Jan 17, 2013

Mapuche: Indigenous Summit Hosts 600 Representatives

600 representatives of indigenous organizations met in Chile on 16 January 2013 to demand respect for territorial integrity and self-determination.

Below is an article published by Prensa Latina:


Indigenous organizations held this Wednesday [16 January 2013] a Mapuche Summit grouping 600 guests from communities in Biobio, Los Rios and La Araucania, whose demands were capped by historic demands like respect for their territories and self-determination, along stronger law enforcement.

Aucán Huilcamán, spokesman of the Land Council and member of the body of coordinators of the ongoing Summit in Cerro Ñielol, Temuco community, said "the government of Chile confirmed in 1825 the treaties confirmed the Mapuche government; let’s then fulfill the Treaties."

He defined self-determination as an autonomous regime and the fulfillment of the treatment in good faith, in line with the pacts of 1823 and 1825 recognizing this ancentral people as a community with its own borders.

The Indigenous communities from Chiloé claimed their rights on the lands in Tantauco Park, an estate whose owner is President Sebastian Piñera and which Indigenous leader Cristián Chiguay says belong to the Huilliches and urged the head of state to return.

"The truth is that we ignore the exact extent of the President’s estate for some area are IDed as part of the Park’s perimeter and others belong to other institutions like Pansur", Radio cooperativa quotes Chiguay.

The agenda for noon lists meetings with government brass, Governors Erich Baumann of Malleco and of Cautin Miguel Mellado, both invited as observers.

The organizers said the Summit was also convened as intent to ease the tensions in La Araucania region, heightened by a chain of arsons one of which killed a couple of landowners.

The government of Pinera increased security in the area after the fires and invoked the Anti-terror Law to punish the killer hands.

Political, indigenous and human right leaders protested using the legislation in such cases claiming official possession of legal tools to punish without violating due process.