Oct 14, 2011

Mapuche: Success In Peaceful Anti-Logging Protest

A successful protest against the logging of the Mapuche’s ancestral lands has resulted in the establishment of a working group to discuss the concerns of the Mapuche.

Below is an article published by Indigenous News:

On Wednesday, October 12th [2011], Mapuche members from three different communities near Collipulli deliberately blocked four logging trucks and detained the workers for a period of eight hours. The entire demonstration was peaceful and was done to call attention to the fact that the logging was being conducted on Mapuche ancestral lands. Due to these actions, it was announced the next day that a working group would be formed to discuss the concerns of the Mapuche people and to prevent further acts of force from occurring.

 The incident began at around 7 a.m. local time on Wednesday morning when Mapuche individuals from the communities of Mariano Tori, Antonio Paillacoi and Colihuinca Tori approached four logging trucks and told them they would not be allowed to enter the Mapuche’s ancestral land, nor leave the area. According to Luis Collío, a spokesperson for the Mapuche, the decision to carry out such an act was to draw attention to their demand that their ancestral lands be returned to them.

 And so, for eight hours, the loggers and their trucks did not move. One of those truck drivers spoke to the media that same day and stressed that no one was harmed and that eventually the truck drivers were allowed to leave and go home.

 In response to the Mapuche’s actions, a working group was created to discuss the Mapuche land claims and to avoid future demonstrations of force. The working group will be comprised of members of the government, leaders from the Mapuche communities, and representatives from the logging company. The hope is that the parties can reach an agreement that is to everyone’s satisfaction.