Southern Cone
santiago

Chileans vote to draft new constitution

Exactly one year after a mass demonstration brought more than a million people to the streets of Santiago to demand fundamental change amid a mass uprising, Chileans voted to scrap the Pinochet-era constitution. An overwhelming 80% voted for the drafting of a new constitution in the two-question referendum, with a similar proportion voting in favor of the new charter being drawn up by a body to be 100% elected by a popular vote rather than one made up by 50% of members of Congress. President Sebastian Pi√Īera signed a law last year calling for the referendum in response to the protest movement then sweeping the country. (Photo:¬†OHCHR via Noticias ONU)

Southern Cone
curacautin

Chile: Mapuche mobilize after racist mob attacks

Chile’s Mapuche indigenous people are holding emergency community meetings in their territory to discuss how to respond to a wave of racist attacks. The most serious incident occurred in Curacaut√≠n, Araucan√≠a region, where a group of Mapuche protesters were holding an occupation of the municipal building. The protest had been called in solidarity with Celestino C√≥rdova, a Mapuche leader imprisoned in relation to a conflict over land rights, and now on hunger strike to demand his freedom. The protesters were set upon by a mob, who ejected them from the municipal building before beating them in the street and setting several of their vehicles on fire.¬†The attackers used racist slurs and slogans such as “¬°Quer√≠an terrorismo, ac√° tienen terrorismo!” (You wanted terrorism, now you have terrorism!). The Carabineros looked on but did not interfere, only acting afterwards to remove remnant protesters from the building. (Photo:¬†Resumen, Concepci√≥n)

Southern Cone

Chile: Mapuche join protest mobilization

Leaders of Chile’s Mapuche indigenous people announced their support for the massive protests that are sweeping the country, saying they will press their demands for local autonomy in their traditional territories. Auc√°n Huilcam√°nn of the Consejo de Todas las Tierras (Council of All Lands) made the declaration in the city of Temuco, Araucan√≠a region, standing beside Marcelo Catrillanca‚ÄĒfather of a young Mapuche man killed by the paramilitary Carabineros last year, an outrage that sparked local protests. Camilo Catrillanca was shot in the back last November while working his lands in the community of Temucuicui. He had been driving his tractor away from an outpost of the Carabineros’ Special Police Operations Group (GOPE)‚ÄĒthe same elite force that now being unleashed on protesters in Chile’s cities. Four ex-Carabineros have been arrested in the case.¬†(Photo:¬†Soy Chile)

Southern Cone

‘Lost kingdom’ of Patagonia stands up for Mapuche

The exiled Royal House of the Kingdom of Araucania and Patagonia elected Prince Frederic Luz as the new monarch—claiming dominion over a large area of Chile in the name of the region's Mapuche indigenous inhabitants. Although now dispersed in Britain and France, the Royal House traces its origin to 1860, when Orélie de Tounens was recognized as king by the Mapuche, on his pledge to help them resist Chilean encroachment on their unceded territory. In the 1870s, the territory was finally taken in a genocidal campaign by the Chilean military. De Tounens returned to Europe and campaigned for international recognition of his exiled government. The Royal House still advocates for the rights and sovereignty of the Mapuche today. (Photo: North American Araucanian Royalist Society via CraigsList Philadelphia)

Southern Cone

Argentina: protests over ‘disappeared’ activist

Tens of thousands of Argentines held protests across the country, demanding answers one month after the disappearance of an indigenous rights activist. Demonstrators held photos of Santiago Maldonado, who was last seen when border police evicted a group of indigenous Mapuche from lands in the southern Patagonia region. In Buenos Aires, protesters converged on the Plaza de Mayo, iconic for its role in the struggle to demand justice for the "disappeared" under the military dictatorship.

Southern Cone

Mapuche militants burn machinery at hydro site

Members of Mapuche Ancestral Resistance burned two excavator machines being used to build a hydro-dam in southern Argentina, demanding restoration of traditional lands.

Southern Cone

Chile: Mapuche continue drive for land

After two decades of struggle Mapuche communities are still trying to regain ancestral land. Meanwhile, forestry companies try to blame major fires on Mapuche activists.

Southern Cone

Chile: local Mapuche leader murdered

Unknown assailants killed a spokesperson for a Mapuche community that has carried out several land occupations. He was the second activist from his family to die violently.