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Statement given by Chief Juana Calfunao to the UN Human Rights Council

United Nations Human Rights Council
17th session
Geneva – 30th May to 17th June  2011
Item 8: Situation of human rights that require the attention of the Council. (General Discussion).

(Statement by the Indian Council of South America)

Mr. President,

The Mapuche Nation is criminalized, by indictment, by default, in its entirety, by the Chilean government making it impossible to continue living under this system of repression, under which we have endured 200 years of continuous dictatorship, looting, assassinations and as hostages in Chilean prisons.

Incriminating ‘evidence’ is routinely planted by police and frequently this 'evidence' is made up of materials used exclusively by the armed forces. Since 15th March 2011, four Mapuche brothers have been on hunger strike in protest against the police and judicial systems, who were tried for their alleged crimes simultaneously in military and civilian courts. A civil court sentenced them to respectively 20 and 25 years where anonymous witnesses were used to convict them, a method widely condemned by international human rights organizations.

However Chile's Supreme Court validated the irregularities committed by the civil court, despite that in a previous military and civilian court trial they had been acquitted. The Catholic Church acted as a mediator during the lengthy hunger strike, endured by 32 Mapuche brothers in July 2010 in which the Chilean government committed to end the application of the Terrorism Law against our people. The government and the church did not seek to fulfill their promises to bring an end to the hunger strike, and today the situation remains the same.

We want to establish that the traditional authorities of the Mapuche people have never relinquished our rights as a people. Such as the right to keep our own laws and customs, our harmonious relationship with our Mother Earth that we are part of.

Chile violated the treaties of Tapihue1825 and Killen 1641, which established the Bio Bio river to the south as the official border of the Mapuche nation thus giving entitlement to full autonomy and self-determination. We reaffirm once again that Chile does not have jurisdiction over us or our territory. Chilean courts and their foreign laws can not apply to our people; The Mapuche are not, Chileans.

Chile ratified ILO Convention 169, but does not comply with the standard set by the UN. Blatantly lying in their reports delivered in periodic reviews of this global body. We are denied the right to control our ancestral territory. In contrast, the Chilean state pollutes and destroys our ancestral territory with impunity.

As an authority i request that the UN member states make a strong call to the Chilean State, for failing to respect and honor the International agreements and treaties.

By practicing a recognition of diversity, together we will make a righteous life, caring, healthy, with respect and dignity for all.

Thank you very much Mr. Chairman.

Juana Calfunao Paillalef
Lonko of Juan Paillalef Community
Geneva, June 7, 2011



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