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Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation meets on 4 - 5 June 2004 in Pucon and Villarrica
Mapuches oppose this neo-colonialist summit in their territory!


Open letter from Mapuche organizations to Apec representatives

Wallmapu (Mapuche Territory) 3 June, 2004

Representatives of the economies of :

Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, The Peoples Republic of China, Hong Kong, China, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zeland, Peru, The Phillipines, Papua New Guinea, The Russian Federation, Singapore, Chinese Taipei (Taiwan), Thailand, The United States, and Vietnam.

On occasion of the meeting of the APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade in Pucon and Villarrica, Chile June 4-5, the organizations and territorial identities subscribing to this letter wish to signal the following:

  • These meetings in Pucon and Villarrica are located in ancestral Mapuche territorry, which was usurped by the Chilean state. We have summoned the President of Chile, Ricardo Lagos Escobar, to stop the folklorization of our culture. The presence of folkloric groups at this meeting is an open provocation, given that we have already been victims of the government and multinationals, with imprisonment, repression, criminalisation and judicial persecution of our legitimate demands as a people; all at the hands of the government and influential factional groups. It is essential to note that today, important Mapuche leaders within our territories are imprisoned—all of this in the name of the same economic model that your economies represent and that you plan to continue consolidating in our territory. Thus increasing the colonialization and usurpation of our lands, of our natural resources, and of our traditional knowledge.

  • We firmly believe that you should not carry out trade negotiations behind the backs of the people. The economies that you represent, as well as your promotion of market liberalization within the APEC region and standardization of trade rules amongst unequal economies with asymettrical technologies and development, cause vast sectors of society, such as indigenous people, and in this case, the Mapuche people, whose rights your economies neither recognize nor respect, to be vulnerable within an economy overwhelmed by corporate domination, transnational pirateering and environmental and social disaster. This future which you control is not the mandate of the peoples that have entrusted you to govern; this is not the future that the people want.

  • Know that you are coming to the center of our historic territory, and as such, with the respect that we deserve, we request that before embarking on the path to liberalize trade relations, you should first establish as a fundamental priority within the APEC region, a dialogue on the standardization of indigenous rights. We demand that you speak face-to-face with the people to whom you owe your mandate and obedience, given that the matters to be discussed in the APEC meeting in our territory have no reason to be reserved and hidden. We summon you to stop the unjust trade practices that APEC promotes, and to dutifully and ethically NOT carry out the pending processes of liberalization that the WTO is attempting, and which it has not been able to impose. The imposition of these policies would be unfortunate and a huge step back for the people of the world.

  • It is inconceivable that you would come to impose your model of trade on territory which is ours, even more so considering that Chile does not recognize the legal existence of our people. The International Labor Organization’s (ILO) Convention 169 on the Treatment of Indigenous Peoples has in any case not been ratified in Chile; and after fourteen years of a supposed democracy, the Chilean state continues using the same repressive laws of the military dictatorship to supress our just demands.

  • We most sincerely expect that you will consider the issues we are raising; otherwise, we must inform you that you will not be welcomed to our territory, and as long as the present conditions we denounce, do not reverse themselves, we will express ourselves freely against the trade which you promote and which are a threat to our collective dignity and rights. We hope that you answer the call from not only the Mapuche people, but from the people across the world that are concerned about these issues.

  • We will be present in large numbers in Villarrica and Pucon, in demonstrations and on Friday, June 4 at the Forum of Indigenous People and Social Organizations, an “alternative summit” to the APEC meeting, convened by the Coordination of Territorial Identities and Mapuche Organizations, and integrated by numerous Mapuche organizations and Non-Governmental Organizations. We will discuss the numerous impacts of trade on Mapuche communities, and strategies for confronting these impacts.


Subscribing organizations:

- Identidad Lafkenche Tirúa, Adolfo Millabur, Iván Carialo / - Tirúa Sur, Roberto Garrido, David Huenupil / - Huentelolen, interlocalidades, Juan Carlos Polma / - Comunidades del Budi, Jorge Pichuñual, Armando Marileo. / - Consejo territorial Lafkenche, Domingo Raín, Pérsida Cheuquenao (Teodoro Schmidth). / - Consejo de werkenes, Joel Maripil, Julio Chehuin

- Comunidades de Toltén, Edelmira Huechán, Mirta Ñancuán. / - Comunidades Maiquillahue, Boris Hualme / - Osorno, comunidades williche, Miguel Cheuquepán. / - Carahue, Asociación pu lafkenche, Wladimir Painecura. / - Federación Williche de Chiloé, Sergio Cuyul. / - Asociación Nepén de Ancud, Chiloé, Pedro Naguil. / - Coordinación de comunidades en conflictos ambientales, Luis Cañulef. / - Temuco, Sergio Caniuqueo, profesionales Mapuche. / - por Agrupación Konapewman Temuco, Alfredo Seguel, Pablo Huaiquilao, Gabriela Calfucoy, Eduardo Rapimán. / - Corporación de mujeres Mapuche Aukinko Zomo, María Isabel Curihuentro, Ana Tragolaf / - Casa de arte Mapuche, Rayen Kvyeh / - Corporación Xeg Xeg, Francisco Caquilpán. / - Centro Mapuche Liwen, Pablo Marimán. / - Comunidades Nueva Imperial, Audiel Millapi. / - Comunidades Chol Chol - Imperial, Emilio Painemal. / - Organización territorial Wajontu Coj Coj Mapu (Chol Chol), Juan Painemal. / - Por Villarrica, Corporación Villarrica María Luisa Nahuelpán.; Corporación Komkeyuayin, Benjamín Caniulef; Asociación Wanglen Villarrica, Juana Curio; / - Identidad Nagche, Lumaco, Traiguén, Los Sauces, Asociación Ñankuchew, Alfonso Reiman. - Sociedad Wanglen, Lumaco – Traiguén, Galvarino Reiman. / - Traiguén, Temulemu, Juan Pichún. / - Santiago, Consejería indígena Urbana, José Llancapán, Eugenia Calquín; / - Perquenco, Savaria , Lucrecia Antileo. / -Panguipulli, coordinadora Williche, Pikun Wiji Mapu, Jorge Hueque. / - Consejo de lonko Pikun Wiji Mapu, lonko Agustín Nahuelpán, Werkén Jorge Abello / - Melipeuco, pewenche, Alfonso Melillán.. / - (Puelmapu, Argentina) Coordinadora de organizaciones Mapuche C.O.M, provincia Newkén. / - (Puelmapu, Argentina) Organización Mapuche – Tehuelche 11 de octubre, provincia de Chubut. / - (Canadá) Comités de apoyo al Pueblo Mapuche. / - (Suecia) Centro de documentación Mapuche Ñuke Mapu, Jorge Calbucura. / - (Gran Bretaña) Mapuche International Link, Reynaldo Mariqueo. / - (Holanda) Fundación Mapuche – FOLIL, Rafael Railaf Zuniga.