, please, a call to read and empathize with what victims are experiencing«, he finished.

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