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News ::
chile's indigenous territories... (english)
18 Nov 2003
...at the mercy of big transnationals.
logoigmkwo.gif
...at the mercy of big transnationals.
Chile’s indigenous territories at the mercy of Spanish transnationals.

On the next months, 3.500 hectares of indigenous lands will be overflowed by the Spanish transnational ENDESA. Alto Bio Bio’s biodiversity in the south of Chile, cemeteries, history and the Pewenche culture are going to be destroyed because of the capital’s ambition.

The “Ralco Hydro electrical Central” is going to be built in that zone, one of the ENDESA-Spain’s most ambitioned projects, which has the support of the president Ricardo Lagos’s government.

In spite of the indigenous ecologist’s groups denounces, diverse social sector’s critics, the objections and critics of the United Nations Speaker for Indigenous Matters, the Mexican Rodolfo Stavenhagen, the Human Rights Inter American Commission, Amnesty International and the Human Rights International Federation, the project promoted by ENDESA and Chile’s government moved forward and, today, is one of the hardest hits to the people.

Lagos’s administration was so decided to move forward with it, that two indigenous directors of the National Corporation for Indigenous Development (CONADI) - the governmental entity to treat the ethnical subjects- Mauricio Huanquilaf and Diego Namuncura, were dismissed because they defended the Indigenous Law (1993) that hindered to build the dam without its owners acceptation.

Environmental National Corporation’s director, Vivienne Blanlot also renounced then, because she didn’t accept the destruction of the Bio Bio basin’s destruction, according to the ENDESA’s plan.

In a Konapewman Group’s communicate, she expressed that “a Spanish company could become a lord in the state’s powers, subduing political and administrative wills… Shame and repudiation to the government, that betrayed the citizen’s decisions as well as its own legality, placing capitalist interests on top of social and human interests”.

This dam’s plan comes from 1996, when ENDESA, supported by the government, started a true offensive against Alto Bio Bio’s Pewenche community to get their lands.

A group of women resisted all this years defending their lands, their cemeteries, their culture, their ways of production and work, their history and preserved their holly territories as well as an important part of their communitarian development.

The government, the companies sectors, the conservative media, the owners of large land’s organizations, the forest companies and several finance groups related to foreign capital, publicly and privately praised “the agreement” and they show it as an example of “this modernity” capability of advance. The Government-Private sector alliance was vital. The justification is recurrent; the dam will help the country to get energy, the energetic base “will be modernized” and these plans could not be stopped because of “partial” interests from indigenous communities.

There are tens of Mapuche delegates arrested because they participation in the mobilizations, marches and actions in defense of their lands, and also the allowed use of “witnesses without face” was inaugurated in processes against indigenous to make easier to accuse them, specially of being “terrorists”.

The resistance and mobilization action is around the lands and forest’s recuperation, that are now in the hands of big private forestall companies, as well as avoiding them to move forward with the exploitation and the forest depredation in Chile.

There are no doubts that the “Ralco Hydro electric Central” project’s materialization and the deep affectation in the Pewenche community joins the huge damage made by the privatizing and neo liberal economical system to the origin people, to their history, culture, ways of production and work, and respect to their basic rights.
See also:
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