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More than 100 years since the referendum See map

When the villagers decided to be Argentine

Argentina and Chile have had differences on several occasions regarding the demarcation of the boundary that separates them. One place where this difference was the subject of long dispute is the Patagonia. Chile believed that the watershed should be taken as a reference for the high peaks was not clear enough in this area. The Valle 16 de Octubre (where today are situated the towns of Esquel and Trevelin) and other cross-fertile valleys of Patagonia, were well within Chilean territory.  

On April 30, 1902, a group of Welsh farming families, who lived in the Colonia del Valle 16 de Octubre, were questioned by a Boundary Commission, which studied the border disputes between Argentina and Chile, about which they recognized sovereignty on the land they occupied. The determination of those people was in favor of Argentina and while it hardly have been the sole reason for Sir Thomas Holdich had award on behalf of Argentina, was certainly a compelling reason in this decision.

Currently, every April 30, communities of Trevelin and Esquel, along with their respective authorities and those of the province, meet at the old building of the School N° 18 on Corintios River to celebrate another anniversary of the 1902 Referendum called.

The plebiscite of 1902 and the events surrounding it make up a fascinating history involving the Perito Moreno, an expert on our country Patagonian geography and serious Argentine defender of the rights on these lands.

For four years (1998 to 2002) the Culture Department of Trevelin conducted an investigation by its licensee Jorge Fiori and writer and journalist Gustavo De Vera, seeking to reconstruct the events. This work was editted in a book published in coincidence with the anniversary of 100 years in 2002, telling a story about which little was known and that is full of interesting anecdotes.

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