September 11, 2015
In response to the Chilean government’s refusal to negotiate and use of violence against Mapuche protesters, several activists including Aucán Huilcamán, head of the Council of All the Lands, have decided to declare autonomy.
Read the full article, published by Telesur TV, below:
Various Mapuche leaders announced new radical measures as the government refuses to negotiate their demands. Aucán Huilcamán, head of the Council of All the Lands, announced that in response to the systematic failure of government negotiations the Mapuche people will convoke a Constituent Assembly in November to set up autonomous “self-government” in the short term, reported El Ciudadano Thursday. Huilcaman blamed the government for “discriminating” against the Mapuches, citing when Minister of Interior Jorge Burgos received truck drivers claiming to be victims of Mapuche violence at the end of August. As for Burgos, he plainly stated that the demands of the communities led by the Council All the Lands was “out of law”. Meanwhile, Mapuche leader Rodrigo Curipan, who was heading the seizure of the National Corporation of Indigenous Development (Conadi), said during a meeting on Wednesday between various Mapuche communities in Temuco that Mapuche activists will continue to protest since the State refused to negotiate, reported Cooperativa. On Monday, government security forces raided the Conadi and violently clashed with Mapuche activists, who had occupyied the government facility for 21 days. The Mapuche people have staged several protests in recent weeks rejecting their violence treatment, and demanding the reappropriation of what they consider to be their ancestral lands. The Mapuche are Chile's largest Indigenous minority, making up around 9 percent of the national population and 31 percent in the Araucania. However, a report by the labor federation, Multigremial de la Araucania, revealed that violent incidents in the region have increased by 43 percent upon last year figures, with 152 incidents recorded between January and June this year. Earlier this month, the Mapuche representatives issued a list of demands to the Chilean government requesting autonomy and self-governance in Mapuche territory. “International law has recognized the right to self-determination of all Indigenous peoples and this should also be granted to the Mapuche people, the document stated.