“Y ¿ a dónde se fue la lluvia?” – C.A.C. (Coordinator of Cultural Action, Valparaíso), 2020
Cinematography and editing: Daniel Aspillaga
Music: Daniel Aspillaga and Arnoldo Chaparro
As the CAC describes themselves in their “Declaration of Principles,” “We are a space of action based on reflection that gathers the demands of the sector of the arts, culture, and heritage. This is a living space that is found today in resistance. We recognize ourselves as workers in the arts, culture, and heritage, and we are united in creative work. Despite the diversity of the sector and its labor context, we are all affected by the same system that divides us and erodes job security. We are promoters and creators of what we want to construct. We believe that starting from our capacity to organize ourselves as a community we can be self-determining, exercising in this way our legitimate right to decide how we want to live.”
WHERE DID THE RAIN GO?
For more than a decade, Chile has been suffering the effects of extreme drought and today water demand outstrips supply in various places throughout the country. In March 2020, 136 communities were officially declared zones of water scarcity.
The broader context and cause of this scarcity is owed to the neoliberalization of water, originating with the implementation of the 1981 Water Code—written behind closed doors during a dictatorship without democratic participation. According to Article 5 of this code, “Waters are national goods of public use and the rights to use them are granted to particular individuals.” With this legislation, water rights in Chile were completely privatized.
As a result, Chile today suffers a brutally unjust distribution of water: in the 2000s, the Chilean government had granted water rights “to several times more groundwater than was annually recharged” (Bauer 2015: 157); in 2006 “Endesa [today ENEL] is the largest holder of water rights in Chile, with 80.4% of the total national water ownership for non-consumption use” (Larraín 2012: 84); and in the northern Antofagasta region of Chile, “mining uses over 1,000 litres per second of surface water and owns almost 100% of the groundwater rights” (Larraín 2012: 83).
The Chilean water crisis is caused by privatization. The order has been broken, industries rob water and interfere with the cycle in which nature renews itself. For this, we repeat: IT’S NOT DROUGHT, IT’S LOOTING.
Translation of the messages in the video:
“Where did the rain go?”
“Water that is carried in the river / The pain that has been / Of my wounded people”
“Water” (in various languages)
“Chile is the only country in the world that has privatized water.”