Mar 16, 2011
The Mapuche in Chile: The First European Conference
Brussels, Belgium

The first European Conference examining the state of Mapuche in modern Latin American States is convened by Oriol Junqueras Vies MEP in collaboration with UNPO.

to take place in Room ASP 1E3,
European Parliament, Brussels
on 24 March 2011 at 14:30.

PRLog (Press Release) – Mar 16, 2011 – Almost two centuries since Latin America was liberated from colonial domination, ethnic tensions and discrimination of the indigenous peoples of modern Latin American states remain current issues. Indigenous nations are struggling for their human rights and ancestral lands but policies adopted by some Latin American countries today do not respond to all the justified claims of their autochthonous populations.

The EU-Chile Association Agreement foresees European investment of over €16 million for social cohesion over 2007-2013, and the Mapuche issue has been stated to be of high importance to Chilean and EU authorities alike. But in 2011 the Mapuche nation in Chile is still a sad example of an indigenous nation marginalized by tough and inefficient state policy. The Pinochet era has been consigned to history but its antiterrorism laws still function, becoming one of the main instruments marginalising the indigenous population and their claims to civil, political, and human rights.

The crucial need for justice towards indigenous people claims in Latin America will be discussed at the first European Conference ‘The Mapuche in Chile: Indigenous Communities in Modern Latin American States’ that will be held in Room A1E3 in European Parliament in Brussels on 24 March 2011 at 14:30. The conference will bring academics, NGOs, and Mapuche representatives together in common discussion which will include Lonko Juana Calfunao (Mapuche leader), Arauco Chihuailaf (Mapuche academic), Rodrigue Olavarria (France Liberte?s) Maria Railaf (FOLIL Foundation), Jimena Reyes (FIDH) and Ramona Quiroga (indigenous women rights defender).

Oriol Junqueras Vies MEP, stated that “the time has come to address the discrimination that has for centuries blighted the Mapuche people for no fault other than their legitimate belief in the right of people to self-determination”. Following the return of UNPO from Wallmapu in December 2010, Marino Busdachin, UNPO General Secretary, remarked that the current situation of indigenous rights in Chile, and also much of Latin America remains “miserable – a mark on a continent that in only a few cases has seen measurable and substantives moves to improve the lives, wellbeing, and fortunes of indigenous people such as the Mapuche”.

More information on the conference is available from:

For media queries please contact:
Andrew Swan (EN) | +32 (0)472 577 518 |

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Registration is required and must be submitted before 21 March 2011
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