THE INDIGENOUS PEOPLES OF CHILE A study of human rights for three indigenous groups in Chile
Indigenous Groups of Chile • Atacameno • Loa province - oases valleys and brooks • Agriculture and grazing • Aymara • Andean Foothills of the Tarapaca Region • Agriculture and cattle • Mapuche • Large area from Choapa river to gulfs of Reloncavi • Horticulture and hunting/fishing
Chile at a Glance • Population: 16,928,900 • Indigenous Population: 1,060,800 (6.6%) • Climate: • Desert in the north • Mild and humid in the central areas • Largest industries: Mining, Manufacturing, Finance, Tourism, • President: Michelle Bachelet
ILO Convention 169 The ILO Convention recognizes the following: • Land and property rights for indigenous peoples. • That indigenous and tribal peoples’ cultures and identities form an integral part of their lives - and that their way of life often differs from that of the dominant population. • Equality and Liberty for indigenous peoples. • Autonomy of indigenous peoples. • Ratified by: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Chile , Dominica, Ecuador, Fiji, Guatemala, Honduras, México, Nepal, Paraguay, Peru, Venezuela, The Netherlands, Norway, Denmark and Spain. • As of 9/16/09, OFFICIALLY Chilean law. • Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization. “ILO Convention 169: 20 years later.” http://www.unpo.org/content/view/9746/81/
Chilean Laws for Indigenous Groups • Law No. 19253 (1993) Indigenous People’s Special Law: • This legislation does not address indigenous rights but rather the development of indigenous ‘ethnic groups’. • Law 19,253 establishes a limited status of recognition and protection of indigenous lands but ignores rights to resources. • Law No. 19300 (1994) Environmental Framework Law : • This legislation regulates all major activities that may likely have an environmental impact. It maintains in force all previous environmental regulations • Law No. 20249 (2008):Indigenous Coastal Protection • This legislation establishes the coastal marine space of native peoples. This law amends current legislation to recognize and safeguard customary use of these areas by indigenous communities that are closely linked to the coastal area, thus enabling them to maintain their traditions and natural resource use. • Code of Conduct of Indigenous Development Areas • Regulates public and private investment on indigenous areas • Relevance is questioned, as it is not law and is only a “code of conduct.” Companies can chose to acknowledge it or not.
Arrived in America in 1000BC as Mongolians Held off original Spanish Conquest and was declared separate sovereignty. In 1810 Spanish were defeated by Chile and Argentina causing new governments to arise Mapuche fell victim to territorial conquest, aggravation caused by military, and constant persecution. Mapuche now follow democratically elected governments. Origin
Natural Resources • Relied heavily on the Land • Livelihood was based on agriculture, hunting and gathering. • When Europeans arrived they adopted iron metalworking and horseback riding. • Europeans also taught them how to cultivate wheat and work with Sheep.
Native language is Mapudungun Not one with long-standing history Missionaries first documented the language Many variations of language 200,000 Mapuche can speak native tongue Mapudungun is being taught in some Chile schools Language
Literacy Rate • 37% who finished High School, 10.5% received higher education • Mapuche over the age of 5 had a literacy rate of 81.2 • Mapuche from ages 10 to 34 on average 96.2 • 85,000 are bi-lingual
Religious leader is know as ‘Machi’ ‘Machi’ have extensive knowledge of herbal medicine, sacred stones and sacred animals Today many follow the Roman Catholic religion They believe in their own god and they have their own since of sin and damnation The gods they believe in are described as ‘invisible old people who have limited powers Religion
Mapuche Women • Request representation on the tribal council in order to strengthen religion and language in community • Usually can only find jobs pertaining to domestic services • Low paying jobs with little skill or specialization • Triple discrimination • Women usually teach culture at home • Women are healers and herbalists
Natural Resources • The communities traditionally controlled and organized the natural resources such as water and land, but economic market forces have increasingly marginalized these things from their control. • The expansion of mining activity has had a great impact both on their lands and on their surface and underground waters • The Atacama holds the world's largest inventories of copper, nitrate, borax, and guano. Furthermore, silver deposits were discovered
Development • Settled at time of first agricultural-livestock settlements developed around the Atacama oasis. • Built canals to channel water for irrigation, and used terrace systems. • Agricultural development opened Atacama to caravan traffic between cultures. • 1999: government promotes “Programas Origenes,” to encourage development and improve economic and cultural conditions of indigenous peoples. • Ecotourism in San Pedro de Atacama: sponsored by the ADI and the “Programas Origenes” to reverse the marginalization of the Atacama.
Language İHola! • Kunza, which means "our", was the dominant language • Belonging to the macro-Chibcha linguistic family and Paezano sub-family, Kunza comes from the west of Colombia and Ecuador. • Kunza is not in the Andean-Ecuatorial linguistic family, to which the three indigenous languages spoken in modern continental Chile belong. • The Atacameño people ended up speaking four languages: Kunza, Aymara, Quechua, and Castilian. • Kunza is practically a dead language, used only in ceremonies and ritual songs.
Education and Literacy • Mostly agrarian knowledge • Skilled in various art forms (textiles, ceramics, basketry, metalwork) • Used both petroglyphs and cactus spines for knitting. • Of the Chilean indigenous population, approximately 8.2% of those older than 10 years is analphabetic • Men report 6.5% of illiteracy, as opposed to 10.0% among women. • In rural zones, illiteracy amounts to 15.0%, while in the cities it goes down to 4.6%. • Out of every 100 natives of 50 years old and more, around 25 are analphabetic. • Out of every 100 natives aged 15 to 25 years old only 1.5 are illiterate.
Religion • Embodied in festivals, dances, and ceremonies, which are deeply tied with nature • Follow an Andean-Catholic religious cultural model, creating a dual thinking that is applied to diverse aspects of religious and social life. • Most of the ritual activities and traditions are associated with important religious dates, and each settlement has its own patron saint (San Pedro in San Pedro de Atacama, San Lucas in Toconao, San Roque in Peine, etc.). • Main offerings are made to the Pachamama, the earth; the mountain spirits, tata-cerros; and to the water, tata-putarajni, as well as to the ancestors, tata-abuelos • Traditional patterns of beliefs, knowledge and symbolism, based on mythological conceptions, ritually reenacted, still remain today • Figures from the last census, carried out in 2002, show that 10.8% of the 4969 inhabitants declare themselves Evangelical, and 70.7% Catholic.
Cultural Heritage & Social Life • Today there are 3,000 direct descendents of Atacameño culture; the majority are peasants whose lives revolve around agriculture and animal grazing. • Ceremonies form an active part of life - festivities are ritual reenactments of their traditions. • Main Atacameno festivities are:The Carnival, The cleaning of irrigation canals (La limpia de canales),The flowering of the livestock (El enfloramiento del ganado), and the pre-hispanic ancestors cults, tata-abuelos (El culto a los tata abuelos o antepasados prehispànicos).
Autonomy & Political Representation • After the War of the Pacific, the Chilean government seized this territory, so from the end of the 19th century until the mid 20th century the policy of the Chilean state was directed towards homogenizing these communities into a single Chilean whole, where they were treated as peasant farmers, miners, artisans, etc., without any indigenous connotation • “To get the water, we even went to Santiago... the intention was to reach the President himself, but, finally the Minister of Public Works saw us. In that sublime moment, we put to him our concerns and he gave us his commitment to build the channels that would carry the water to Sequitor.........but many people don’t know, the effort this required, and how we have struggled to achieve it, because, at the end of the day, we are all Chileans” Sequitor Community Meeting, February 2004. • The indigenous law includes the creation of Indigenous Development Areas (Areas de Desarrollo Indigena or ADI), territorial land upon which the state’s administrative bodies focus their activity to benefit the harmonious development of the indigenous people and their communities. • The district of San Pedro de Atacama contains the ADI of Atacama la Grande (Supreme Decree of 10th March 1997), which looks to serve the development needs of the 14 Atacameño communities living in the Salar de Atacama: San Pedro de Atacama, Coyo, Sequitor, Santiago de Rio Grande, Machuca, Solor, Socaire, Peine, Quitor, Talabre, Camar, Larache, Catarpe, and Toconao. This measure seeks to institutionalise the incorporation of ethnicity in the relationship between the state and the Atacameño community.
The Aymara People Human Rights and Realities http://www.andeanaymara.com/
How Development imposes on Cultural Rights: Access to resources and land Education and Language Employment Religion Limits cultural practices and tradition-medicine
Cultural Heritage & Traditions The Aymara are an indigenous group that depend on the land and local water sources to sustain their economic, spiritual and social life. Since the beginning, the Aymara people have lived from the herding of lamas and sheep, the agriculture on valleys and high mountains and fishing on the Lake Titicaca. Agriculture and animal husbandry have historically sustained the local economy and are still the main activities today. The Aymara have a complementary economy based on the principle of the “ayni” which is very important in their culture. The “ayni” is the practice of reciprocity or product barter between Aymara groups.
Natural Resources and Land For the Aymara, access to their territory is relevant because it provides ecosystem services, especially related to the water cycle, in the dry environments surrounding the hyper arid Atacama Desert. The World Health Organization estimates that 1.7 billion people lack access to clean water, and the UN Human Rights Commission has been considering a declaration of water as a basic human right. The Chilean Government has used several economic instruments over the years to promote in- and off-farm irrigation infrastructure. Indigenous communities, however, show limited access to these subsidies.
3rd Party Development Mining in the region • In 1994, the Cerro Colorado Mining Company (CMCC) began copper mining operations in the area. In 2002 the Aymara noticed for the first time that the water level had fallen and the wetlands were drying up. CMCC said it was pumping out 125 liters of water per second, but denies responsibility for the condition of the wetland. According to the company it is due to floods caused by high rainfall in 2001, “a natural event which combined with an effect of the pumping mainly affected the natural flow of the watersheds.” • In 2005, the government Directorate General of Water (DGA) concluded that this ecosystem had been dried out by underground water extraction by the CMCC copper mine. The wetlands in this area are fed by surface and underground waters. They have been legally protected since 1992.
Education and Language Natives speak Aymara as well as Spanish Aymara belongs to the “Jaqi” linguistic family: major indigenous language of southern Peru and northern Chile. Parents teach Aymara to their children as a way of respecting and preserving their culture. Aymara has 3 million speakers (between Peru, Bolivia, and Chile), but are often excluded from state political participation There is much indigenous support for language renewal in Chile, mostly to overcome social prejudice. Lack of linguistic and cultural understanding has caused an imbalance between the indigenous people and outside developers. The strong value placed on rural work in the Aymara community makes indigenous minors vulnerable to labor and economic exploitation and to dropping out of school. 1996: Chilean government created Bilingual Intercultural Education Program: Promotes diverse linguistic and cultural learning in schools. Has yet to fully succeed. Recent government project: Incorporation of Indigenous Language Model into the subject of Language and Communication, alongside Spanish and English. Hopefully this project will succeed by the end of 2010.
Religion The religion practiced by the Aymara is a combination of Roman Catholicism and traditional Andean beliefs. Spirituality for the Aymara is not manifested exclusively in the sacred or religious, but expressed in the ordinary, everyday life. The Aymara conceive of the Supreme Being as the creator of all things, everything was made by God -- what we can see and feel and what we cannot see and cannot feel (the unknown). Contemporary religious beliefs have are rooted in Inca tradition (the Aymara were conquered by the Inca in the mid 1400s). One of these beliefs is expressed by engaging in traditional medicine and ritual offerings to the Inca sun god “Inti” and the goddess of the earth “Pachamama”. Within the community, the Aymara have a group of natural healers and medicine workers known as the Yatiri. These practitioners play a vital role in Aymara cultural identity.
Legislation and Action • The Indigenous Law Nº 19.253 from October 5, 1995, initiated the regularization of indigenous properties with the identification of their limits and resources. This law recognizes the existence of ethnic groups, and permits the existence of Areas of Indigenous Development. • On November 30, 2009, the Chilean Supreme Court decided in favor of granting the Aymara indigenous water use rights. • This ruling, is the first judicial application of ILO Convention 169 in Chile, it was ratified a year earlier in September 2008. • In the eyes of environmental groups this ruling signifies the first step in reclaiming resource rights from private, and often foreign-owned, businesses and restoring them to the public realm. • For the Aymara a greater significance; this decision serves as the beginning of a pivotal change in the legal framework addressing their territorial claims and rights.
Indigenous Issues • ENDESA – hydroelectricity • CELCO – cellulose processing plant • CODELCO – mining • Assimilation • Fuerzas Especiales de Carabineros de Chile – police unit
Indigenous Defenders • Observatory for Indigenous Rights (Observatorio Ciudadano) • National Corporation for Indigenous Development (CONADI) • President Bachelet • UN and ILO