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Date: Sat, 21 Aug 1999 12:53:49 -0500 (CDT)
From: Oscar Huenchunao <oscar.h@pplmail.com>
Subject: Chile: On the current situation of the Mapuche Nation - Aug 1999
Article: 73420
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
Message-ID: <bulk.4789.19990822091510@chumbly.math.missouri.edu>

Mapuches persecuted through the courts for defending the right to education

A-Infos News Servcie, August 1999

In what is today Argentine Patagonia, in the north-east Cordillera province of Chubut, some 160kms from the city of Esquel (a major ski resort) is to be found the Mapuche community of Futa Huau-caadon Grande. It numbers thirty families, with an average of five members per family. The community has no access to basic facilities such as gas, electricity, or running water let alone a health centre or a school for its children.

Despite its poverty, however, this community took action along with others in April 1997 to assert their fundamental rights as a people. Motivated by a sense of their own dignity they reclaimed the school building, the Mapuche cemetery and the 50 hectares belonging to the former state school no.76. These were situated in the community but had been fenced off since 1981 by a landowner who, under the protection of successive governments, had violated the rights of the child and international law stipulating the right to an education. This action by the community is not a product of fear or impulsiveness. On the contrary, it is a reaction to the deplorable refusal of government employees to respond to calls from the community, bearing in mind that the situation was brought to the attention of both the government of Chubbut province and the national government through the I.N.A.I (National Institute for Indigenous Affairs).

In April 1997, the community took the decision to knock down the fence which symbolised the immunity from the law of the landowner Said Bestenne, of Lebanese origin, and his backing by the Argentine State. Members of other Mapuche-Tehuelche communities took part in and legitimised the action by the Pu Pei ka Pu Lamuen of Lofche Futa Huau to reclaim the area. The community, which has been a victim of arrogance and disdain, along with the Pu Werken (oral messengers) from the '11 October Organisation' of Mapuche-Tehuelche Communities, is today accused of misappropriation.

The accused are: Longko Mapuche de Futa Huau Agustn S nchez (Native Mapuche Authority), Werkn Mapuche Mauro Mill n, Werkn Tehuelche Jos Prane, Werkn Mapuche Moira Mill n, Pu Papay Kushe (Mapuche Grandmothers) Florentina Leguiman, Margarita Burgos and the Pu Pei ka, Pu Lamuen ( Mapuche brothers and sisters) Marcelina Llanquel, Enrique Carcamo, Carlos Carcamos, Carlos Sanchez, Claudio Antiman, Miguel Antiman.

In the same illogical and absurd way, 12 Mapuche are being charged with misappropriation but at the same time the government of the province of Chubut is ordering the fencing to be permanently removed and permanent fencing to be erected. Now we the community, along with the Werkens of the 11 October Organisation of Mapuche-Telhueche Communities, must fight to avoid prosecution and are therefore appealing for solidarity from all people of good will. Write to us by e-mail or letter at the following addresses:

Director del I.N.A.I (instituto Nacional de Asuntos Indígenas) Dr. Miguel Angel Cabezas. E-mail : templar@siscor.bibnal.edu.ar

Dr. Carlos Saúl Menem Presidente. Secretaria de prensa y difusión E-mail: spyd@presidencia.gov.ar

Dr. Carlos Maestro. Casa de Gobierno 25 de Mayo 550 C.P. 9103 Tel : 02965- 48-4004

Juez de Instrucción en lo Penal Dr. Oscar Colabelli Av. Alvear 509 (9200) Esquel -Chubut

Ministro José Luis Lizzurume 25 de Mayo 550 C.P. 9103 Pte. De la cámara de Apelación Dr. Edgardo Gómez E-mail : camesq@teletel.com.ar

Pte de la Cámara Penal Dra. . Teresa González de Cavari