By Ross Brown/Santiago Times Staff
SANTIAGO – Chile’s Defense Minister José Antonio Gómez has called for a focus on reconstruction following the forest fires that continue to affect the south-central zone of the country.
“Our interest is to build, not generate conflict. So whatever the number, we will get to the exact number, and we will get to build the houses that were destroyed here and give families peace. That is our interest,” said the minister, after being consulted over the controversy that has generated the diverse opinions of the mayors of the affected areas, regarding the number of victims in each locality.
Gómez said there are at least three cadastres made, in order to work with information from neighborhood meetings. “We are going to cross check information. This situation is always happening, but social work is being done with the collaboration of municipalities and other agencies to rebuild the destroyed areas as soon as possible,” he added.
Calling for organised cooperation, he said: “The sense of solidarity is very important, but to come massively to the area is complex and it does not make sense to close roads or get strict. But we can make a call to organize for helping, and not creating a problem.”