Even though 15 years have passed since Chile returned to a democratic political system the Chilean state still does not recognise the Mapuche as a people in its political constitution nor does it acknowledge their right to self determination.
In this context the Chilean government violates international laws and conventions and fails to ratify Convention 169 of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) on indigenous people.
Mobilisation and protests brought about by the fight of the Mapuche for their individual and collective human rights and their struggle for the retrieval of their illegally seized territories are evidence for the degree of economic and racial discrimination they experience.
The Chilean government criminalizes the Mapuche movement. Mapuche protests are suppressed by the use of antiterrorist law introduced by the military dictatorship. This law, however, has lately only been used against Mapuche activists and members of their communities. In the last four years hundreds of activists and members of Mapuche communities have been prosecuted under this law which determines the guilt of those accused by referring only to superficial evidence.
The Chilean judicial system intimidates Mapuche leaders, organisations and communities and defines their organisations as ‘illegal terrorist associations'. Consequently, Mapuche activists and communities are being systematically detained and/or imprisoned charged with offences such as ‘threatening with terrorist arson'. The prisoners are subjected to cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment and their status as political prisoners is not recognised. Generally, the sentences passed by the tribunals are based on statements by anonymous witnesses.
The Chilean bill of laws denies the accused the right to internationally recognised legal process such as the right to a public trial by an independent and impartial tribunal.
The Chilean government ignores the concerns expressed and recommendations made by national and international organisations regarding the human rights and fundamental freedoms of the Mapuche.