Last month, on Sunday, January 15th, CONADI (Chile’s Indigenous development corporation) held elections for the eight Indigenous individuals who will join the National Council. The results from that election — in which more than 30,000 people participated — were counted and made public shortly thereafter. But on Tuesday, February 14th, CONADI announced a change to the official results citing irregularities in the initial vote count as the reason for the change. The announcement indicated that the winner of the urban Indigenous representative seat had been revised.
Initially, when the results were released, the winner of the urban Indigenous representative seat was announced as Ariel León. León is an Aymara man and his victory was historic as he became the first non-Mapuche to ever win the urban seat. Ultimately, however, after citing numerous issues in some of the counts, those results were revised this week. The new urban Indigenous representative will be Marcial Collín, a Mapuche individual. The remaining seven candidates who were initially announced as winners, retained their seats. All election results must be approved by the President before the representatives take office in April of this year.
The National Council is a body of seventeen people (eight Indigenously-elected, eight government appointees, and a Director), and represents the highest level in the Chilean government that Indigenous peoples are specifically guaranteed representation. The updated announced winners are:
- Pueblo Aymara: Zenón Vicente Alarcón Rodríguez (re-elected)
- Pueblo Atacameño: Wilson Manuel Reyes Araya
- Pueblo Rapa Nui: Rafael Hernán Tuki Tepano (re-elected)
- Pueblo Mapuche in La Araucanía: Ana María Llao Llao
- Pueblo Mapuche in La Araucanía: Andrés Hernán Matta Cuminao
- Pueblo Mapuche in Biobío: Iván Catalino Carilao Ñanco
- Pueblo Mapuche in Los Ríos – Los Lagos: Claudia Pailalef Montiel
- Urban Indigenous: Marcial Collín