Tuesday, 21 February 2012
Patagoing, Patagoing, Patagone.
While I was out of town it seems something of a revolt has broken out in Chile's deep south. It is funny that the Chilean MSM for some time didn't pay much attention -- which is precisely the point. Patagonians are demanding that people here in Santiago (and by people I mean the government, so I may be using the term loosely) pay attention to them. As this excellent BBC en Español piece reports, everything costs double in Aysén than in Santiago. And Santiago is expensive enough.
Worse still, Aysén is not connected by land to the rest of the country, leading its residents to feel much more kinship with their Argentine neighbours. In fact, if you speak to residents from Patagonia, you often find a slight Argentine accent.
Many people have noted that the Patagonian movement is not about politics, it is about identity. This may be so, but that's still political. Identity, left to seethe in anger and resentment, becomes political, and then becomes a great big headache. If you don't believe me, just ask the Quebecois, the Palestinians, or anyone in the Balkans.
They already have their own flag.