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North Face Founder Douglas Tompkins Dies In Kayak Accident In Chile

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La Tercera, Dec. 9, 2015

"Environmentalist entrepreneur Douglas Tompkins dies," writes Santiago-based daily La Tercera on its front page Wednesday, after U.S. conservationist and North Face Inc. founder Douglas Tompkins died in a kayaking accident, in his adopted country of Chile.

Tompkins, 72, was kayaking with five others on General Carrera Lake in far southern Chile when strong waves caused their kayaks to capsize. He was then flown via helicopter to a hospital in nearby Coyhaique, where he died from severe hypothermia.

In addition to outdoor gear maker The North Face, Tompkins also co-founded the clothing brand Esprit in the 1960s. He sold both companies and, with his wife Kris McDivitt Tompkins, acquired huge tracts of land — more than 2 million acres in total — in Chilean and Argentine Patagonia for preservation purposes. His 715,000-acre Pumalín Park in Chile is one of the world's largest private nature reserves.

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The Beast Among Us: Why Femicides Are Every Man's Responsibility

Why does the femicide of Giulia Cecchettin shake Italy but speaks to us all? Argentine journalist Ignacio Pereyra looks at what lies behind femicides and why men must take more responsibility.

photo of a protest with men in the foreground pointing fingers

At the Nov. 25 rally in Ravenna, Italy against violence against women

Fabrizio Zani/ANSA via ZUMA
Ignacio Pereyra


ATHENS — Are you going to write about what happened in Italy, Irene, my partner, asks me. I have no idea what she's talking about. She tells me: a case of femicide has shaken the country and has been causing a stir for two weeks.

As if the fact in itself were not enough, I ask what is different about this murder compared to the other 105 women murdered this year in Italy (or those that happen every day around the world).

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We are talking about a country where the expression "fai l'uomo" (be a man) abounds, with a society so prone to drama and tragedy and so fond of crime stories as few others, where the expression "crime of passion" is still mistakenly overused.

In this context, the sister of the victim reacted in an unexpected way for a country where femicide is not a crime recognized in the penal code, contrary to what happens, for example, in almost all of Latin America.

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