Tag Archives: Convention 169

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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Mapuche Hunger Strikers Reach Day 40; Attorneys Argue in Front of Supreme Court

On Thursday, October 4th, attorneys for four Mapuche prisoners who were sentenced for a variety of alleged crimes, including attempted murder of police officers, went before the criminal chamber of the Chilean Supreme Court. The attorneys argued for a mistrial and dismissal of the convictions based on a lack of evidence. Additionally, arguments were made to apply the American Convention on Civil Rights and the International Labor Organization Convention 169 on Indigenous Peoples to the prisoners’ prison conditions, which could allow them additional prison privileges. The Supreme Court is expected to announce its decision with respect to these issues on October 24, 2012. Continue reading

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Mapuche Family Occupying Ancestral Land Loses in Chilean Supreme Court

On Tuesday, October 2nd, the Chilean Supreme Court released a decision ordering a Mapuche family in Tirúa to vacate the lands they had been occupying in protest or else the police force would be used to remove them. The lands in question were in the zone of Puerto Choque and are owned by a farmer, José Salazar Romero, who brought the lawsuit to stop the occupation on his land. The Chilean Supreme Court unanimously granted Salazar’s request. 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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President Piñera Announces Plan to Address Mapuche Issues

At 11 a.m. in Santigao on Friday, August 3rd, President Sebastián Piñera announced actions the government would take to address the challenges faced by the Mapuche people. The announcement allowed Piñera to elaborate on his “Development Plan for the Araucanía Region” or “Plan Araucanía” as it is often referred to. Specifically, Piñera announced an initiative to build a multicultural school in Ercilla, five hospitals throughout the region, and to implement a consultation process that conforms with ILO Convention 169. Continue reading

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Aymara Woman Likely to be First Indigenous Person Pardoned in Chile

Last week multiple Chilean news sources reported that Garbeila Blas, an Aymara woman sentenced to twelve years for the death of her son, is likely to be pardoned by President Piñera in the upcoming weeks. As it stands now, Chile’s Comptroller General’s office is reviewing the case and has to sign off on the President’s decision before it can become official. Since the news broke, Blas’s attorney has called for an immediate pardon and release of her client citing due process and human rights violations in her initial conviction. If the pardon is realized, it will be Chile’s first pardon of an indigenous person. Continue reading

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Diaguita Community Wins at Supreme Court, Halts “El Morro” Mining Project

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.

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Court Orders Exploratory Drilling Halted Until Consultation with Aymara Community Occurs

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

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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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