On Monday, September 24th, the Chilean Supreme Court — in a unanimous decision — rejected the claim of a group of Huilliche people (a sub-group of the Mapuche people) who were trying to gain access to a sacred site. The Supreme Court stated that the land in question was owned by a private individual and, as such, could not be granted the special protection sought by the Huilliche people.
Initially, the Huilliche-Mapuche filed a claim in the lower court of Valdivia, seeking to protect their sacred site, known as Ngen Mapu Quintuante. That court held in favor of the Huilliche community and said their rights to religious sites were protected under the law. The Supreme Court, however, disagreed and overturned the lower court’s decision.
Both the lower court and Supreme Court decisions area available (in Spanish) here.