Pope Francis urged Chile’s indigenous Mapuche people on Wednesday to shun violence, saying unity was the best weapon against “the deforestation of hope,” as they struggle to defend their culture and reclaim ancestral lands.9 comments
Police clashed with a group of Mapuche during an operation to clear lands seized by members of the indigenous community, and one young Mapuche was killed and two were injured, Argentina's government said on Sunday.
During his visit to Chile and Peru, Pope Francis will honor the country’s religious roots and underline the plight of indigenous men and women. The Vatican said the pope will be in Chile Jan. 15-18, visiting the cities of Santiago, Temuco and Iquique. He then will fly to Peru and, from Jan. 18-21, he will visit Lima, Puerto Maldonado and Trujillo.
A Chilean court this week acquitted eleven Mapuche people accused of terrorism over an arson attack that killed an elderly couple, part of a series of indigenous rights protests.
The corpse found in Chubut River, in Argentine Patagonia, is Santiago Maldonado, it was confirmed late Friday by family members who recognized his body tattoos. Santiago lived in El Bolsón, a paradise for hippies in middle of Patagonia, precisely tattooing or living of small handicrafts in close contact with the Mapuche indigenous people who are in conflict with landowners and in recurrent clashes with security forces.
The body recovered from a river bed in southern Argentina is that of a missing activist who disappeared two months ago during a police operation, his brother confirmed on Friday. Santiago Maldonado, a 28-year-old tattoo artist, was last seen being detained by paramilitary police as they moved to disperse a protest march by the Mapuche indigenous group in the Patagonia Chubut province, on August first.
Major parties running in Sunday’s mid-term congressional election in Argentina suspended their campaigns on Wednesday after a body, thought to be that of a young protester who went missing more than two months ago, was found in a river.
On Friday, Chilean President Michelle Bachelet extended a formal apology to the Mapuche people for “errors and horrors” perpetrated by the state against their communities. She announced plans to concede more power and resources to the Indigenous group.
Chilean police fired tear gas and water cannon on Sunday to break up thousands of indigenous protesters demanding land rights and condemning Columbus Day, after masked demonstrators began throwing stones.
President Michelle Bachelet announced a plan to buy and return disputed ancestral lands to Chile's indigenous communities as part of a strategy to better incorporate them into the country's political process and economic development.