Monthly Archives: May 2013

Mapuche Testify Against Chile Before Inter-American Court of Human Rights (OAS)

On Wednesday and Thursday (May 29-30, 2013), the Inter-American Court of Human Rights — a body of the Organization of American States — heard its first case against the Chilean state. The case actually involved three separate, but similar matters involving Mapuche individuals who had been subjected to Chile’s so-called Antiterrorism Law. The Antiterrorism Law has come under much criticism both internationally and from within Chile, and in this instance, the Mapuche individuals were presenting their testimony on how its application violated their human rights and were asking for its repeal. Continue reading

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Argentina: Tonocoté Violently Evicted from Land then Offerred New Housing

On Friday, May 24th, approximately twenty-three Tonocoté families — located in north-central Argentina — were violently evicted from their community of more than 200 years. According to news reports, dozens of police mounted on horseback used rubber bullets, tear gas, and dogs to force the Tonocoté people out of their community. Once the people were free from the area, the land was quickly bulldozed in preparation for a real estate development that will allegedly be put on the land. The eviction drew the ire of many human rights organizations, including Greenpeace who “condemned” the “illegal” eviction. Continue reading

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International Observers Conclude that Chile’s Imposed Regime on Rapa Nui Violates Human Rights

On May 23, 2013, multiple Chilean news outlets posted articles (here, here and here) about a report made to the International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs that detailed the relationship between Chile and the Rapa Nui people — ultimately concluding that Chile’s regime on Easter Island violates the Rapa Nui peoples’ rights to territory, self-determination, and political participation. Additionally, the report specifically lays out rights under the American Convention on Human Rights that have been violated and provides several pages of recommendations on how the human rights situation of the Rapa Nui might be improved. Continue reading

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Amnesty International’s 2013 Report Comments on Indigenous Situations in Argentina, Chile and Paraguay

On Wednesday, May 22nd, Amnesty International released its annual report entitled, Amnesty International Report 2013: The State of the World’s Human Rights. Within it is a wealth of information on global human rights in the form of short summaries of major events that have taken place in each country around the world. With respect to the Southern Cone, the report discusses the condition of human rights for indigenous peoples in Argentina, Chile and Paraguay. Those portions related to indigenous peoples are reprinted below. Continue reading

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Argentina: Qom Community (Toba) Goes to Supreme Court Amidst Violent Protests and Accusations of Police Brutality

On May 22, 2013 the Qom (or Toba) people of Argentina were granted a hearing at Argentina’s Supreme Court to discuss their ongoing land dispute. For years, the Qom have tried to get the Argentinian government to recognize their land rights in the province of Formosa, along the Paraguay border. The Qom community’s efforts have included round table meetings with government officials, protests, encampment in Buenos Aires, among other strategies. Oftentimes, these protests have ended in violence as was the alleged case on May 22nd, when reports that more than 50 Qom had been injured by police and more than 100 had been arrested. Continue reading

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Chile’s President References “New Deal” with Indigenous Peoples in Annual Address

On May 21st, Chile’s President Piñera gave his annual address in front of Congress for the final time before his term ends. The address is given annually and highlights both accomplishments from the previous year as well as goals for the forthcoming year. In this year’s address (full address in Spanish can be found here), Piñera offerred a few words about Chile’s indigenous groups and his administration’s goals with respect to those peoples. Continue reading

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Efforts Made to Recover Kunza Language, Once Thought Extinct

Kunza is the language of the Atacameño or Likan Antay people. Although there are more than 6,000 Atacameñós living in Chile, it has long been believed that their language was extinct. Although much of the language had been recorded and exists on paper, native speakers of Kunza no longer existed. That said, recent efforts by the Atacameño people, coupled with assistance from Conadi (Chile’s Indigenous development corporation), are trying to change that by teaching individuals to once again can speak in their native tongue. Continue reading

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