The fire that consumed part of the Laguna Verde neighborhood in Iquique on Monday affected 40 Bolivian citizens out of a total of 400 people.
Bolivians live and work in this Chilean city.
The Bolivian consul in Iquique, Eloy Poma, reported that the fire had consumed the houses and that the Bolivians had lost practically everything.
In the district of Laguna Verde, as the burned area is called, there are citizens of various nationalities, such as Peruvians, Colombians and Bolivians, many of them without papers and therefore do not appear on the lists kept by the Chilean authorities.
Laguna Verde is located in one of the desert hills that surround the coastal town of Iquique and since it is an irregular settlement it does not have basic services such as Monday.
The Bolivians Rosa Chura and Lily Alejandra lost everything in the fire. The fire consumed their houses, they could not save anything, in some cases they could not even save their animals. When they tried to put out the flames and turned on the faucet, they found that there was no water.
“My five year old daughter and I started (ran) and the fire came in and started to burn everything up. I couldn’t even save my animal. I had a bunny, my dog tended to run away, ”Chura told the ANF. It has its origin in La Paz.
He recalled that at the time of the fire there was no water in the area and desperate neighbors went to the reserves they had, but it was not enough, the fire spread, consuming everything in its way.
Lily Alejandra from Santa Cruz, who has lived in Iquique for 12 years, explained that houses in the area were built using materials such as wood and melanin, a combustible material. The strong wind also contributed to the spread of the fire.
He pointed out that the losses were substantial because they had invested between $ 5,000 and $ 10,000,000 in building their homes, although the place is characteristic of no rent being paid as they are outlet areas (overwhelmed) act.
Lily said she lost more because her house was relatively large. He estimates that the number of houses affected is higher because families live in overcrowding.
The Bolivian consul in that country, Eloy Poma, reported yesterday that work is being carried out on the registration of the affected Bolivian families in order to provide them with the help they need.
“Today we went to two schools where they are housed,” he said.
Bolivians are documented
Last Monday, a refugee camp in the city of Iquique in the Tarapacá region was hit by a serious accident. The fire started around 4:00 p.m. in the area of some land inclusions, called Laguna Verde, and the nature of the place has made the work of the fire fighters very difficult.
Bolivians live there and do various jobs, many of which involve construction work and the free trade zone, among other things.
The Bolivian consul in Iquique, Eloy Poma, pointed out that one of the priorities was to document the Bolivians, as they would have lost their official documents if they were burned.