President of Chile speaks at UC Berkeley

June 13, 2008 11:15:38 AM PDT
President of Chile Michelle Bachelet, the first female Chilean president, visited the University of California, Berkeley Thursday to speak on shared economic ties between Chile and California.

Bachelet and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a pact Thursday at the California State Capitol to promote collaboration in alternative energy, higher education and innovation, according to UC Berkeley officials.

International Rivers, a human rights and environmental organization based in Berkeley, planned to protest at the campus before Bachelet's speech because the group feels the Chilean president is not making energy-efficient decisions.

The group referenced the Chilean government's alleged resolution to dam the Baker and Pascua rivers in Patagonia, which the group said will destroy both rivers in addition to parts of the rainforest, spokesman Tim Kingston said.

"The president is talking about 21st century policies, but relying on an old model to create that energy," Kingston said.

Bachelet was elected Chile's first woman president in 2006 after campaigning on issues concerning environmental protection and investment in renewable energy, according to UC Berkeley. She along with her minister of energy, minister of the economy, minister of foreign affairs and members of the Chilean Congress are visiting California and Nevada this week to explore new research and developments in alternative energy, among other things.


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