Re: Civil Strife Southern Patagonia Jnuary 2011

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Trapped tourist
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Re: Civil Strife Southern Patagonia Jnuary 2011

Post by Trapped tourist » Sat Jan 15, 2011 2:39 pm

We are foreign travelers but we don't fall in to any other category. We don't want to fly out, mainly because of the expense, but were thinking of hiring a vehicle to drive to Argentina. We have been told that Argentinian vehicles will be allowed leave, as from 6 pm today. Does anyone know if this is only for Argentinian vehicles, could other foreign tourists leave? We need to get to Ushuaia.

Trapped tourist
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Re: Civil Strife Southern Patagonia Jnuary 2011

Post by Trapped tourist » Sat Jan 15, 2011 3:44 pm

Thanks for the info, I think we will sit it out for a while longer. As you say nothing is certain at the borders and we would rather be stuck here, which is at least warm and comfortable. If we give up our room we may find ourselves homeless so to speak. We are with people who braver than us and are making a move. When I know how they manage I will let you know. Thanks for the info, this blog as been great for reassurances.

Trapped tourist
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Re: Civil Strife Southern Patagonia Jnuary 2011

Post by Trapped tourist » Sat Jan 15, 2011 10:15 pm

The fellow tourists who attempted to leave have returned. They got to the main square in PA where they found one unofficial looking official taking details on a bit of note paper. Hundreds of people were there, there were no buses but people had turned up with cars. They were informed that they wouldn't be able to go without a police escort or official, neither of which were present. It seems no one really knows what is happening......but that's the one thing we did know.

Trapped tourist
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Re: Civil Strife Southern Patagonia Jnuary 2011

Post by Trapped tourist » Sat Jan 15, 2011 11:22 pm

Yes I am talking about Punta Arenas, I have been here since the beginning of the strike but I have not been to Natales.....oh to have seen somewhere different. I don't understand why people are being brought from Natales here, because we can't get out. So far I am sitting tight because at least I have a bed in a decent place. It seems that people are trying to get out...understandable...but all that is happening is they are stuck in vans, roadblocks, town squares or air ports. My advice is unless absolutely necessary stay put and wait it out. I know this won't be an option for everyone, but for those who can, surely it's better than the other choices. I can't imagine what the airport must be like, there will be all the walkers and those shipped from Natales......and only small planes to get them out.
As an aside we have been on to the British Embassy who have very little about what's going on here. The only advice they have is on getting out of Natales ie. Via the red cross at the school....the only thing on PA is that ' there may be transport disruptions', talk about understatement. What do these people get paid for?

Trapped tourist
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Re: Civil Strife Southern Patagonia Jnuary 2011

Post by Trapped tourist » Sat Jan 15, 2011 11:33 pm

By the way, has Stan been found? There is constant helicopter noise here I hope all is well.

PenquistaDeCorazon
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Re: Civil Strife Southern Patagonia Jnuary 2011

Post by PenquistaDeCorazon » Sat Jan 15, 2011 11:49 pm

patagoniax wrote:
Trapped tourist wrote:The fellow tourists who attempted to leave have returned. They got to the main square in PA where they found one unofficial looking official taking details on a bit of note paper. Hundreds of people were there, there were no buses but people had turned up with cars. They were informed that they wouldn't be able to go without a police escort or official, neither of which were present. It seems no one really knows what is happening......but that's the one thing we did know.
I presume you are talking about Punta Arenas? Probably no police for escort because they are fighting the hooligans there at this moment. Were you in Natales earlier and got to Punta Arenas? We believe that the airlift from Natales airport to Calafate and Punta Arenas airport may now be underway but I don't yet have confirmation. The lumpen were trying to prevent aviation fuel from reaching the Punta Arenas airport and also trying to stop flights into that airport, so the willingness of the Asamblea Ciudadana to stick to their earlier commitment to allow evacuation is clearly being brought into question. The Red Cross and the Army were helpful here in Natales. The government for all practical purposes is no longer in control of the region. Carabineros have told me they don't have the resources to take on the mobs, so there is an uneasy understanding that is keeping the amount of bloodshed to a minimum.

The behaviour of the Reds here today was simply deplorable. It brought back all the reasons why so much of Chile welcomed the 1973 golpe. This is truly a region characterised by diminished capacity.
Well since you are throwing it out there, the tactics being used in this conflict are no different than those used against Allende's government. Blockades, banging on cacerolas, etc. My we do tend to throw the 'what's good for the goose is good for the gander' saying by the wayside when it is convenient to do so.

What is going on now is the way Chileans have always dealt with issues. Not saying it is the right way but let's be fair here.

But I have to commend you on the great job that you are doing in keeping everyone informed. Here's to a safe and speedy return to all those stranded.

Trapped tourist
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Re: Civil Strife Southern Patagonia Jnuary 2011

Post by Trapped tourist » Sat Jan 15, 2011 11:53 pm

I'm not sure if this is the same incident you are talking about, and I didn't witness this myself, however, it comes from a reliable source. In the main square today a tourist, (believed to be from the US), decided it was a good idea to lay in the road in front of a protester vehicle...to stage his own protest. Not surprisingly a local protester challenged him and told him to leave Chile.....oh the irony of that. A Chilean then came to the assistance of the tourist and was told to also stay out of it as he also wasn't 'local'. I think the act of the tourist was outrageously stupid and as you point out it won't take much to spark the fire. Some poor Good Samaritan is also likely to get included in the fire too. Basics.

Trapped tourist
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Re: Civil Strife Southern Patagonia Jnuary 2011

Post by Trapped tourist » Sat Jan 15, 2011 11:59 pm

At least the signs are silent........those bloody horns.

PenquistaDeCorazon
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Re: Civil Strife Southern Patagonia Jnuary 2011

Post by PenquistaDeCorazon » Sun Jan 16, 2011 12:11 am

patagoniax wrote:
PenquistaDeCorazon wrote:.. .. tactics being used in this conflict are no different than those used against Allende's government.

What is going on now is the way Chileans have always dealt with issues. Not saying it is the right way
Agreed, my friend. It is bad behaviour. I am most disappointed by the aspect of the taking of hostages in the form of foreign tourists who have no responsibility for Chilean domestic troubles. That part, on this large a scale, I believe is unprecedented in Chile. I would expect such behaviours of Islamic Revolutionary Guards in Teheran, but it disappoints to see the near-equivalent of the Taliban in Magallanes.
I do not see what benefit they derive from keeping tourists stranded. It's one thing to not let new tourists arrive which is bad in and of itself but to prevent tourists from leaving is a bad PR move and generally just mean spirited and criminal. I would say that we are not quite at the Iraq/Afghanistan stage were tourists are deliberately being targeted but this is just plain bad and inexcusable. The worst part is that in the end they are just hurting themselves. My family is mostly in Santiago and they are not losing sleep over what is happening where you are as it has not affected them in the least. So I don't see what they can hope to accomplish. Potential tourists will not soon forget this and it will take a good long time for tourism to recover.

I have not been paying too much attention to the diplomatic channels but it seems to me that Canada, which had no problem spending millions to get Lebanese Canadians who had basically sworn off Canada back here, could be doing more than they appear to be doing.

Trapped tourist
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Re: Civil Strife Southern Patagonia Jnuary 2011

Post by Trapped tourist » Sun Jan 16, 2011 12:21 am

This is actually what I can't understand. It seems to me that tourism is the main event here. I don't mean it badly but where does money come from if not from tourism. If the area is damaged who will suffer. Surely anyone planning a visit now would go to the Argentinian side. The gas may be cheaper but what about other income!

Tina
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Re: Civil Strife Southern Patagonia Jnuary 2011

Post by Tina » Sun Jan 16, 2011 12:45 am

Watching closely from USA as there is very little press here on the strike and dissent. 4 of us are due to leave next week for Chile/Argentina. Supposed to be in Torres del Paine for 5 days beginning January 30. Working with the travel agent to make alternative arrangement but SO disappointed to see these problems develop. Agree there will be more hurt than helped in the long run if the tourists do not trust the environment. So sad. Will be watching closely but losing hope that things will be cleared up in time for us.

Ripsigg
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Re: Civil Strife Southern Patagonia Jnuary 2011

Post by Ripsigg » Sun Jan 16, 2011 1:18 am

Thanks to El Puelche and Patagoiniax for keeping up with the updates regularly and a sense of what's happening on the ground, rather than what the newspapers and media have to tell us.

I am probably dead wrong on what I am going to say and it might even be offtopic, but it seems to me that is one salvo in a much bigger issue, one that even transcends border. I'm in a place where government workers are not getting their pay, prices of fuel and electricity are going through the roof, etc. Periodically, the local power company makes announcements that they are turning off the power grid because there is no money to buy fuel for the power plants. There frankly is no money for the local government anymore.

What does this have to do with Chile? It seems to me like Pinera is cutting the subsidies because there isn't enough money to pay for it anymore. It's why Evo tried to take away fuel subsidies recently in Bolivia. There is simply not enough "money" anymore because the world economy is crushed.

I think we will see more of this kind of thing as more and more subsidies get taken away and the cost of living becomes even more unbearable.

Again, I am probably dead wrong about how I am relating this to Chile, but it just seems like it fits to me.

Anyways, let's hope cooler heads prevail.

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