Document presented by the delegation from
the Mapuche Inter-regional Council
ON HUMAN RIGHTS
Sub-commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities.
WORKING GROUP ON INDIGENOUS PEOPLES
12th Period of Sessions
July 25-29 1994
Item 5 of the Agenda
Review of Developments Pertaining to the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of Indigenous Peoples.
Photo: Florinda Cheuquepan
Thank you Madam Chair,
behalf of the Mapuche Inter-regional Council, which brings together organisations,
institutions, community chiefs and Mapuche professionals, I am happy to
greet you and the honourable members of the Working Group, and I would
like to thank you for giving me the opportunity to address all indigenous
brothers and sisters attending this meeting. I would also like to thank
the Voluntary Fund which made my participation in this event possible.
chair there is no doubt that Chile
has achieved a significant step forward with regard to the PROMOTION AND
PROTECTION of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of Indigenous
Peoples, through the publication of Law 19.253 which sets norms for the
protection, promotion and development of indigenous peoples.
above mentioned law, despite its imperfections does recognize our people's
distinctive identity;establishes norms to protect the ownership of land
and water, and promotes the development of of bilingual culture, which
is considered part of Chile's national inheritance. In addition, it outlaws
all manifest and intentional discrimination against indigenous peoples
because of their origin and culture;
recognises both the need to develop a bilingual and intercultural education
system and the right to be heard and consulted by institutional and governmental
organs on all matters which directly affect indigenous peoples.
is our wish, Madam Chair that all this theoretical advancement will not
only remain on paper but will materialize in time, in all aspects of our
peoples' life. For this reason we urgently need:
- Bilingual Institutes where our Mapuche
children receive a general education, in accordance with our cultural,
political and social identity which constitutes a true vindication for
our rights and freedoms.
- Budgets which are sufficient enough
to develop activities leading to a genuine protection and materialisation
of the rights and freedoms consecrated by the above mentioned law.
- True participation, consultation and
approval of Mapuche people in all those matters directly relating to their
rights and freedoms. This must be done directly with the communities and
not with those who claim to be their representatives.
- The recognition and the right to participate
in public posts at any level.
we ask, Madam Chair, that there should be a real commitment by the Chilean
government to implement and enforce compliance of the law. We know that
the law can be nicely worded, but if it remains without implementation
it LOSES ITS FORCE AND AUTHORITY and in this way frustrates the advancement
of our people.
also ask that the above commitment should include the ratification of CONVENTION
169 OF THE ILO by the Legislative Body of our country, (to which our government
subscribed, according to the statement of Chile's Observer Delegate), as
well the constitutional recognition of our people's distinctive identity.
also consider it important to establish a PERMANENT FORUM within the United
Nations as a place for open dialogue with equality of rights between indigenous
peoples or nations and the State, as an important step towards greater
openness and democratization of the UN: the base for peaceful solution
Mapuche Inter-regional Council welcomes the achievement made so far with
regard to international law stipulated within the Universal Declaration
on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples project. We reserve the right of autonomy
and self-determination as a basis for our protection and development in
our ancestral territory.
Madam Chair, I bring you and the Working Group over which you honourably
preside, an invitation from our MAPUCHE-PEHUENCHE brothers and sisters
of the community of Quinquen, Ninth Region, to attend the annual Nguillatun
to be held in January 1995. This is a religious event which will
enable you to experience the reality of their lives, beliefs, advances,
and the HOPE OF THEIR PRAYERS; and which your presence will deeply honour.
Chair, thank you very much.
FLORINDA CHEUQUEPAN ARZOLA(*)
Lawyer, Head of the Legal Department
Mapuche Inter-regional Council
It is with deep regret that our organisation records here the loss of our
Head of the Legal Department, Florinda Cheuquepan who died on the
10th October, 1997. She will be greatly missed as one of our
staunchest sisters, who ceaselessly defended whenever possible the rights
and interests of the Mapuche people.
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