Press Release – 25.10.2021
Far-right Argentine group claim UK intelligence ‘funding terrorism’ through Indigenous rights NGO.
Mapuche International Link (MIL), an indigenous rights organisation based in Bristol has been accused of having links with ‘terror groups’ in Chile and Argentina and of ‘propagating terrorism’ by Argentine media outlets, ADN, Infobae and Contacto. They have published the names of volunteers for the rights organisation, and full address of Secretary Reynaldo Mariqueo.
This not the first time that far-right Argentine groups have accused the human rights organisation of ‘inciting and funding terrorism’. In 2017 MIL released a statement responding to the allegations made by then Argentine Security Minister Patricia Bullrich and printed in newspaper Infobae, later found to be false.
According to the latest allegation ‘Connections with British intelligence emerge everywhere; the UK has sought balkanization of the territory via different excuses’ making reference to the Falklands conflict.
Reynaldo Mariqueo said “Without proof, they accuse the United Kingdom and its intelligence services of financing so-called Mapuche “terrorism” through our organization. If it were not that there are uninformed people about the Mapuche cause who blindly believe this nonsense, we would not waste time in denouncing it. These extreme right-wing political sectors seek through lies, hatred and slander to demonize the organizations and their leaders that fight peacefully for the restitution of Indigenous ancestral lands, the autonomy and self-determination to which they are entitled to.”
Relations between the Argentine and Chilean states and indigenous communities have taken a turn for the worse. Chilean President Sebastian Piñera, who has strong links to Pinochet regime and has been widely criticked by international agencies such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, ordered 1,000 troops into Wallmapu, Southern Chile on October 12th, 2021, to ‘deal’ with the ‘Mapuche Conflict’. The conflict has its roots in indigenous ancestral claims to land, currently occupied by multinational and local companies that seek to exploit the area for forestry and Salmon farming, often violently, pushing local communities away from their ancestral homes.
“Our work at Mapuche International Link is entirely focused on human rights. There are currently scores of Mapuche community leaders imprisoned in Chile under the 1984 terror act drawn up during the Pinochet regime. There are allegations of arbitrary detentions and a strong military presence in Southern Chile. It’s like a war zone.” added Carole Concha Bell, press officer.
Mapuche International Link strongly refute any suggestion of links to violent groups and receive no funding from any sources.
For more information, please contact: