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Tag Archives: Consultation
UN Instructs Chile to Return Indigenous Lands, Improve Consultation, and Redefine Anti-Terrorism Law
The United Nation’s Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) completed its 83rd session on August 30th in Geneva. During the session, CERD discussed Chile’s treatment of Indigenous peoples and offered some recommendations for the future. Specifically, CERD asked Chile: to speed up the process of returning lands to Indigenous peoples throughout the country; to improve Indigenous consultation, particularly with respect to natural resource development; and to “precisely define” crimes that fall under the Anti-Terrorism Law while ensuring the law is not used inappropriately against the Mapuche people. Continue reading
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
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
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
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
On Friday, April 27th, Chile’s Supreme Court issued another decision in favor of indigenous peoples. This adds to the list of recent decisions that are slowly advancing in Chile the indigenous right to consultation. This latest decision involved the Comunidad Agrícola los Huasco Altinos and the “El Morro” mining project, owned by Sociedad Contractual Minera El Morro. The decision will halt the large mining project until consultation with the community can take place. The case is the subject of our latest column for I Love Chile News, which you can read here.
On Friday, March 30th, the Chilean Supreme Court decided their second case in a month where they ordered consultation with Indigenous peoples. The case came out of northern Chile where Aymara communities sought to stop prospective drilling occurring on their territories. Ultimately, the Court ordered the company Compañía Paguanta S.A. to halt its actions until an environmental impact study is performed and the Aymara people are consulted as is required by ILO Convention 169. Continue reading
On Friday, March 23rd, the Chilean Supreme Court handed down a decision in favor of a Huilliche-Mapuche community who were trying to stop Ecopower — a Chilean-Sweedish company — from building 56 wind turbines on the island of Chiloé. The Huilliche community claimed, among other things, that they were never effectively consulted about the project and that the project would negatively affect Mapuche ceremonial sites and burial grounds. The Supreme Court agreed that consultation had not occurred and ordered that the project be halted until consultation has been completed. Continue reading
On Wednesday, January 25th, the Temuco Court of Appeals found in favor of several Mapuche communities who sought to stop construction of power transmission lines through their ancestral lands. The Mapuche communities argued that they were not consulted about the project as is required by International Labor Organization Convention No. 169 (ILO 169), which has been ratified by Chile and is a part of Chilean law. The decision — a victory for indigenous rights — may still be appealed to the Chilean Supreme Court. Continue reading
According to a Chilean Senate press release dated January 6th, the Senate has voted twice in recent days to request the President to consult with specific Indigenous communities within Chile. One vote requested that the President consult with the Kawashkar people over coastal zoning that is to take place in and around their community, and the other vote related to various environmental regulations that could affect water rights and land use for some Aymara communities. The votes are the topic of our latest column for I Love Chile News, which can be read here.