Category Archives: Argentina

Argentina: Pope Francis Meets with Qom (Toba) Leader

On Monday, June 24, 2013, Pope Francis spent 45 minutes meeting and talking with the leader of the Qom community, Félix Diaz about his community’s struggles to have their rights recognized. During the interaction, Diaz discussed the plight of his people and the unwillingness of both the local and national governments to engage in dialogue with the Qom about their land rights. Additionally, according to Diaz, the Qom leader made certain to spend some time discussing the challenges that all Indigenous peoples throughout Argentina and Latin America face so that the Pope could better understand Indigenous struggles. 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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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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UN Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Asks Argentina to Stop Evicting Indigenous Peoples

On Tuesday, September 18th, James Anaya, the United Nation’s Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples delivered his annual statement to the Human Rights Council. During his statement, Anaya spoke specifically about indigenous peoples in Argentina and asked the government to stop evicting them from their lands. Anaya’s statements were based on an official visit he took to Argentina on November 27 – December 7, 2011. Continue reading

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Amnesty International Highlights Indigenous Situation in Argentina, Chile, and Paraguay

On Thursday, May 24th, Amnesty International released its annual report entitled, “The State of the World’s Human Rights.” The document, which is more than 400 pages long, highlights major global human rights issues and then examines the human rights situation country-by-country. Indigenous peoples’ rights are discussed in the context of 14 different country reports, including: Argentina, Chile, and Paraguay. Below is a summary of what Amnesty International had to say about indigenous rights in each of those countries. If you’d like to review the entire document, you can download the entire English version here. Continue reading

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Argentina: Mapuche Community and NBA All-Star Manu Ginobili in Conflict over Land

A long-running case involving Manu Ginobili of the NBA (National Basketball Association) and the Mapuche community of Paichil Antriao (located in Argentina) made its way back into the Argentine press this week. The human rights organization, Observatorio de Derechos Humanos de Pueblos Indígenas (OHDPI), announced that it will assist in the defense of the Mapuche community against a lawsuit filed by Ginobili over 11 hectares (27 acres) of land located in Villa La Angostura. The initial lawsuit was filed in 2007 and, after being suspended for some time, appears to be moving forward again. Continue reading

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UN Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Visits Argentina, Offers Recommendations

The United Nation’s Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, James Anaya, recently ended an eleven-day trip to Argentina where he met with government officials and indigenous peoples throughout the country. At the conclusion of his visit, on Wednesday, December 7th, Anaya gave a short speech in Buenos Aires where he summarized some of what he saw and offered the Argentinian government some recommendations on how to advance indigenous rights within the country. A translation of that speech appears below. Continue reading

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Argentina: 400 Hectares Returned to Mapuche Community

On Wednesday, November 30th, Argentina’s Congress passed a law that will return 400 hectares of land to the Mapuche community of Curruhuinca, located in the Neuquén province. The law will result in the transfer of lands from the Lanín National Park to the Mapuche people. A portion of this land will be used to develop an intercultural neighborhood, which will include an intercultural hospital and school. Continue reading

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Argentina: Mapuche Community Occupies Plant of U.S. Gas and Oil Company

Beginning on Tuesday, November 22nd, and continuing for several days, the Mapuche community of Gelay Ko has been occupying a compressor plant of the Apache Corporation — a U.S. company based in Houston, Texas — claiming that their operations are taking place on Indigenous lands and are polluting the local water supply. The protests are occurring in the Neuquén province of Argentina and did result in at least temporary loss of services to some local communities. Although there have been no reports of violence as of yet, there is a strong police presence in the region now and both the protestors and company employees have alleged threatening behavior. Continue reading

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