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  • Chile: Lower House Declares Mapuche Organizations as Terrorists

    Chile: Lower House Declares Mapuche Organizations as Terrorists

    On Tuesday, the Chilean Chamber of Deputies approved a draft resolution that declares four organizations of the Mapuche indigenous people as illegal and terrorist organizations.

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    The decision directly affects the Indigenous organizations Arauco Malleco Coordinator (CAM), Mapuche Malleco Resistance, Mapuche Lafkenche Resistance, and Weichan Auka Mapu.

    The resolution was approved after the lawmakers heard the statements of CAM leader Hector Llaitul, who called on people to organize armed resistance in the country's Southern Macrozone in response to the declaration of a "State of Exception" by the Government.

    The Lower House also asked President Gabriel Boric to criminally prosecute those four Indigenous organizations using anti-terrorist Law 18,314.

    The lawmakers, however, did not limit themselves to criminalizing Mapuche militants within Chile. They also want Borik to ask the U.S. State Department and the European Union to declare the four fighting organizations of the Mapuche people as terrorist organizations.

    During the legislative session, Interior Minister Izkia Siches and Defense Minister Maya Fernandez explained the actions that the Borik administration has taken to "normalize" the situation in the south of the country.

    “We will not limit ourselves to attacking only the symptoms but we will face the root of the problems,” Siches said in what seemed like a threat against the Mapuche people.

    “Undoubtedly, the unity of all the political forces represented in this Parliament is required... Addressing this conflict requires State policies. There are no short cuts. There are no easy or short solutions except to agree on a strategy and a plan," the Interior Minister added.

    The tweet reads, "Boric remilitarizes La Araucania. The Chilean government decrees a state of emergency in two southern provinces 'to guarantee security' throughout the Mapuche area. Until now Boric had rejected the Piñera-backed militarization, which was reversed in March."

    The "Mapuche conflict" is a long-standing dispute between the Chilean State and the Indigenous communities that claim the use of their customary rights, the ownership of ancestral lands threatened by extractive companies, their freedom to establish their development model, and the recognition of their cultural identity.

    Historically speaking, the struggle of the Mapuche has been tenacious and permanent. They successfully defended their way of life and their territory against the Inca Empire and the Spanish Empire. In the 19th century, the Republic of Chile recognized the autonomy of the Indigenous communities south of the Biobio River.

    However, since then, the Mapuche territory has been outraged by the constant attacks emanating from companies extracting natural resources, which have been supported by the Chilean State, regardless of the ideological bias of the government in power.

    The "Mapuche question" has generated legal and political debates ranging from the controversy over state property to the use of the epithet of "terrorist" to qualify Indigenous organizations.

    On several occasions, multilateral organizations such as the Inter-American Court of Human Rights have condemned the Chilean State for the inappropriate use of the anti-terrorist law against the Mapuche people.

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    Khamisi
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