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(en) France, Alternative Libertaire AL #235 - Mapuche Indians in Chile: Leaving or collectively fight (fr, pt) [machine translation]

Date Sat, 08 Mar 2014 10:11:35 +0200


While Chilean socialists still win an election shunned by the people, Mapuche Indians are torn between town and country, in an individualistic society where land ownership is highly unequal. ---- On 15 December 2013, the Socialist (Socialist Party) Michelle Bachelet, was re-elected with a large majority over his opponent right, Evelyn Matthei, daughter of General Pinochet's military junta. Disinterest Chileans and Chilean for this election was final as 60% of potential voters were not moved to the polls. A "democracy of forbearance." ---- After the dictatorship that forced neoliberal march of the country, the "transition to democracy" in Chile (since 1988) is not without history and without protest. Among them, the Mapuches, Chile's main Indian people. Today, they account for about one million people. Over 50% of them live in the popular suburbs of Santiago.

"People of the earth" (Mapuche Mapudungun , the Mapuche language means people of the land), people become cement in the space of forty years. Indeed, over time, the "reserves" in which were assigned to the Mapuche live in the early twentieth century, are made ââ smaller and smaller to the increase in population.

Unequal distribution of land

With the liberalization of agricultural markets and the conversion of forest area in mega-plantation during the military dictatorship, many impoverished peasant families have no alternative than intensive exploitation of their small plot of land, quia result promote soil erosion. As incomes in general, what characterizes social relations in the countryside, it is the extreme polarization of land distribution. While two forestry companies Arauco and Forestal Bosque Mininco have a heritage property close to 2 million hectares, the few 200,000 Mapuches living in the countryside share 500,000 hectares.

Faced with this reality, the young "communities" (reserves have been transformed by the magic power of state categorization "communities" following the adoption of the "indigenous law" in 1993) have not been any choice to survive but to migrate to the big cities of the country to incorporate the employee and precarious work. No choice or almost ...

Good and bad Indian

Because in the 1990s, the new generation Mapuche, mostly landless, and reviving the history of mobilization of their parents under the Popular Unity government of Salvador Allende, has picked up the thread of their land claims have historically been usurped. Widely publicized and stigmatized, these struggles have left in the shadow hesitations many communities. To the repression of protest most decidedly are (police violence up to the death of several activists and jail), public individualisation policies (to promote the emergence of a Mapuche ethnic entrepreneurship ) and even precarious employment opportunities in the city, many of these communities have abandoned the collective dispute. Some prefer to enroll in the image of the "good Mapuche" worker and able to seize the opportunities a market society citizens sought, rather than that of "Indian terrorist", claiming its land defying the boundaries of private property.

This dichotomy - which is not only discursive since materialized in a series of governance arrangements (rewards for "good Indian" and punishment for "bad Indians") - was at the heart of government action since the return of democracy. The government of Bachelet opens under the auspices of modern socialism and renovated, which is not afraid to investors, and that promises a "growth with equity", also contributed his time to the erection of this mode Government of inequality.

Wiful (Ami AL)
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