Mapuche Resistance, the Mass Media (RE: “Informe Especial”) & the CAM National Liberation Project

Mapuche Resistance, the Mass Media (RE: “Informe Especial”) and the National Liberation Project of the CAM

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

The history of the Mapuche nation from the arrival of the Europeans till now has been set across annihilation, scorn towards our people due to the Winka [Settler] ethno-centrism and the construction of its ideal, the continuous desire to homogenize cultural expressions and forced assimilation disguised as philanthropy, good intentions and the undervaluation of the capacity of our People (tai ñ com pu che). From the permanent dichotomy of good and bad, the correct and right path to liberty and progress, examples of development portrayed in history books and economics, the venality of the Chilean who aspires to become an entrepreneur and become as successful and competitive as the country’s richest families, Matte or Edwards. The Mapuche are a despised, cornered and usurped nation by the immoral ambition of those who desire the administration of Mapuche Territory, through blood and fire, however with our memory and our own story, which in the last few years has learned from itself; we recognize and reconstruct ourselves politically and territorially. The Mapuche is no longer Chilean, feeling and seeing oneself as Mapuche, which is a cumulative step forward. We sincerely value who we are, what we defend, we reclaim what is ours from our own position, from rhetoric reconstructed through Oral history, respecting our ancient authorities, the Pewma, the Nutram, the Trawun, our ceremonies the Ngillatun, Llellipun in thinking of our ancestors, in the words of our Lonko [Chiefs]. From a militant position of dedication and sacrifice, we state that being Mapuche today is a crossroads, disjunctive, it is not easy. Even then, we must carry on the path and respect the kiñe rupu tai ñ che yem, where we walk and decisively continue to be tai ñ mapu, integral People of the land.

We understand and know that these steps are not well seen by the owners of the official version of history. Moreover, the priorities of government, business and transnational corporations lie in the extinguishment of any expression of emancipation and territorial, political and spiritual reclamation, ta iñ Weichafe, expressions as the defense and reclamation of Pilmaiquen and Panguipulli against the Hydroelectric centres, in Arauco against mining and forestry companies, in Quepe against the construction of the Airport, in San Juan de la Costa and Osorno for the preservation of sacred sites, the reclamation of ancient territory in Ercilla, etc. Their arms: the mass media, the application of the Antiterrorist Law, militarized police in the territory, intelligence services and the backing of authorities giving administrative concessions, special police procedures, which overlook the unmeasured repression and violation of fundamental human rights, international treaties, thereby continually expressing the doctrine of racism. A “Wild West” where a Mapuche can be murdered shot in the back without the person responsible being given an adequate sentence, while another Mapuche is convicted of a 10 year sentence for defending their family from a police raid. Self-defence as a crime and the murder of an “Indian” deemed as heroic. These are the paradoxes of the new Pacification of Araucanía.

Ercilla, the New Threshold

Today we can see then mass media and the interests of Chilean institutionalism, especially the Executive Power, have demonstrated unusual concern over certain sectors of Mapuche Territory. The government in turn has permanently insisted in carrying out formulas to develop a strategy in the short and long run to demobilize the communities in resistance and territorial reclamation, generating a clear atmosphere of stigmatization and repression on the one hand and spaces for investment through the Indigenous Development Agency (ADI) as well as the development with friendly communities (first within Arauco Province and currently within Malleco), which enables the idea of progress through entrepreneurship and casting out expressions of autonomy and territorial control; thereby considering these proposals as terrorist or at least criminal. In the end the stigmatization of our expression as a Nation persists, the need to develop our ways and values (ad mapu-ad mongen) negates this so-called neo-liberal individualistic and market-dependant development, therefore we are deemed to be enemies of progress and of a national project. We are the internal enemy of the Chilean State that must be combated with any means possible and at any price.

Ercilla is a difficult threshold to ignore by the Piñera and Hinzpeter government, as they have transformed it into the thesis and antithesis of Mapuche resistance; staging development as the carrot and stick in its maximum expression, divide and conquer and other lessons learned at the School of the Americas.

In this context, “Plan Araucania” and the Security Summit are indivisible, as they are the carrot and stick: assimilation, cooptation and a deepening of institutional dependency, which absolutely in no way formulates or constructs an autonomous project. It is simply the continuation of paternalistic, assistance based policies on behalf of the government. The strategies promoted by the Chilean State are very far from the ad mongen ka ad mapu meu. They have only fomented division and violence. It is the predecessor to transnational investment, and therefore the definitive plunder of Mapuche Territory, Kimun and Rakizuam.

Meanwhile, the Security Summit means more repression directed to the territories in resistance and reclamation, where greater resources are allocated to increase and consolidate the militarization, intelligence and promotion of criminalization in perfecting the judicialization of just ancestral demands.

In this way the detailed preparation to cautiously stage repression is exerted with justification. Let the expressions of real national Mapuche liberation be imprisoned and persecuted; a situation that in Ercilla, and Temucuicui in particular, advances daily towards an autonomous process.

It is in this sense the CAM proposes a program based on three premises by promoting autonomy, territorial control and national reconstruction:

  1. 1. RECLAMATION OF MAPUCHE ANCIENT TERRITORY: That is, not limited to the land claims as dictated by the Chilean State through the CONADI. Ideally through “active” reclamations, and NOT through institutions (through buying land for example).

2. TERRITORIAL CONTROL IN THE COMMUNITY AND THE LOF: This is initiated through productive and permanent occupations of land, but demands qualitative aspects such as the transformation of economic and productive control of resources from a capitalist perspective, to the rupture of these ways and with the global system more generally. That is, we do not want lands in order to continue planting Pine and Eucalyptus trees, selling them to the forestry industry, handing these over to the system. Rather, Territorial Control as political management and cultural/religious reactivation of our worldview.

3.THE REGENERATION OF COMMUNTIES AND TERRITORIAL CONTROL OF THE FUTALMAPU: The regeneration of communities is necessary through their ancestral Lof and territorial identities. That is to say, the regeneration of these should create a process of accumulation of forces sufficient for Territorial Control of increasingly vast areas that re-establish the ancient Lof and Futalmapu.

This is the program given as a means for Mapuche national liberation and reconstruction. Moreover, the development of the Territorial Resistance Groups (ORT) in “defend[ing] the processes of territorial reclamation, carrying out territorial control, and on the other hand, visualizing the capitalist attack by large investments sponsored by the State; staling the advancement of transnational forestry/hydroelectric companies, investors and estate owners, etc.”

The State emphasizes their so-called law and order and their concept of an undivided and indivisible nation over the ancestral rights over our territory and autonomy. We understand that if we do not advance towards greater political and territorial rights, we are destined to disappear. Therefore our posture has always been clear, tai ñ kiñe rüpu, our unbreakable morale with an ethic of Weichan [War] from the communities that constitute their own expression to self defence and territorial reclamation, processes that should increase and that principally seek to detain the progression of investment and usurpation by transnational corporations, while at the same time exerting territorial control, reconstructing and recreating our lives as Mapuche.

Lie, Lie Through your Teeth

Two weeks ago, the transmission TVN Chilean National Television’s “Special Report” [Informe Especial] aired a report called “Red Zone,” by Santiago Pavlovic and produced by Sergio Ramirez.

This report aspired nothing other than to delegitimize the political/territorial reclamation of the Mapuche Nation and portray the State policies of investment and securitization (specifically the Indigenous Development Agency) with ridiculous comparisons, unfounded affirmations and tendentious guesswork. They begin by stating a “Red Zone” (territory understood as the area between Ercilla, Collipulli and Angol) while alleging ethnic cleansing on the part of more radicalized communities, where reclaimed territories are abandoned and without production, at the same time there exists a lands claims process given by the State benefiting many communities. Of course the first two points are assumed from a neo-liberal capitalist perspective regarding production, thereby de-contextualizing our relation to the territory, even going as far as alleging favoritism with Judges of the Court, stated by the regional prosecutor Francisco Ljubetic. Moreover, they describe a series of events, suggestively linked without any proof relating to the Mapuche cause, such as the arson of a school in Chequenco, theft of cattle, assaults to acquire weapons and money from poor peasants of the area as well as the arson of their homes, permanent harassment to small farmers, the death of GOPE Sergeant Hugo Albornoz and farmer Hector Gallardo, the arson of the home of Lonko [Cheif] Curinao, etc. They finally conclude with the statement that we are all Chilean and the debate should be on constitutional recognition and the possibility of having Mapuche members of parliaments.

We do not believe in the suggestions and affirmations of Mr. Pavlovic. On the contrary, we propose the debate should be centred around ideas such as: nation, autonomy, territorial control, reconstruction and national liberation; there is no instance where these topics leads to forced integration, much less promote forms of development that are foreign to our principles as a People. We must debate from our knowledge and propose autonomous alternatives of reconstruction of Mapuche ways, territorial and spiritual space, which is essential, then debate over its forms and further its meaning and development.

Over an hour of programming was dedicated to nothing more than the continuation of media campaigns that seek to invent contexts, prepare scenarios and generate conditions necessary to maintain the status quo, justifying repressive and judicial attacks by the Chilean State.

The mass media in its various forms (noting that there exists a high quantity of these in Chile) permanently advocate images that portray us as violent, without a national project, without values, background or history. On the other hand, they have always been considered an instrument of domination, in this case forging a story and generating the imaginary through omission, distortion, criminalization and censorship with the objective of misinforming, confusing and harassing communities, seeking to create an environment of terror and persecution that isolate the communities that tread the path of national reconstruction, placing an emphasis on violence to delegitimize this course. This “journalist piece” is no exception; it does not open the debate nor does it contribute, it simply deepens the stigmatization, prejudice and banality.

In conclusion, this program did not touch on the historical demands of territory and spirituality, of our project of national liberation, the processes of reclamation and territorial control in a serious and focused manner, the current situation, the [recent] hunger strike of our Peñi in Angol, which outline a path of decision to re-establish dignity and justice; extreme decisions that call to sacrifice and use the body as an instrument for the continuation of struggle.

The Mapuche Nation has initiated their path to liberation and it is urgent to debate over the notion of autonomy and national liberation. We will continue the restitution of territorial balance with strong conviction, advancing in territorial and spiritual reclamation, preparing ourselves politically, taking on the challenges and costs of our struggle with dignity. Whether the defenders of capitalism like it or not, we will carry it forward.

Wewaiñ, Petu Mogelaiñ!


Wichan Info al Día

Distributed by: The Women’s Coordinating Committee for a Free Wallmapu [Toronto]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s