Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation meets on 4 - 5 June 2004 in Pucon and Villarrica
Mapuches oppose this neo-colonialist summit in their territory!
Public Declaration - APEC invasion and Mapuche people
In view of the meeting of Trade Ministers and business people that is to take place in the next few days (4 and 5 June) in the towns of Pucón and Villarrica, we the undersigned, members of Mapuche organisations and regional entities, declare the following:
To bring the forum for Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) to our historical territory is an open offence and provocation against our People, and it is a new blunder on the part of the government to bring here the essence of the capitalist free market, the very model that has marginalised, oppressed and excluded our People, and has usurped and overexploited our Mapuche territory and resources, and that of all the Original Peoples and vast sectors of society generally.
We reject and refuse this meeting, while making it clear that it is taking place behind the backs of nations and is against the interests of the Peoples. Economic and Trade Ministers, alongside the group of businessmen whom they serve will be meeting here. Here what they are seeking to do (behind closed doors) is to unleash what the World Trade Organisation (WTO) has been unable to impose, so the APEC will be an instrument that goes against all ethics and justice, where unilateral, antidemocratic decisions will be taken and the basic rights of people and Peoples will continue to be violated atrociously. Their main objective is the absolute freedom of capital investment, imposing laws and regulations worldwide where the sole beneficiaries are the owners of major and multinational companies. For these reasons, we must point out that the presence of the Director General of the WTO, Supachai Panitchpakdi, at this meeting, is not welcomed by the undersigned Mapuche organisations.
We must also make it clear to public opinion that, in contrast to what has been advertised, the APEC is not a mechanism benefiting the Region and Country and encouraging participation; on the contrary, neither the Original Peoples, nor population at large, or those in production areas, such as micro, small and medium-sized companies, or factory and rural workers, have access to the information prepared by the APEC, much less any possibility of real participation in decision-making. The anti-democratic and arbitrary nature of which is self-evident.
We find it inconceivable that the most sinister trade is being unleashed through the standardisation or homogenisation of production and the recognition of world prices in unequal economies with asymmetrical development and technologies, making various social sectors, including Indigenous peoples, victims of violence, abuse and even death on account of this model. If Chile denies the existence of the Indigenous peoples, denies their rights, infringes and invades their territory, then how will it deal with this trade in relation to other states that do indeed recognise the rights of Indigenous Peoples and Nations? The Government is complicit in leaving the Mapuche in a position of the up most vulnerability faced with a trade that is liable to become even more overwhelming. If Chile wants trade, it must first recognise, preserve and protect the rights of the Indigenous Peoples and other disenfranchised sectors of society. This will be the demand we will make to the 21 governments that are part of the APEC prior to the June meeting, because these are the subjects of discussion for States. We will also demand that the subjects of discussion for the APEC are public knowledge, and not confidential, as has been the case.
Before this, we reserve the right to protest peacefully against this event, which is a travelling stage show for trade and is a direct invasion. We demand that we are assured and guaranteed our freedom of assembly, to express opinion and to freely inform the citizens of the effects of the APEC, so we call upon the government to end all practices of repression, persecution and arbitrary discrimination, even more so as this meeting is taking place on our historical territory.
What APEC does not do, we will do, so we are calling upon Mapuche organisations and territorial entities to hold internal activities on 2 and 3 June in various locations. On JUNE 4 we will also open a space for participation and democracy, beginning in Villarrica, for the Forum of Indigenous Peoples and social organisations; this will be a "re-encounter" among Mapuche organisations and an "encounter" with organisations from Chilean and foreign civil society. For June 5 we are preparing to demonstrate and express our views peacefully.
As of now, we confirm the arrival of the delegates of our organisations from the all corners of the Mapuche territory, as well as important leaders of Chilean and international civil society, who have responded to the call for dialogue from the organisations, a dialogue referred to as the "re-encounter" of Mapuche organisations and the "encounter" with civil society.
Supporting this declaration:
- Lafkenche Identity Tirúa, Adolfo
Millabur, Iván Cárialo
Translated by Leslie Ray