Chilean Environmental Activist Javiera Rojas Found Dead

Chilean environmentalist Javiera Rojas was found dead under a pile of clothes in an abandoned house on Sunday in Calama, in the Atacama desert. 

Rojas was well known in northern Chile for her participation in protests against the Prime Thermoelectric project and was also involved in the successful campaign to cancel the construction of the Tranca dam in 2016, which threatened to harm local wildlife and rob communities of water access.

“This crime cannot go unpunished. It is necessary to clarify the facts as soon as possible and determine the corresponding penal sanctions,” left-wing presidential candidate Gabriel Boric said.

Rojas’s body was found with various wounds, and her hands and feet bound. 

On Wednesday, as the assembly was drawing up a new constitution for Chile, delegate Bárbara Sepúlveda addressed Rojas’s killing and promised to create a charter with greater environmental protections. 

“To her killers, one message, you can silence one voice but, you’ll never silence all of us,” Sepúlveda said.

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