Chile Community

CHILEAN STATE MUST RESPOND INTERNATIONAL CONSULTATION problems generated by Salmonella in Mapuche territory Speaker of the community protesting against the plague of lice in salmon (Photo: C. Gutierrez).Mapuche-Huilliche of Pargua also lodged a complaint claiming risk of displacement and forced migration of people in these Indian families. Puerto Montt, 20 September 2007. (Ecoceanos News) – The Chilean government must respond to formal consultation of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights concerning the claims of the Mapuche community Huichille Pepiukelen against the installation of a producer of food for salmon in the town Agrosuper Holding of Pargua, south of Puerto Montt. This is one of the first occasions on which the IACHR is involved in a conflict in which the actions of private companies violate human rights of indigenous communities, says the sponsor of the cause lawyer Diego Carrasco American Control Center ‘Rights and Migrants (OCIM). The installation of this company has been questioned from the beginning by indigenous communities who claim that there have been irregularities in legal aspects of environmental, indigenous and water use. Besides allegations that have harassed and threatened in the process of complaint against this company. These claims were made to the Chilean courts where they have come a long way to reach the Supreme Court did not conduct the case as time-barred. But the Mapuche community was not satisfied and went to the continental body. Diego Carrasco’s attorney says there is still the “pollution, impairment of the right to life and physical integrity and the harassment and threats” to the community and its leaders. The presentation in this Committee, is the gateway to reach the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, which has power to convict against the continent’s states. The official letter from the Executive Secretary of the IACHR, Santiago Canton, states that have requested additional and updated information to the State of Chile on “action taken by the authorities to protect members of the Community Pepiukelen. The IACHR also requires explanation about the “state of investigations undertaken following complaints by members of the Community on various threats and harassment they have suffered.” SELF-DETERMINATION AND ANCIENT LANDS The importance of this resolution, said the lawyer Carrasco, is that the IACHR “constitutes a legitimate forum to hear the requests of the Mapuche Huilliche, second case involved a question of occupation of ancestral territory by private companies and is private and non-state investments as they had in previous cases concerning the occupation of Indian territory.