Public Declaration – Belén says NO to Mining

Many declarations are being issued in support of the Mapuche people in the aftermath of the attack by right wing mobs of Friday 1st and Saturday 2nd August. Here is one from Belen Says No To Mining, an activist group from an Aymara and Quechua speaking part of northern Chile in support of the mapuche people and nation. 

2 August 2020 Arica

As a movement, Belen says NO to Mining is formed by Aymara and Quechua people from the town of Belen, in the Chilean region of Arica and Parinacota. We defend our town from predatory mining and its contaminating effects, an extractivist attack aided by the Chilean state, who ignores our traditional forms of relationship with Pachamama [the environment]. We express to the local, regional, national and international community, that: 

       We condemn the acts of violence against the Mapuche people, which took place on the night of the 1st of August and morning of August 2nd 2020, which was disseminated on social networks where during curfew, there was an attack which was allowed to go ahead unpunished by police. People were attacked and various municipal buildings burned that had been occupied by Mapuche land and rights defenders. They had decided to carry out this occupation to demand that the Chilean state solve the issue of the Mapuche political prisoners who have been on hunger strike for more than 90 days.

        These acts of violence against the Mapuche people come after the visit from the Interior Minister to the Araucanía region, Victor Perez, who according to the national press said “I take the opportunity to urge mayors to take the decision they ought to take by law and ask for an eviction. The occupation of the municipal building means that work can not proceed and this affects all the inhabitants of the municipality.”        

He added “In Chile there are no political prisoners. By political prisoners we mean those who are deprived of freedom for their ideas. Here we have people who are here due to legal process, not government tribunals (..) so we will always respect the resolutions of the legal courts.”       

This declaration by the Minister only serves to ratify the racist view of indigenous peoples, and the mapuche specifically.

         From the extreme north of Chile, we offer our solidarity to the Mapuche nation and people, and our support for their territorial demands, we understand the pain it must generate for them to not be in their ancestral lands and see how private companies exploit their land without respecting the relationship that isthe foundation of Suma Qamaña / Sumak Kawsay [live well and in harmony with nature]

        We join the call for freedom for Mapuche political prisoners, where we believe that keeping an authority figure such as a Machi in prison, will create great pain and feeling of resentment at the lack of respect for our ways of life as original peoples.  

       And finally, we call on all people, communities, organisations of indigenous peoples of Qollasuyo [indigenous regional subdivision including Aymara and Mapuche indigenous land] to show solidarity with the people of the Mapuche nation, to condemn the violence and demand that the Chilean nation respect the rights of indigenous peoples        

Belen says NO to mining can be found on Facebook

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