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Chile's Presidential Campaigns Mum on ‘Mapuche Conflict’
Written by Javiera Munoz · Translated by Elizabeth On 21 August 2013 @ 21:47 pm | No Comments
In Chile, Citizen Media, Elections, Ethnicity & Race, Indigenous, Latin America, Politics, Spanish, War & Conflict, Weblog
During the past months, Chile's social Web has buzzed as the country's competing political coalitions have vied to win the people's vote for president in the upcoming elections on November 17, 2013 . Leading up to Chile's first government-run primary elections  on June 30 for the country's two most important political coalitions - New Majority  and Alliance for Chile  - presidential nominees took on the issues of education, crime, unemployment and gay marriage during several debates in an effort to woo voters.
But notably absent from the debates was any discussion of the unresolved “Mapuche conflict” , the name given to the clashes between the Chilean state and the Mapuche indigenous communities, which have experienced an escalation  of deadly violence  recently.
The seeming total irrelevance of the conflict in the political scene and in presidential debates has become a source of concern for the public.
The Mapuche indigenous communities have been claiming a series of demands after the return to democracy in 1990, namely jurisdictional autonomy (territorial law ) [es], ancestral land recovery and cultural identity. The fight for their ancestral land against has at times devolved into physical struggles, marked by clashes  with police forces.
Website Políticas Públicas (Public Politics) (@cppdi ) [es] referred to the absence of the Mapuche issue in the presidential debates of the political coalitions:
Chile. “Mapuche”. Tema ausente en debates presidenciales Concertación y Derecha. (“Lo que no está en portada de los medios, no existe”)
— Políticas Públicas (@ceppdi) June 14, 2013 
Chile. “Mapuche”. A missing topic in the presidential debates of the Concertación (Left) and Right. (“Whatever doesn't make it to front-page news doesn't exist”)
This situation became more notorious as the different candidates presented their concrete proposals.
The live-streamed politics show KenaDieCalle (@Kena dcDieCalle ) [es] highlighted:
— KNC (@KenaDieCalle) August 15, 2013 
Temporada de elecciones: candidatos con manta mapuche http://t.co/F9eJQCR0rc  ¿Y qué proponen para cumplir derechos p. indigenas?
— Políticas Públicas (@ceppdi) June 23, 2013 
Elections season: candidates with Mapuche poncho http://t.co/F9eJQCR0rc  And what are they proposing to fulfill the rights of the indigenous?
Furthermore, actress Blanca Lewin (@blancalewin ) [es] quoted Longueira and referred to the law that “strengthens public order guardianship ” [es] commonly known as “Hinzpeter Law “, a law that seeks harsher punishments for protesters.
“Longueira ofreció feriado por año nuevo mapuche http://t.co/upJVQnXUae ” // por qué no dejan de aplicarles la ley hinzpeter mejor?
— Blanca Lewin (@blancalewin) June 22, 2013 
Longueira offered a holiday to celebrate the Mapuche New Year http://t.co/upJVQnXUae  // instead, why don't you refrain from enforcing the Hinzpeter Law?
Una típica de tiempo de elecciones: disfrazado de mapuche y con la guagua [bebé] al hombro. pic.twitter.com/uvScfoAMA2 
— Caco Saavedra (@Cacosaavedra) June 23, 2013 
Typical of elections season: dressed as a Mapuche and carrying a baby.
And the Mapuche Indigenous account (@MapucheNL ) [es] defined “Politicking”:
— Mapuche Indigenous (@mapucheNL) August 14, 2013 
Politicking is: Lying to the people during the elections, especially when it comes to the Mapuche in Chile
Pedro Cayuqueo (@pcayuqueo ) [es], a Mapuche journalist who is currently the director of the news outlets Azkintuwe  [es] and Mapuche Times  [es] and a columnist in several national and local media, has written constantly about the absence of indigenous issues during the presidential campaign.
In “This hut called Chile ” [es], a chronicle published by the national newspaper The Clinic  [es] and republished in Azkintuwe, Cayuqueo talks with disappointment about the little importance that's given to the Mapuche people:
Tal vez lo más destacado –y triste a la vez- es que una vez más comprobamos que el tema mapuche no existe en la política nacional. No sin nada quemándose, aclaro. O alguien.
Maybe the most outstanding thing – and the saddest too – is that we once more realize that the Mapuche agenda doesn't exist in national politics. Not unless something is burning, of course. Or someone.
Cayuqueo reasserts this idea through his Twitter account:
Pedro Cayuqueo: “La ausencia del tema indígena en las presidenciales ha sido una decepción absoluta” http://t.co/KpqNFZJsI1 
— Pedro Cayuqueo (@pcayuqueo) July 24, 2013 
Pedro Cayuqueo: “The absence of an indigenous agenda in the presidential campaign has been a complete disappointment” http://t.co/KpqNFZJsI1 
The issue was further exacerbated after the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights, Ben Emmerson, visited Chile.
At a press conference  [es], Emmerson urged the Chilean state to implement a national strategy that addresses the “Mapuche conflict” and to do something about the impunity surrounding the deaths of Mapuche by the military. He also recommended to put an end to the endorsement of the anti-terrorist law because, in his own words: “Chile is not dealing with a significant terrorist threat to its territory”.
The Chilean anti-terrorist law was created during Augusto Pinochet's rule  and was widely used during the 17 years of dictatorship. It allows military courts to judge civilians and until recently, it allowed the use of “protected” witnesses whose testimonies were heard and recorded anonymously.
Under the anti-terrorism law, for example, Mapuche activists have faced prison sentences of up to ten years for “arson” or “threats of arson” in land disputes. Human Rights Watch  has declared that the “government's recourse to anti-terrorism statutes to deal with organized Mapuche communities has brought restrictions on due process rights that are not justified by the alleged offenses.”
According to Emmerson, the application of the anti-terrorist law “has turned into part of the problem and not the solution”.
2. Lo anunciado por el Relator Especial concuerda con lo que la Comunidad Autónoma de Temucuicui ha venido señalando desde hace años: que el uso de la ley antiterrorista sólo pretende criminalizar las justas demandas políticas, culturales y territoriales del Pueblo Nación Mapuche y su aplicación obedece a una práctica de persecución política por parte del Estado Chileno…
3. Cabe señalar que en el territorio mapuche NO HAY TERRORISMO y que los hechos de violencia o delictuales que acusa el Estado de Chile respecto de personas mapuche tienen un trasfondo histórico que nada tiene que ver con temas judiciales. Es el propio estado chileno el que ha generado la violencia mediante la usurpación histórica del territorio mapuche y su reducción a lo que son actualmente las comunidades mapuche.
2. What the Special Rapporteur announced is aligned with what the Temucuicui Autonomous Community has been saying for years: that the enforcement of the anti-terrorist law only serves to criminalize the political, cultural and territorial demands of the Mapuche Nation and its application is actually political persecution by the Chilean State…
3. It is worth noting that there is NO TERRORISM in the Mapuche territory and that the violence and crimes that the State of Chile accuses Mapuches of have a historic background that has nothing to do with judicial affairs. It is the same Chilean state that has generated such violence with the historic encroachment of the Mapuche territory and its reduction to what are now know as Mapuche communities.
Article printed from Global Voices: http://globalvoicesonline.org
URL to article: http://globalvoicesonline.org/2013/08/21/chiles-presidential-campaigns-mum-on-mapuche-conflict/
URLs in this post:
 president in the upcoming elections on November 17, 2013: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chilean_presidential_election,_2013
 primary elections: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chilean_presidential_election,_2013#Primaries
 New Majority: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Majority_(Chile)
 Alliance for Chile: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alliance_for_Chile
 “Mapuche conflict”: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mapuche_conflict
 escalation: http://en.mercopress.com/2013/08/11/mapuche-conflict-in-chile-flares-up-following-the-killing-of-local-indigenous-activist
 deadly violence: http://news.yahoo.com/deadly-attack-stokes-chile-mapuche-conflict-190946910.html
 territorial law: http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Derecho_propio
 clashes: http://globalvoicesonline.org/2011/11/10/chile-netizens-discuss-photos-denouncing-police-violence-in-mapuche-community/
 @cppdi: https://twitter.com/ceppdi
 June 14, 2013: https://twitter.com/ceppdi/statuses/345395860777099265
 @Kena dcDieCalle: https://twitter.com/KenaDieCalle
 #JorgeArrate: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23JorgeArrate&src=hash
 August 15, 2013: https://twitter.com/KenaDieCalle/statuses/367808646148677633
 Jorge Arrate: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jorge_Arrate
 Pablo Longueira: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pablo_Longueira
 resigned: http://cnnchile.com/noticia/2013/07/17/pablo-longueira-presento-su-renuncia-a-la-candidatura-presidencial
 http://t.co/F9eJQCR0rc: http://t.co/F9eJQCR0rc
 June 23, 2013: https://twitter.com/ceppdi/statuses/348646085947969536
 @blancalewin: https://twitter.com/blancalewin
 strengthens public order guardianship: http://prezi.com/qs-oqs9vhp8n/resumen-explicativo-del-proyecto-de-ley-de-resguardo-del-orden-publico-ley-hinzpeter-en-el-marco-de-la-protesta-social/
 Hinzpeter Law: http://globalvoicesonline.org/2012/07/03/chile-looming-anti-protest-law-sparks-concern/
 http://t.co/upJVQnXUae: http://t.co/upJVQnXUae
 June 22, 2013: https://twitter.com/blancalewin/statuses/348529873083576320
 @Cacosaavedra: https://twitter.com/Cacosaavedra
 Andrés Allamand: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andr%C3%A9s_Allamand
 pic.twitter.com/uvScfoAMA2: http://t.co/uvScfoAMA2
 June 23, 2013: https://twitter.com/Cacosaavedra/statuses/348910228990988288
 @MapucheNL: https://twitter.com/mapucheNL
 #Mapuche: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Mapuche&src=hash
 #Chile: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Chile&src=hash
 August 14, 2013: https://twitter.com/mapucheNL/statuses/367442080957620224
 @pcayuqueo: https://twitter.com/pcayuqueo
 Azkintuwe: http://www.azkintuwe.org/
 Mapuche Times: http://www.mapuchetimes.cl/
 This hut called Chile: http://www.azkintuwe.org/20131806_001.htm
 The Clinic: http://globalvoicesonline.orgwww.theclinic.cl
 http://t.co/KpqNFZJsI1: http://t.co/KpqNFZJsI1
 July 24, 2013: https://twitter.com/pcayuqueo/statuses/359845636427878400
 Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/onlinecarolonline/5903184775/
 press conference: http://www.cooperativa.cl/noticias/mapuche/relator-onu-advirtio-riesgo-explosivo-por-conflicto-mapuche/2013-07-30/184612.html
 Augusto Pinochet's rule: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_government_of_Chile_(1973%E2%80%9390)
 Human Rights Watch: http://www.hrw.org/node/11920/section/2
 Mapuche Community of Temucuicui: http://comunidadtemucuicui.blogspot.com/
 Tirúa: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tir%C3%BAa
 statement: http://newenmapu.blogspot.com/2013/08/31-de-julio-de-2013-declaracion-publica.html
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