translated from Spanish: Native peoples of Antofagasta reject indigenous government consultation

A «never before seen» police contingent in Quillagua; Thus the members of the Aymara community qualified the arrival of Carabineros to their locality on Wednesday June 5, to try to begin the indigenous consultation that the Government of Sebastián Piñera carries out, from the Ministry of Social Development and family.
In total, about 15 troops and even a helicopter that at times flew over the place, marked a tense day in which, once again, the peoples Atacameños, Quechua and Aymara, refused in a coordinated way to sit down to discuss the eleven points that aims to modify the Government in law 19,253. As it is a custom of the communities, once the meeting is started, the rapporteur of the Meeting welcomed the authorities present and at the time of requesting authorization for the audiovisual registry, the President of the community, Víctor Palape, It proceeded to request the word and to read the official declaration, which affirms that there can be no dialogue with respect to territorial themes if the State does not restore the lands which it commits in article 3 º transitory of the aforementioned indigenous law. In addition, it categorically rejects that by means of the modification to that legal body it is allowed the alienation of indigenous lands and its lease for up to 25 years. Finally, the community members oppose the existence of indigenous people of different categories, which could generate divisions even within family clans.
The Aymara leader, thanked the support of his brothers Atacameños, who from very early traveled to accompany them. «Quillagüa has been very battered, by mining, by state businesses with privates. They polluted us, took away our rights, formerly we had in the river Shrimps and silversides, today it is only a puddle of mud, «said Palape. «We have invited the authorities so many times and they have not come, now that the government needs our support they all come together aren’t you ashamed of how they trample on us? We disagree with the consultation, «added one of the comunes who faced the regional authority, who opted to retire to the inability to engage in effective dialogue, as did in Antofagasta, San Pedro de Atacama and Toconao. Subsequently, the assistants signed a act of rejection of the process, which in view of the refusal of the reception of the secretary Maria Fernanda Alcayaga will be delivered next week directly to the Minister Alfredo Moreno and the National Institute of Human Rights, in the capital.
The following day, in the commune of Ollagüe, it was the turn of the Quechua people, who had their own declaration, which was read by its President Gladys bail: «The peoples originating in Chile we have not requested an amendment to the law 19,253; If the government has any need to modify it, it definitely follows the interests of other actors: forestry, mining and/or other entrepreneurs who only seek mechanisms, loopholes, to seize the natural resources existing in our territory , «he said. He then pointed to the need for a recognition of the original peoples in the Constitution, a recommendation made to the State by various international organizations.
The Quechua also accuse that the government did not consult them previously the topics to be discussed in the process of dialogue with the 9 native peoples, since the measure is based on a «peace agreement» designed mainly for the Araucanía and which seeks, according to the state , promote development. «From experience we know that the development they conceptúan for us, are more like alms in exchange for plundering our natural resources. The state does not understand, or perhaps does not want to understand that our essence is community life, hence the ownership of the Territories is also in community. The Government only intends to introduce more divisions in our communities, dividing the lands into personal titles, which naturally breaks the integrity of the community and condemns us to extinction, he added.
Once the meeting was over, to which the communities refused to participate again, the Social development and family was moved to dependencies of the municipality of Ollagüe, where it met closed doors with four indigenous people, belonging to the Village of Kosca; Public officials linked to Chile Vamos, with whom would seek strategies to validate the consultation. Upon learning of this meeting, the indigenous people moved to the place, demanding that the doors of the hall be opened, which were at that time guarded by police officers.
On the other hand, this Friday, the Indigenous Association of Progress, Development and culture of the people of Kosca, said through a press release, that they were never summoned to the aforementioned activity and that for that reason did not send to any emissary so that the Represent and therefore «if any associate to our organization or another person held a meeting with government officials outside the scope of the indigenous consultation, was as an individual person and under his responsibility and does not necessarily represent the Feel and think of the partners attached to our organization, «they said.
The President of the Council of Atacameños Peoples, Sergio den Verasay, highlighted the union that has taken place between the three peoples originating in the region of Antofagasta, despite the intransigence of the Alcayaga, who refuses to sign a record where it consists of the Rejection of the consultation by the communities, while at the same time suspending the process of indigenous consultation.
«We regret the attitude of the Government, that has emerged to show that here is a group» minority «and» violent «, the Intendant has said, through the media, however here are seniors, adults and young people who have not at any time offended the Authorities. Intimidate with the presence of Carabineros, special forces and even a helicopter that flew over Quillagua on Wednesday, an unjustified deployment that all he does is make clear the decision of Mr. Piñera to impose a consultation that does not grant the Guarantees necessary for a fruitful dialogue. We have said it to La Remise in every tone, here we cannot sit and talk in a civilized way in matters of territory, as long as the state does not reinstate the lands which it undertakes to give to the originating peoples in article 3 transitory of the law Indíg Ena, more than 26 years ago, we demanded a response to territorial demands and constitutional recognition first, when we see that materialized and when they consult us what we want to amend in the indigenous law, at that time there may be Dialogue, «he concluded.

Original source in Spanish

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