Date: Sat, 15 May 1999 11:27:04 -0500 (CDT)
From: "Agent Smiley" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: UN Mapuche leader, detained in Santiago, Chile
From: Tracy Katelman <email@example.com>
To: Forest Americas List <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: PRESS RELEASE: UN Mapuche leader, detained in Santiago, Chile
Date: Fri, 14 May 1999 09:43:04 -0400
UN Mapuche leader, detained in Santiago, Chile
Mapuche International Link press release
10 May 1999
Bristol -- Pedro Cayuqueo was arrested yesterday by the international police, on his
arrival at Santiago's airport. He was returning from Geneva where he had
taken part in the 55th Annual Session of the Commission of Human Rights of
the United Nations.
Mr Cayuqueo went to Geneva as the Secretary of the Co-ordination of
Arauco-Malleco Communities in Conflict. The context of his detention is the
repressive official policy of the Chilean government towards Mapuche people.
He suffered the penalty of those who dare to speak the truth. His aim was to
make the international community aware of the daily violation of the rights
of the Mapuche nation.
In his report to the Commission, Mr Cayuqueo gave a detailed account of
violations especially in the provinces of Arauco and Malleco. Here, the
Indigenous communities of Cuyinco, Pascual Cona, Rucananco, Pichiloncoyan
and Temulemu had been suffering systematic attacks on their basic human
rights as defined by the UN.
Violation of the right to personal integrity of body, mind and spirit. There
are many arbitrary detentions and cases of harassment. The police detain
people illegally, and torture them in police stations.
Violation of the right to legal procedures. People are not treated according
to the law or presumed innocent.
Violation of children's rights. Children have been detained, handcuffed,
insulted and beaten by the police.
Violation of the right to liberty of conscience and religious belief. The
Machi who is the supreme religious authority among Mapuche people has been
detained, insulted and beaten.
Violation of legal principles. At the time of arrest or searching of homes
no appropriate legal documentation is produced.
Violation of the right to private property. People are stopped from using
and enjoying the fruits of their own land.
Violation of the right to privacy and dignity. The police regularly
photograph people and film their community activities without their consent.
Violation of the right to move freely in their own land. Armed police
prevent Mapuche people from freely using public roads and rights of way
through land in dispute.
Violation of the right to reply or correct public statements. The media
publishes incorrect or damaging information about Mapuche leaders,
insinuating their connection with subversive left-wing groups.
On 6 May 99 13 Mapuche leaders were detained. Among these were several
Lonkos (chiefs) and Jose Lincoqueo, a lawyer. The government thereby
prevents Mapuche people from exercising their right to defend themselves
Pedro Cayuqueo's report includes details of what the forestry companies have
done in usurping Mapuche land, the serious damage to the environment -
altering the eco-system, polluting the soil, rivers, sea and air. He refers
to Arauco S.A., Mininco S.A., Volterra Ltd., Shell, Mitsubishi and Amindus
amongst others. They use chemicals such as sulphate of soda, chlorine,
caustic soda, chlorate and gasoline, which contaminate the beaches around
Concepcion and its bay area, the Bio-Bio River, and the Gulf of Arauco. They
have destroyed native forests, caused the extinction of some species of tree
and medicinal plants, poisoned people and caused congenital illnesses with
their use of pesticides. They have chosen to replant forested areas with
unsuitable species such as eucalyptus, which lowers the water table and
leaves communities without water.
It is becoming commonplace for traditional leaders to be arrested, such as
the Lonkos and the Machi,who give spiritual leadership. The government
refuses to use legal and political means to negotiate a settlement. They
fail to respect traditional leaders as representatives of Mapuche people.
The government arbitrarily and insultingly selects people to speak for the
Mapuches. Chilean procedures have been discredited, and security services
are no longer seen as impartial, since they have demonstrated a high degree
of racism towards Mapuche people.
This degrading and inhuman treatment can no longer be tolerated. The Mapuche
people have been impoverished by the seizure of their land, condoned by the
government. The government responds to legitimate demands by intensifying
the repression against them.
The government and state of Chile offer Mapuches no security over their
land, development, culture and environment. Worse still it denies the right
to live in peace with dignity in ancestral lands.
In view of all this, Mapuche International Link see the only way forward as
being the re-constitution of Wallmapu and the creation of a provisional
government. If the conflict imposed on Mapuche people continues to escalate,
it will be necessary to appeal to the UN to demilitarise the Mapuche
Nation's territory and form a protectorate controlled by the UN. The
objective will be to prevent the conflict developing further, which could
lead to unforseen and irreversible consequences.
6 Lodge Street,
Bristol BS1 5 LR,