As a follow-up to an earlier post regarding Cleopatra Doumdia-Henry’s visit to Chile, today, the Director of the ILO International Labor Standards Department held meetings in Temuco with various Congressional representatives from the Araucanía region, in addition to some indigenous leaders. In light of Chile’s first report on the status of efforts to achieve implementation of ILO Convention 169, which is due in September, indigenous issues were discussed during the meetings. In particular, those in attendance discussed the ongoing hunger strike and related concerns over the Government’s application of the Antiterrorism law to Mapuche political activists, as well as issues related to land and consultation rights. According to Radio Bío Bío, Mapuche representatives were provided the opportunity to discuss the hunger strike.
Not all who sought an audience with Doumdia-Henry were able to meet with her, however. Mapuexpress reported that Mapuche representatives from Pepiukelen, Chilcoco, and Pu Kiñe, the three communities involved in recent court cases dealing with ILO 169 and the right to consultation, in addition to representatives from the National Aymara Council, were excluded from the meetings. Their exclusion is reportedly due to a decision made by the Director of the Chilean Office for the ILO, Guillermo Miranda. Senator Alejandro Navarro has expressed concerns over that decision, as well as others made by the office, indicating that it is demonstrative of a policy of favoring business interests over the interests of indigenous peoples in Chile. The Mapuche representatives excluded from the meetings were particularly concerned, given that they seek support from the ILO in the ongoing appeals of their cases before the Supreme Court.