Tag Archives: Mapuche People

Chile indigenous groups mark Columbus Day with protests

13 October, 2013. Source: Al Jazeera

Some of the protesters threw rocks and other objects at police after the main, peaceful march earlier Saturday. Photo: Luis Hidalgo/AP

Some of the protesters threw rocks and other objects at police after the main, peaceful march earlier Saturday. Photo: Luis Hidalgo/AP

Protesters clashed with police in Chile’s capital Saturday during an anti-Columbus Day march organized by Indigenous groups, with activists calling for the return of ancestral lands and the right to self-determination on the 521-year anniversary of the arrival of Christopher Columbus to the Americas.

Demonstrators in Santiago threw rocks and other objects at police who responded with water cannons. At least 10 protesters were detained by police, local media reported.

More than 15,000 people participated in the march, organized by the country’s largest indigenous group, the Mapuches, who have been in a long struggle with the government over ancestral land taken from them during colonization.

While Columbus Day celebrations took place across Latin America, the Mapuche affirmed, “we have nothing to celebrate”, according to the Santiago Times. Continue reading

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Indigenous Peoples, Land Grabs, Latin America-Caribbean, Rights, Resilience, and Restoration

Mapuche conflict in Chile flares up following the killing of local indigenous activist

11 August, 2013. Source: MercoPress

Mapuche leader Aucan Huilcaman warned about further violence if there is no dialogue. Photo: MercoPress

Mapuche leader Aucan Huilcaman warned about further violence if there is no dialogue. Photo: MercoPress

Dozens turned out on Saturday in southern Chile for the funeral of a Mapuche land activist and fugitive who last Tuesday was found dead of shotgun wounds to the chest. Carabineros have made no arrests and have no suspects so far, said local authorities.

At the funeral the president of the Council of All Lands indigenous organization, Aucan Huilcaman said that he does not discard police participation in the killing of 26-year old Rodrigo Elicer Melinao Licán who was found dead near land guarded by police in Ercilla, Araucania region, where an ongoing conflict between landowners, farmers and Mapuches has led to outbreaks of violence.

“We do not exclude the participation of Carabineros, as the family has pointed out” said Huilcamam.

“Here there are forest guards, groups that have threatened to use fire arms, and this has been supported by the Chilean government, the Minister of Agriculture Luis Mayor in several opportunities has said that legitimate defence means appealing to fire arms”, claimed the indigenous leader. Continue reading

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Indigenous Peoples, Land Grabs, Latin America-Caribbean, Political Repression

Hydroelectric project threatens Chile’s Lake Neltume

By Marianela Jarroud, February 6 2013. Source: Inter Press Service

Panoramic view of Lake Neltume. Photo: Marianela Jarroud/IPS

Panoramic view of Lake Neltume. Photo: Marianela Jarroud/IPS

SANTIAGO, Feb 6 2013 (IPS) - “This is paradise and they want to destroy it. This has had an enormous psychological impact on us,” says Guido Melinao, leader of the Mapuche indigenous community of Valeriano Cayicul, referring to the Neltume hydroelectric power plant project planned by the Spanish-Italian consortium Endesa-Enel.

The plant, to be built with an investment of 781 million dollars, would have an installed capacity of 490 megawatts and generate an estimated average of 1,885 gigawatt-hours of electricity annually.

In addition to the hydropower plant, which will be run with the waters of the Fuy River and empty into Lake Neltume, Endesa-Enel’s plans also include the construction of a high-tension power line to distribute the electricity through Chile’s Central Interconnected System. Continue reading

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Filed under Biodiversity, Corporate Globalization, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Green Economy, Hydroelectric dams, Indigenous Peoples, Latin America-Caribbean, Political Repression, Water

Indigenous Chileans still fighting Pinochet-era highway project

By Marianela Jarroud, December 27 2012. Source Inter Press Service

Lake Budi has already been affected by the construction of the bridge to Huapi Island. Photo: Marianela Jarroud/IPS

Lake Budi has already been affected by the construction of the bridge to Huapi Island. Photo: Marianela Jarroud/IPS

PUERTO SAAVEDRA, Chile – For more than two decades, Mapuche indigenous people in the Chilean region of Araucanía have been fighting the construction of the Ruta Costera (Coastal Highway), a megaproject initially conceived during the Augusto Pinochet dictatorship (1973-1990) which has already caused significant archeological and cultural losses and damages.

The Coastal Highway is meant to connect one end of Chile’s long, narrow territory to the other, running north to south as close to the Pacific Ocean as possible. The completed highway would be more than 3,340 km long, of which more than 2,600 km have already been built. Continue reading

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Corporate Globalization, Indigenous Peoples, Latin America-Caribbean, Political Repression