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Resolution on the situation of human rights and indigenous minorities in Argentina

The European Parliament

Having regard to the agreement between the European Union and Argentina and the EU and Mercusur, which is based on respect for human rights, and having regard to its resolutions of 9 February 1994 on action required internationally to provide effective protection for indigenous peoples and of 19 January 1995 on the International Decade of the World's Indigenous Peoples.

A) whereas the indigenous peoples living within Argentine territory number approximately 450 to 550 000 and belong to 16 different ethnic groups spread among 12 provinces and representing 1.5% of the country's population.

B) aware of the conflicts which have arisen on account of the expulsions of various Mapuche communities which were legally ordered so as to allow land to be seized in the province of Neuquen (Pulmari region, department of Alumine)

C) whereas the occupation of the land was prompted by mal-administration on the part of the Pulmari Interstate Corporation (CIP), which has granted administrative concessions to private investors.

D) whereas these concessions were granted without guaranteeing the availability of sufficient land for these communities to maintain a decent standard of living in the areas which are rightfully theirs

E) whereas the failure to allocate sufficient land to the Mapuche community is producing conflicts among the indigenous communities themselves.

  1. Calls on the Argentine authorities to amend the regulations governing the Pulmari Interstate Corporation in order to avoid misinterpretations regarding the rights of the legitimate land owners.

  2. Calls on the Argentine Government to defend the interests and rights of indigenous peoples and the spirit of Article 75 (7) of the constitution, which was included following the constitutional review in 1994

  3. Calls on the Commission when negotiating with Argentina and the Mercosur countries, to take into account the existence of indigenous peoples in these countries and the impact of bilateral agreements on these peoples and their environment

  4. Recommends that the Pulmari Interstate Corporation draw up and implement agreements to hand over land to the Mapuche communities in the region of the Pulmari, in accordance with the conditions laid down in Article 75 (17) of the Argentine constitution.

  5. Calls on the CIP to refrain from handing over land to private individuals in areas which legitimately and constitutionally belong to indigenous peoples

  6. Calls on the Argentine authorities to act with all speed to avoid the expulsion of indigenous peoples from the lands which are recognised as theirs under the Argentine constitution.

  7. Expresses its concern at the human rights situation in Argentina, with particular regard to the safety of the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, the freedom of the press and the protection of journalists and the representatives of bodies concerned with the protection of human rights and of indigenous peoples

  8. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission, the Argentine Government, the Argentine Chamber of Deputies, the Governor of the province of Neuquen and the Pulmari Interstate Corporation.

DOC ES/RC/322/322542

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