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Statement by Dame Nina Saleh Ahmed at the 28th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council

United Nations

Human Rights Council
28th Session, Geneva,
2nd to 27th March 2015

Agenda item 3. Promotion and Protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development.

Presentation of Auspice Stella*

Mr President, distinguished ladies and gentlemen,

This year the Mapuche commemorate the 130th anniversary of the cessation of armed resistance against the 19th century Chilean and Argentinian armies who had threatened to occupy Araucania and Patagonia or Wallmapu and to subjugate its population by violent means. These events are known as the 'Araucanian Pacification' in Chile and the 'Campaign of the Desert' in Argentina, during this process, those who survived were subject to such extreme and horrific conditions of subsistence that they came close to complete extermination.

Image: Dame Nina Saleh Ahmed reads a statement before the 28th Regular Session of the UN Human Rights Council (Agenda item 3) on behalf of Auspice Stella - Mapuche Human Rights Commission.

Today there is substantial evidence of these acts of Genocide; We deplore the fact that there is neither sensitivity, nor the political will on the part of the Argentine authorities to equitably restore the fundamental rights of these communities, such as the basic right to inhabit their ancestral territories. There is also great concern in Mapuche communities regards government concessions to national and multi-national companies of all types, operating without the free and informed prior consent required under ILO Convention 169, ratified by Argentina.

The Newen Winkul communities of Neuquen are being negatively impacted by local oil extraction activities. Some members of the affected communities have subsequently been assaulted as a result of their anti-extraction protests, by oil company employee's acting with impunity in the absence of any impartial tribunal for the administration of justice. A similar situation resulting in water pollution occurs in the communities of 'Vaca Muerta' due to the controversial use of fracking.

Finally, the Mapuche communities of Paicil and Antreao, whom despite possessing legal land title, continue to be denied access to many of the areas, which they rightfully possess. Whilst the Mapuche communities located on the Colorado River, west of the Pampa, live in persistent uncertainty whilst threatened with eviction from their lands, due to the failure of the authorities to the grant land titles that justly belong to them.

Thank you Mr President

Dame Nina Saleh Ahmed

Executive Director
Auspice Stella – Mapuche Human Rights Commission
Geneva, 13th March 2015


*Auspice Stella, ONG avec statut consultatif spécial auprès du Conseil Economique et Social des Nations Unies depuis 2013. Association Loi 1901 Sous le haut patronage du Prince d’Araucanie Siège social: La Chèze, 24640 Chourgnac d’Ans tél. :; mail: auspicestella@araucanie.com



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