Category Archives: Atacameño

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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Chile’s “Official” Indigenous Population More than Doubles with New Census Results

Last week, the Chilean government released the results of its 2012 Census efforts. The data collected on Indigenous peoples living in Chile for the Census was substantial. Specifically, the information collected indicated that there are more than 1.7 million people living in Chile who identify as Indigenous. As a percentage of the population, Indigenous people living in Chile now officially account for over 10% of the total population with more than 1/3 of all Indigenous peoples living in the nation’s capital, Santiago.  Both the raw number of Indigenous people and the percentage of the total population numbers are substantially higher than those collected in 2002. Continue reading

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Supreme Court Rejects Atacameño Communities’ Consultation Argument in Tourism Concession Case

Last week, on November 22nd, the Chilean Supreme Court issued its ruling on yet another indigenous consultation case and, once again, ruled in favor of the Chilean government. The Court found that consultation was not necessary in relation to the passing of a regulation that grants tourism concessions in protected areas — even protected areas that constitute ancestral lands for indigenous peoples. In doing so, the Supreme Court upheld — without additional discussion — the ruling made by the Santiago Court of Appeals in September. Continue reading

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Chilean Court Rejects Indigenous Claims to Consultation on Geothermal Projects

Last Friday, November 16th, the Court of Appeals in Santiago struck a blow to indigenous rights when it issued its ruling in three cases brought by indigenous communities and organizations to halt a number of geothermal exploration concessions that were granted without prior consultation. In each instance, the Santiago Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the Energy Ministry, which was responsible for granting the concessions earlier this year. Continue reading

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Santiago Court Rejects Atacameño Communities’ Claim Against Tourism Concessions in Protected Areas

On Tuesday, September 25th, the Santiago Court of Appeals rejected a claim by the Council of the Atacameño People that sought to have indigenous peoples consulted on a new regulation that opens up state-protected areas to tourism. The Court’s decision was unanimous and stated that the regulation — as written — has caused no harm nor affected indigenous peoples to an extent that it requires consultation. On a positive note, the Court did explicitly say, however, that any concessions that affected indigenous communities were to be held to the strict standards of consultation laid out in ILO Convention 169. Continue reading

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Atacameño Communities from Three Countries Sign Declaration About Land Rights

As March came to a close, more than 150 Atacameño individuals from communities spanning three countries — Argentina, Bolivia and Chile — came together in San Pedro de Atacama (Chile) for the third Encuentro de Pueblos Atacameños Sin Fronteras (“Meeting of the Atacemeño People without Borders”). The meeting resulted in the publication of a declaration titled, Declaración de Quetenas, which called on the governments of Argentina, Bolivia and Chile to recognize that the Atacameño people are one people despite the presence of international borders. The Declaration was sent to the presidents of those three countries urging them to take action to protect the rights of the Atacameño people. Continue reading

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Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Atacameño Communities; Orders Consultation

Yesterday, July 13th, the Chilean Supreme Court issued another important decision addressing ILO Convention 169, and in particular, the right to consultation. The Court broke with its recent pattern of rejecting Indigenous claims based on the right to consultation, and in this decision they ruled in favor of the Atacameño communities that brought the case and ordered the Government to consult. Continue reading

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More Than 600 from Atacameño Communities Participate in Consultation Workshops

According to a report from Radio Bio-Bio, more than 600 Atacameño individuals participated in the Chilean Government’s consultation workshops held in the area last week. The workshops are part of the Chilean Government’s ongoing efforts to arrive at a national consultation policy with Indigenous peoples. Additionally, the workshops focused on the issue of constitutional recognition of Indigenous peoples and the creation of a new agency for Indigenous development. The workshops were the first step in a process, which will involve more meetings in the area in September. Continue reading

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Chile: Indigenous News Briefs for October 4, 2010

Below are links to the various indigenous news stories that were published online in Chile on October 4, 2010. Continue reading

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