Thursday, June 14, 2007

Celco Kills, Again: How much more will we take?

June 8: "Accidental" release of pulp by-product known as "black tar liquor" kills thousands of fish in Chile:

The Chilean corporation Celco, Chile's largest forestry company and a major environmental polluter, is again responsible for an aquatic environmental disaster in central Chile. On June 8 we found that in the Mataquito River, in Chile's 7th Region, thousands of fish and other water species have died after an "operations anamoly" in the Licancel Forestry Plant. Celco's response? They fired three executives from the plant who "failed to notify the corporation in a timely manner."

BUT WHY DID THIS HAPPEN IN THE FIRST PLACE? Why does the company have a pipe outlet that drains black tar liquor (a known toxic pollutant) directly into a river watershed? It cannot be a blame game when the victims are thousands of fish, fishermen, and riparian river habitat.

Fernando Leniz, president of Chile's forestry trade association, CorporaciĆ³n de la Madera (COREMA) comments: "the company has reacted very rationally to this disaster, responsibly, taking careful measures in the case, punishing and firing the responible people... this should not have consequences for the industry."

Why shouldn't it have extremely grave consequences for the industry, Mr. President? This is obviously not the first time that Celco has killed massive amounts of aquatic flora and fauna in Chile. It is obvious that the governmental and corporate safety measures being used are not sufficient to protect lives and livelihoods in Chile.


Major changes are afoot: and you, dear reader, yes YOU can start by demanding CHLORINE-FREE, RECYCLED PAPER that is not produced by mega-corporations and their monoculture mega-forests. Insist on magazines printed on sustainably produced and 100% recycled paper, such as the UK's Surfer's Path magazine. Demand products packaged without excessive paper and plastic, and with 100% unbleached recycled content. Wipe your ass with your hand and a bar of soap - it's actually more hygienic than toilet paper and it's better for Chile's rivers and beaches, too! Check out Reach for Unbleached at for more information.

If we don't demand these simple yet powerful consumer products, the destruction of wildlife and water is our own fault as consumers.

Save the Waves is now aggressively researching legal options with FIMA, Oceana and other local organizations in response to Celco's latest criminal behavior.

For more information on Celco's latest disaster, in a Spanish language TV news broadcast, click on "Reportajes" at the following link: Chilevision at