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IX UNPO General Assembly resolution regarding the Mapuche people


IX UNPO General Assembly

16-17 May 2008, Brussels Belgium

Member Resolution

Introduced by


Notes that although the Chilean president recently announced new measures to improve the representation of the Mapuche, the government still fails to recognise them as a people in its political constitution and, in contravention with international laws, does not acknowledge their right to self determination;

Notes that although the Chilean government has approved ratification of Convention 169 of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) on indigenous people, it has so far failed to implement the necessary procedures in order for the ratification to be finalized;

Expresses concern that although the Chilean government has made a commitment to stop using anti-terrorism legislation, it continues to apply other repressive measures such as preventive detention against members of the Mapuche movement;

Is alarmed by the recent murder of Matias Catrileo, a 22-year-old student who was killed by machine-gun fire while participating in a peaceful demonstration, a further example of the extreme measures taken to repress Mapuche protests;

Denounces the targeting of Mapuche activists and community leaders, such as Chief Juana Calfunao Paillalef and her family, who have suffered ongoing harassment, torture and imprisonment over recent years;

Expresses concern that Mapuche prisoners are subjected to cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment, that their status as political prisoners is not recognised and that they are denied the right to a public trial by an independent and impartial tribunal. There is particular concern about the number of prisoners who have resorted to hunger strikes in a desperate bid to protest against these injustices;

Observes efforts by the State to isolate the Mapuche movement by preventing communication with international groups and media, through the prosecution and deportation of foreign journalists and Mapuche sympathizers;

Expresses concern regarding the extension of state repression towards a new generation of Mapuche, through the detention of indigenous children and the use of rural schools as interrogation centres in conflict areas, constituting a direct violation of both State law and the Convention of the Rights of The Child;

Denounces the failure to respect the Mapuche's right to freedom of religious expression, through the detention of the Machi (spiritual guide) and the destruction of sacred symbols such as the Rewe (altar) and the Kultrun (sacred drum).

Therefore, we urge The UNPO General Assembly to:

  1. Call upon the Chilean government to comply with international norms, to guarantee the right of people to self-determination, and to finalize formal ratification of convention 169 of the ILO;

  2. Call upon the Chilean government to respect the right to peaceful protest, to refrain from using repressive measures such as preventive detention and to release all Mapuche political prisoners;

  3. Call upon the Chilean government to recognise their duty to protect Mapuche children from the disaccord in the Mapuche regions and allow them to continue their education undisturbed;

  4. Call upon the Chilean government to release the Machi Pascual Catrilaf, who has been in detention since November 2007, and to respect the Mapuche's religious authorities, the sacred character of their symbols and their right to freely practise their religious beliefs.

Submitted by

Name: Reynaldo Mariqueo
Organization: Mapuche International Link

Name: Carlos Contreras Painemal
Organization: Rucadugun Indigenous Documentation Centre


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