Aquaculture for all

Is There Anarchy at Root of SalmonChile Fire?

Salmonids Biosecurity Post-harvest +3 more

CHILE - An anarchist group calling itself Comando Autnomo Tres de Mayo (May Third Independent Command) has reportedly claimed responsibility for Mondays arson attack against the Puerto Montt offices of SalmonChile, the Chilean farmed salmon and trout industrys primary trade association.

According to Valparaiso Times, in a letter sent to Radio Bío Bío, “Tres de Mayo” blamed the government and salmon companies for the current industry crisis, which has left thousands of workers without jobs. Tres de Mayo also promised to avenge itself against Chile’s Carabineros “for the workers, students and Mapuche activist who have died in protests and confrontations with police.”

The industry’s problems – aggravated of late by the ongoing global financial crisis – began in mid 2007 with the discovery in Chilean waters of Infectious Salmon Anemia (ISA), a highly contagious virus that can be lethal to fish but does not affect humans, says Valparaiso Times.

The alleged arson attack is currently under investigation. So far authorities have named no official suspects. “We have to wait and move forward with the investigation. We can’t rush to judgment about what took place,” Undersecretary of the Interior Patricio Rosende told reporters Monday evening.

SalmonChile head Cesar Barros was less cautious in his assessment of the situation, describing the perpetrators of the attack as “terrorists.” In an interview with El Mercurio, Barros said he was “doubly surprised” to learn the attack was attributed to Mapuches, since “(Mapuche) demands don’t have anything to do with the salmon industry.”

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