By Tomás Croquevielle
SANTIAGO – The Evergreen 747 Supertanker, whose transfer and cost was managed and funded by Lucy Ana Avilés, the wife of the grandson of the founder of Walmart that resides in the U.S., came as a savior in the face of the crisis caused by the fires.
The recent fires, many of whom have been intentional, in five regions of the south and center of the country have left more than 480 thousand hectares burned, 3270 victims and 11 dead( mainly firefighters and police officers), forcing the government to declare state of emergency in the most affected areas of the country.
These last declarations can fall on deaf ears in front of delegitimized public institutions and a President with a popularity of around only 18%, and a 75% disapproval, an increase of 10 points from the last survey.
In addition to the enormous material and human damages, the situation has exposed the fragile trust in the Chilean institution and the facility with which all kinds of Fake News can be spread.
Mistruth and Fake News
23th February: The same day that the National Forest Corporation (Conaf, as it goes in Spanish) reported prematurely that most of the fires that were in place at that moment in the center of the country were under control. Whereas, the VIII National Study Of Transparency by the National Council of Transparency revealed that 63 per cent of the respondents failed to identify any public or private institution that gave them confidence.
There is no foreigner among those arrested for the fires
Under that context, it is not surprising that many people have been spreading on social media all kind of extravagant conspiracy theories about the origins of the fires, blaming Haitians and Colombians immigrants, and Mapuche activists. Conspiracies that also related the recent withdrawal of Chile and the U.S from the TPP with the fires, as this would have generated the production loss of Pine and Eucalyptus that would no longer be sold to the United States, which was why the large forest corporations preferred to burn the production and collect the insurance.
All of these “explanations” have been debunked by the judicial system and pushed President Bachelet to call for a responsible use of social media in the catastrophe, denouncing different fake viral news, and has also ensured that there is no foreigner among those arrested for the fires.
Amazing Aircraft and Post-truth
These last declarations can fall on deaf ears in front of delegitimized public institutions and a President with a popularity of around only 18%, and a 75% disapproval, an increase of 10 points from the last survey. In the eyes of large sectors of citizenship, the institutions have been unable to stop the catastrophe that’s why today it’s seen that all the hopes of getting out of the emergency are not coming from the traditional actors like the State and the Government, rather they are coming from spectacular foreign aircraft like the American Supertanker and the Russian Ilyushin Il-76.
However, the reality is that these aircraft do not put out fires and only under ideal conditions of climate and vegetation can they delay their spread.
However, the reality is that these aircraft do not put out fires and only under ideal conditions of climate and vegetation can they delay their spread. But probably such information is no longer relevant in a country that seems to be embracing at a rapid pace the phenomenon of the Post-truth and a citizenship that is hungry for new references in which to believe and trust.
Not for nothing, some people in Facebook have already begun to spread a campaign to promote the presidential candidacy of Lucy Ana Avilés for this year elections, arguing that “In one week she did more than any of the other presidential candidates and the state”.
If that’s not Post-truth I don’t know what it is.
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