Mapuche authorities declare Chilean businessman and president Sebastián Piñera Persona Non-Grata 

Wallmapu, 5 July 2018

Photo: TEMUCO: President of the Republic participates in the presentation of the new Carabineros Special Force Group for the Araucania

We, the political and spiritual Mapuche authorities, who met on 3 July 2018 in the Juan Paillalef Community, Wallmapu, IX Region of Araucanía, hereby address the Mapuche Nation to express our concern about the armaments preparations and the level of militarization that the government of Sebastián Piñera is implementing in our territory to repress our Mapuche people.

As in the times of the “Pacification of the Araucanía”, 135 years ago, which was carried out in the name of “civilization, Christianity and peace”, the present government does the same today under the pretext of promoting peace and foreign investment.

The genocidal policy that began with the “Pacification of the Araucania” and the “Desert Campaigns” has been brought back by the current Chilean regime, which threatens not only to sow terror and death against those communities of our people who legitimately demand the restitution of their territories, but also persecutes those who stand in solidarity with their just struggle.

President Piñera calls all those who support Mapuche demands “passive enemies or accomplices of terrorism,” but does not say anything about fabricated evidence, torture, raids and arbitrary arrests, abuse of police power and infiltrations by the security services that operate jointly with the paramilitary groups of the business community and settlers, causing chaos and terror in our rural communities.

The Chilean president seeks to isolate the Mapuche people; he does not want the violation of human rights to be made public and wants the failure to comply with due process and the presumption of innocence of the accused to be ignored. He wants to dissuade the communities under attack from receiving legal support or solidarity and accuses those who provide the latter of being “accomplices of terrorism”.

Piñera is silent about the Mapuche youths shot in the back by the militarized police who operate systematically sowing terror under government protection. He does not pronounce on the forced disappearance of José Huenante after his arrest by the police. He does not speak out against the police who, issuing death threats, made Mapuche children strip naked to register them, supposedly for the purpose of identity control. Nor does he mention those who have buckshot embedded in their bodies, such as Brandon Hernández Huentecol and hundreds of other children and adults.

For Piñera, the material value of some vehicles burned by unknown people or set alight in self-attacks by their owners to claim insurance, is more important than the physical and psychological wellbeing and life of the Mapuche.

To stop our Mapuche struggle for our rights and to defend their own commercial and personal interests, Piñera and his counterparts in Araucanía sent a police contingent to Colombia and the US to be trained in the fight against terrorism. This contingent is already being used to consolidate the TERRORISM OF THE STATE inherited from the Pinochet regime which is now being put into practice yet again by President Piñera, together with the constitution and anti-terrorist law, which were also introduced by the Chilean military dictatorship.

The Mapuche people have been deliberately impoverished by the Chilean and Argentined states after our territory and resources were taken from us. In addition to this, “development” and infrastructural projects have been imposed against our will which is in violation of ILO Convention 169, ratified by Chile, that requires respect for the Right to Prior, Free and Informed Consultation in any decision.

President Piñera has conflicts of interest in relation to Mapuche-Williche ancestral territories in the south, so his decision is not impartial with respect to the Mapuche people as he is influenced by his personal interests.

To give its genocidal policy in La Araucanía the appearance of legitimacy, the Chilean government, through CONADI, organized a meeting with some Mapuche authorities on June 28th even though this government does not really understand the status of a Mapuche authority. The event was chaired by Lonko Aniceto Norin, who was unjustly sentenced under the anti-terrorist law and had to resort to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) to seek justice that had been denied him by the Chilean state of law.

The protocolary event granted to the Chilean president was characteristic of Mapuche culture and its traditional relations with foreign authorities. As such, it has reinforced his propaganda aimed at distinguishing between good Mapuche and “terrorists”, in order to isolate the communities that fight for the restitution of their ancestral territories and unleash his repressive policy against them.

As a result, our Mapuche authorities have decided to declare President Piñera and his government persona non-grata in our territory, in accordance with the border treaty of 1641 that established the Bio-Bio River as the northern border of our territory and which was ratified by Chile in the Treaty of Tapiwe of 1825. Article 22 of said treaty states “The dividing line may not be passed by anyone belonging to one or the other side, without the respective passport issued by whoever is in charge of the point through which s/he passes, and whoever does so without this requirement will be punished as an infringer of the law.” President Piñera violated our legal system.

We call on all the Mapuche people to be alert in the face of this new repressive onslaught against our people.

We appeal for national and international solidarity – without exception – to all groups and organizations in solidarity with the Mapuche people, wherever they are located. Please show solidarity with our sisters and brothers of the Ngulumapu and Puelmapu, with those who are on hunger strike, with the political prisoners and those attacked by the Chilean and Argentine tyranny.

Signatories of the Meli Wixan-Mapu (four territorial identities)

Werken Tomas Enrique Cañulaf Curamil, Maile,

Werken Juan Lepicheo, Punta Arenas,

Lonko Juana Calfunao Paillalef, IX region,

Lonko Juana Kuante, zone la kustre, Osorno,

Werken Luis Gabriel kariman wentemil, Allipen

Lonko Hernán Melinao Millacheo, community Rodrigo Melinao Likan


Translated from the Spanish by Barbara Chambers
Mapuche International Link