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Chile: False Recognition, Prosecuted Minors and Rejection of Hydroelectric Companies

Mapuche mobilization in Futrono. Photo: Mapuexpress

Mapuexpress, January 26, 2011 - This week at Mapuexpress, three central issues were published due to their importance. The first of these was the insistence of the Chilean members of Parliament to enact a constitutional amendment falsely recognizing indigenous peoples.

The rejection of the Mapuche organizations has been widespread, since the text implies the restriction of the standard established in Convention 169 concerning Indigenous and Tribal Peoples of the International Labor Organization (ILO) regarding the recognition of collective indigenous rights.

The representative of Pu Lof Trawün (Mapuche Land Alliance) and the ancestral authority, the Longko[1] Juan Carlos Curinao, requested, by means of a public letter sent to the House of Representatives, that consultation be carried out properly before approving the bill.

The association, Identidad Lafkenche, and other leaders joined this call, strongly criticizing the members of Parliament for their intention to promote this flawed and unauthorized bill.

The second important topic is the situation that affects three Mapuche minors held at the Cholchol detention center, near Temuco, who have been political prisoners for more than one year and were tried under the Anti-Terrorism Act.

This week, human rights groups carried out an observation mission to understand their opinion and disagreement with the application of this law.

The defense presented the principle of the best interests of the child to the courts as its argument, referring to the existence of the Juvenile Responsibility Act that should be applied before the aforementioned Anti-Terrorism Act.

Thus, two of the three minors, against whom charges were filed, have left the detention center and are now under house arrest. Nevertheless, they will still be prosecuted under the Anti-Terrorism Act.

Lastly, a Mapuche march took place in the Futrono community, which was organized by the Puel Wijimapu Land Council. They oppose the establishment of hydroelectric megaprojects in Mapuche territory, specifically the Maqueo Project of the state-owned Norwegian company, SN Power, in the Los Ríos region.

A massive march, which took place on Thursday, January 20 in the locality and which was led by the Ñizol Longko[2], José Panguilef of the Lofmapu Rupumeika and the representative of the Longko del Pikunwijimapu Council, captured the attention of the media.

The Mapuche representatives emphatically stressed their determination to not let the hydroelectric company enter and expressed their anger with the actions taken by the company, Filial Trayenko of SN Power, and the government, responsible for not taking steps, in accordance with what the Mapuche community requests.

See related information:

Open Letter from the Lonko Juan Carlos Curinao about the arbitrary acts taken by the members of Parliament regarding the unauthorized bill referred to as the Constitutional Reform against Indigenous Peoples:

Interview with María Salamanca Huenchullan, attorney of C.C.M. detained at Cholchol: "This young man may comply with different precautionary measures other than the one related to temporary confinement:"

Public Declaration of the Observation Mission at the Chol Chol Detention Center and situation of the Mapuche minors:

Organized by the Puel Huilli Mapu Land Council:  massive march against the Maqueo Hydroelectric Project in Futrono:

See more information at: www.mapuexpress.net


[1] Head of the Mapuche community

[2] Maximum authority of the Mapuche organizations

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Traducción para Servindi de Sylvia Fisher

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