Bariloche Federal Judge María Silvina Domínguez has ruled that State-owned lands must be handed over to members of a local Mapuche community in a decision many fear might constitute dangerous case-law for future claims, it was reported Friday.
Domínguez has ordered the National Institute of Indigenous Affairs (INAI) to issue land ownership documents free of charge to the Millalonco Ranquehue Mapuche community within 60 days from the moment the sentence is no longer subject to appeals.
The property under controversy is in the area of Provincial Route 82, between Virgen de las Nieves and Villa Los Coihues, which was already recognized as belonging to the Ranquehue by the National State through an INAI resolution of 2012.
The ruling also orders the National State to pay the trial's expenses.
The judical case had been filed against the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights, the Secretariat of Human Rights and Cultural Pluralism, the National Institute of Indigenous Affairs and against the National Congress so that a definitive recognition and unconditional ownership of community property measured as traditional occupation was granted.
The Millalonco Ranquehue community has celebrated the ruling and said this victory was a reparation to five generations after persecutions against the indigenous groups before the first census in Bariloche.
The Mapuche Lof Quemquemtreu community has seized a piece of land in the Cuesta del Ternero area, not far from Bariloche, Sept. 18, 2021. Despite a judicial ruling from Rio Negro provincial magistrates, the community is still on the property.
Prosecutors hope that the rightful owners will regain controll of their land before February's end, but Lof Quemquemtreu people have asked the province's Human Rights Secretary, Duilio Minieri, not to carry out the eviction order.
Domínguez's decision regarding the Millalonco Ranquehue community has set a precedent, which may have an impact on the Cuesta del Ternero case.