Tag Archives: Water Rights

Mapuche-Huilliche Community Granted Coastal Rights

It was reported yesterday (01-15-2015) in Mapuexpress that the Mapuche-Huilliche Community of Wente Caulín was granted rights over coastal waters in Chiloé. Specifically, the coastal area near the community was designated an “Indigenous Peoples’ Marine Coastal Area” under Chilean law, which grants the community the right to use and administer the coastal region. The Mapuche-Huilliche Community of Wente Caulín is comprised of approximately 500 families and has fought for eight years to gain these rights. Continue reading

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Two Mapuche Communities Obtain Land Rights After 15 Years

In recent days, the Chilean government, through CONADI (Chile’s Indigenous development corporation) has returned title to lands in two different Mapuche communities. In the Mapuche community of Manuel Levinao (located in the Lautaro commune of the Araucanía region), 250 hectares (~1 square mile) were returned after being purchased by the Chilean government for nearly US$ 1.8 million. Meanwhile, the Mapuche community of Los Maitenes de Rihue (located in the Cañete commune of the Araucanía region) was given land title to a small parcel of land (~.04 square miles) valued at US$ 76,000. This small parcel increased the community’s land holdings to 265.3 hectares (~1.02 square miles), which the Chilean government has been slowly acquiring and returning to the community since 1997. Continue reading

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Barrick Gold Admits Wrongdoing; Diaguita Communities Seek Revocation of License

Barrick Gold, owner of the Pascua Lama mine that spans the Chile-Argentina border, appeared in front of a Chilean court again on Monday, August 26th. This time, however, the multi-billion dollar corporation admitted that it had violated  environmental regulations in the construction of its mining operation. The admission comes four months after a group of Diaguita communities successfully won a court case against the corporation and effectively shut down their operations. Continue reading

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Lawsuit by Diaguita Community Shuts Down Barrick Gold’s Mine in Chile

On Wednesday, April 10th, the Court of Appeals in Copiapó unanimously ordered all work at the Pascua Lama mine halted until further notice. The order was a result of a lawsuit brought by the Diaguita communities of the Huasco Valley in northern Chile and alleged that the mine’s work was violating multiple environmental regulations including regulations that protect three glaciers in the area from environmental harm and contamination. The decision marks the second time in the past 12 months that a Chilean court has halted a mine based on a lawsuit brought by Indigenous communities. Continue reading

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Mapuche Communities Occupy Municipal Government Over Water

On Monday, January 30th, members from five Mapuche-Pehuenche communities occupied the municipal government of Lonquimay over the lack of water in their communities. The protest seems to have been sparked by the fact that the local government recently delayed a bidding process aimed at ultimately providing water to the communities. The local alcalde has explained that the process was delayed is because there were irregularities in the bidding that included possible intimidation and coercion. Continue reading

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Mapuche Communities Receive Lands and Water Rights

On Saturday, November 26th, the Chilean government announced that it has resolved multiple land claims in the Araucanía region of the country. Specifically, seven Mapuche communities received lands from CONADI (the Chilean government’s Indigenous development corporation). In total, four Mapuche communities received farmlands and three other communities received lands for Indigenous cemeteries. Water rights (which are separate from land rights in Chile) were included with at least one of the farm parcels. Continue reading

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Chilean Government Creates Marine Reserve in Response to Rapa Nui Claim

On Wednesday, June 8th, the Chilean Government announced the creation of a 210-acre marine reserve in the area of Hanga Roa Otia (Easter Island). The announcement was made by Pablo Galilea, the Undersecretary of Fishing, and, according to him, this reserve is a direct response to the strong demands made by Rapa Nui for protection of its marine wildlife in this area. The creation of the reserve was just one of several projects announced by the Government on Easter Island this week. Continue reading

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Aymara Acquire Water Rights

According to a report in Diario El Nortino, the National Corporation for Indigenous Development (CONADI) in collaboration with the Department of Desert Agriculture and Biotechnology at the Universidad Arturo Prat had a ceremony yesterday to present 56 water use titles to indigenous communities. Continue reading

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Lafkenche Acquire Coastal Rights

On August 20, 2010 the Chilean government approved an application to essentially turn over control of more than 250 acres of coastal waters to the Altué community, which is located in southern Chile. These communities are part of the Lafkenche communities, which is one of the large Mapuche sub-groups. Continue reading

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