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Patagonia residents face displacement if hydroelectric dams are built

Jorge Uzon / AP

In this photo taken May 4, 2011, Rozendo Sanchez, left, saddles his horse next to Nelson Gallardo, in Los Nadis, Aysen region, in Chile's northern Patagonia. Their families are two of the at least three dozen living where the multinational consortium, HidroAysen has proposed to build five hydroelectric megadams in this remote Patagonian region. If the proposal is accepted, one of the dams will flood most of Los Nadis, requiring the relocation of its residents. In the next few days, the region's Commision for Environmental Evaluation will meet to determine whether or not HidroAysen has met the environmental standards required by Chilean law for the project to proceed.

Jorge Uzon / AP

In this photo taken May 4, 2011, Elisabeth Schindele, left, a German married to Chilean Rozendo Sanchez, collects plants with her daughter Lorena Sanchez Schindele in the home she shares with her husband and two children in Los Nadis, Aysen region, in Chile's northern Patagonia. The family is one of the at least three dozen living where the multinational consortium, HidroAysen has proposed to build five hydroelectric megadams in this remote Patagonian region.

Jorge Uzon / AP

In this photo taken May 4, 2011, Nelson Gallardo, left, and Rozendo Sanchez, ride on their horses as they herd cattle to the market, in Los Nadis, Aysen region, in Chile's northern Patagonia.

Jorge Uzon / AP

This photo taken Jan. 20, 2008 show a view of the confluence of the Baker and Chacabuco rivers on the outskirst of Cochrane, Aysen region, in Chile's northern Patagonia.

Francesco Degasperi / AFP - Getty Images

Conservationists protest against the project to build several hydroelectric power stations in the Chilean Patagonia, in Coihaique, Aisen, Chile on May 9, 2011. A USD 3.2 billion hydroelectric project billed as key to satisfying Chile's growing energy needs faces a major hurdle Monday as an environmental panel decides whether or not to give it the green light.

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