Tag Archives: Land Rights

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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Chilean Government Provides Money to Two Mapuche Communities for Land Purchases in Ercilla

In a press release dated September 27th, CONADI (the Chilean Indigenous development corporation) announced that it had invested 420 million pesos (approximately US$ 885,000) for land purchases in Ercilla. Specifically, the money was given to two Mapuche communities — “Alex Lemun” and “Tricauco 2″ — so that they can purchase lands for their people. In total, twenty-five families will receive lands and CONADI will follow-up with funds to help develop that land as needed. 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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Chilean Supreme Court Rejects Mapuche Claim to Access a Sacred Site

On Monday, September 24th, the Chilean Supreme Court — in a unanimous decision — rejected the claim of a group of Huilliche people (a sub-group of the Mapuche people) who were trying to gain access to a sacred site. The Supreme Court stated that the land in question was owned by a private individual and, as such, could not be granted the special protection sought by the Huilliche people. 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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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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Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (OAS) Condemns Injuries to Mapuche Children

On Thursday, August 2nd, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights — a part of the Organization of American States — issued a statement condemning the Chilean government’s actions with respect to Mapuche children. The Commission stated that multiple Mapuche children were injured during an operation by police to evict individuals who were protesting for their land rights. The body also urged Chile to “investigate the facts and sanction those responsible, and to adopt measures in order to avoid in the future the excesive use of force in these operations.” Continue reading

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Rapa Nui Land Case Loses at Chile’s Supreme Court

The Chilean Supreme Court unanimously rejected arguments made by the Hito clan of the Rapa Nui people in a case about lands on Easter Island. The Hito clan has been trying for years to regain control over a parcel of land that was traditionally in their possession, but that currently is the site for the Hotel Hanga Roa — a luxury hotel on the Island. The Supreme Court’s rejection included statements that, in 1888, all inhabitants on Easter Island became illegal squatters; that the land in question was legally transferred from ancestors of the Hito clan to non-indigenous people; and that the land in question no longer qualifies as “indigenous land” within the meaning of the law, thus special protections are unnecessary. A spokesperson for the Hito clan has indicated that they will continue to fight for their land rights in the political arena. The option of approaching international tribunals also remains open. 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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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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