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Crab thrown in the street in Chile copper protest

Thursday, May 29, 2014 - 00:57

May 29 - Chilean fishermen protest against copper producer Codelco and what they say is mass contamination that has hurt their shellfish extraction. Gavino Garay reports.

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Fresh crab, thrown to the streets. A symbol of a spoiled crop. These fishermen are saying state copper producer Codelco in Valparaiso has poisoned their source of income. Outside Codelco offices, they are burning a boat, and making their voices heard. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) FISHERMAN, FRANCISCO OLIVARES, SAYING: "The shellfish were wiped out because everything is contaminated." (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) FISHERMAN, JORGE CARVAJAL, SAYING: "We raise oysters but there is nothing now because they (Codelco) contaminated us with copper sulfate." A Codelco representative says the company has been working to decrease contamination. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS AT VENTANAS CODELCO, SAYING: "From day one we have been working tirelessly to improve our environmental issues in the area. We have made the largest investment in the past 60 years, we've taken over environmental liability issues that occurred in the last 60 years on this bay, so our job is to work tirelessly to improve the environmental issue in this area." The protesters say they're only able to extract 25 percent of what they used to harvest, because of contamination.

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Crab thrown in the street in Chile copper protest

Thursday, May 29, 2014 - 00:57