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.
A United Nations investigator on Tuesday urged Chile’s government to stop using an anti-terrorism law against Mapuche Indians who are fighting to recover their ancestral land.
Chilean President Sebastian Piñera pledged to work with “maximum urgency” on a bill that would grant constitutional recognition to the country's indigenous groups. Piñera also announced the creation of an indigenous peoples' council that fully represents “their history, traditions, culture” and via which “they could raise their strong and clear voice about their future.”
The Organization of American States (OAS) will hold, on December 6 and 7 in Lima, Peru, the Meeting of Government Experts on the Management of Socio-Environmental Conflict for the countries of Central America and the Andean Region.
A United Nations expert urged Argentina to strengthen its measures to protect the human rights of indigenous groups as well as their rights to land ownership and education, adding that a mechanism to establish dialogue between them and the Government is urgently needed.