Genocide and Territorial Occupation in the Araucania by Tupak HuehuecoyotlTweet
What is the distinction between a moral sin and the admission of guilt and complicity in a crime of international character such as a crime against humanity, such as is codified in the international legal system since 1948 as the crime of GENOCIDE?
The Continental Commission Abya Yala, installed in the Territories of the Lenape Nation [Philadelphia, USA] on September 21, 2015, before the visit of Pope Francis to that North American city, has arrived in Temuco, Wallmapuche [Chile]in diplomatic liaison with the Mapuche Commission of Historical Clarification with the motive of advancing strategically and systematically in the process of DISMANTLING the DOCTRINE OF DISCOVERY of Christianity (October 12, 1492) that was promulgated through the Papal Bulls Inter Caetera (1493) , and then standardized in the legal systems of the states of the Americas to politically perfume with an imperialist theology the genocide and colonization of the Original Nations of Abya Yala [Americas].
In San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico, in February 2016, the Continental Commission Abya Yala was reinstated in the context of the arrival of Pope Francis in that city, and once again traveled to do the same again in Bogotá, Colombia in September 2017 when the Pope visited that country.
All of the above with the purpose of clarifying, understanding, raising consciousness and acting in a coherent manner in the full exercise of the Right of Self Determination as Original Nations in Continental Confederation of the Eagle Condor Abya Yala, defenders of the Human Rights of our Future Generations and the Territorial Integrity of the Mother Earth.
This will be the second visit a Catholic Pope to the Mapuche-Wallmapuche territory. The first time was Pope John Paul II and now Pope Francis. That first visit was made in the era of the dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet and it although it may seem that the era of state dictatorship is something of the past, however for the Mapuche Nation everything is recent and current.
The purported claims of jurisdiction of the Chilean State over the Mapuche are rooted in a constitutional context based upon dictatorship of the Chilean state over our Mapuche People. The present national economic model of expropriation and exploitation of our territories and natural resources was also established during the military dictatorship, and subsequently improved during all post-dictatorship governments.
For the Mapuche people, the Doctrine of Denial continues to prevail. This constitutes a threat to the present and the future of the Mapuche culture which is founded in the well being of the land, our territory, natural resources and natural biodiversity – Itrofill-Moguen.
Also, this visit is made in the midst of the consequences of the counter restitution of lands with all its effects in full force, as well as Decree 701 that promotes the fomenting of forestry activities. The difference today is that the Mapuche are recognized as possessors of the right to self-determination as Peoples, equal to all other peoples, and with international recognition of the Treaties concluded with Spain and the State of Chile. All of this progress comes from the developments in the evolution of international law which contextualizes the present situation of the Mapuche as an Original Nation of Indigenous Peoples, revealing with enhanced visibility and clarity much more advanced than during the first visit from Pope John Paul II to the Wallmapuche.
The Mapuche have much to discuss and present before the current representative of the Vatican, in the context of a set of historical situations, including all the pronunciations of Popes from Alexander VI onwards and especially those of Pope Francis. From this historical dimension, the accompaniment of the Catholic Church as an ecclesiastical institution in the processes of land dispossession, evangelization, in short, colonialism and domestication has been to the detriment of the Mapuche people and their rights with all the consequences in the present.
In addition, because the visit of Pope Francis will occur in the midst of the reality of a multicultural region, which is however lacking the acceptable institutions for a respectful coexistence, a society confronted by the immensity of the void of a common standard of truth, perpetuating the daily unfolding of a historical context of continuity in the application and validation of the Doctrine of Denial with respect to the Mapuche people and their Human Rights.
A dialogue with Pope Francis is definitely within the realm of a close possibility, and in sincerity it would truly be a “dialogue between neighbors”, not only because the Pope carries Argentine nationality, but because as the Mapuche of both Ngulu Mapu (Bio Bio to the south) and Puelmapu (Mapuche of the East), Neuquén, Rio Negro and Chubut) we consider both Chileans and Argentines neighbors. Another dimension of closeness and relevancy is that Pope Francis, as a neighbor, knows the facts about what Argentine historians call “Conquest of the Desert”. He knows perfectly well the facts regarding the coercive military actions committed by the Chilean military during the operations called “Pacification of the Araucania”, which are the root causes of the current tensions and controversies that manifestly underlie the issues of conflict involving the Mapuche that are under the jurisdiction of both the Chilean and Argentinean State at the present time.
The dialogue with Pope Francis is an intimate conversation, because he knows perfectly well the history of kidnappings, illicit adoptions and illegal distribution of Mapuche children, actions committed in the framework of the so-called “Conquest of the Desert”. We are referring to yet another set of emblematic cases with which Pope Francis is very familiar such as that of Ceferino Namuncura, along with the kidnapping, torture and desecration of the bodies of Kallfucura and Inacayal Foyel, and others whose bodies were later taken and exhibited in museums in Buenos Aires.
Likewise, he knows of the coercive acts that the Argentine army implemented against Valentín Sayhueque the “Lord of the Government of the Manzanas”, and he also knows perfectly well of the Machiavellian actions of Perito Moreno in his role as spy, the pressures of Julio Argentino Roca to convince to the Argentine politicians, that is to say to the Parliament to commit the acts of genocide against the Mapuche Peoples, from the province of Neuquén, Rio Negro and Chubut. Pope Francis knows of the Neuquén massacre as one among other horrendous acts, contrary to peace, contrary to respect, to the dignity of Peoples and Human Rights.
The Vatican has a relationship with the Indigenous Peoples from the very initial presence of the Spanish imperial system in the Americas and then with the subsequent application of the “Doctrine of Discovery”, referring to the adoption and application of Papal Bulls Inter Caetera (1493) adopted and implemented by Pope Alejandro VI. This colonial normative system in its time, purported to give an apparent legality to the violent acts of conquest and seizure, confiscation and occupation of the territories of the Indigenous Peoples and disregard for their Human Rights, to the benefit of both the Spanish and Portugese Empires. These consequences of the “Doctrine of Discovery” remain fully in force in spite of the fact that with the adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in 2007 which reestablishes the Right to Self Determination of Indigenous Peoples.
With the inherent right of Self Determination recognized and affirmed as Indigenous Peoples by the UN Declaration the call to repudiate and revoke the Doctrine of Discovery has been called for by the UN system itself, for being illegal, illegitimate and contrary to the Rule of Law. Consequently the appropriate international legal processes of respect for the equality of Human Rights calls for the restitution, reparation and compensation to the benefit of Indigenous Peoples in terms of territory, lands and resources that were taken, confiscated and occupied without the Free, Prior, and Informed Consent of the Indigenous Peoples.
The Mapuche, without a doubt, have much to discuss with the Vatican and especially with Pope Francis, not only for having established a process of evangelization during the accompaniment of the violent “Pacification of the Araucania”, but, the Catholic Church became part of the acts that violated the human rights of the Mapuche people, both the rights of women and children, along with the consequences of the occupation, seizure and confiscation of the Mapuche territory and natural resources.
The historical and current relations between the Mapuche Nation, the Vatican and Pope Francis are of multiple dimension, with the single policy of evangelization having led to an immeasurable loss and damage to the Mapuche culture in all its manifestation. This has inevitably negatively affected the institutions that constitute the essence and foundation of Mapuche culture, that is to say, the Mapuche community government systems of the Lof.
In this regard it is enough to examine the practices of catholic evangelization in terms of the desecration of particular sites within the Mapuche territory and as a whole, considering it is these aspects of cultural constructed indigenous reality that locate the foundations of the most basic symbols of the Mapuche culture.
In the case of the Sacred Totem which was based in the Lof, (aka the Paine Reduction) the most sacred symbol of the Mapuche Culture known as Rewe, the Catholic Church simply called it “Mono” out of ignorance, and in disrespect for the spiritual significance to the Mapuche then renamed it as the “Mono Paine”. There has been no repentance or forgiveness asked for by the civil or ecclesiastic authorities for these actions of desecration and yet these are the elements of cultural relations in the Territory of Makewe where the meeting of Pope Francis with his adherents will take place.
The situation of Ceferino Namuncura and the acts of kidnapping of Mapuche children and adoption by non-Mapuche families, was carried out in a context of a military invasion where the right to live in peace was violated and by its nature and the characteristics of all the facts, constitutes a Crime against Humanity. Yet though the kidnapping of Mapuche children began in Argentina, the Argentine society is not horrified by these state sponsored actions of depredation as it has occurred with the kidnappings of the children of the detainees disappeared during the military dictatorship.
This is a good example of how certain situations that negatively affect the Mapuche people become accepted as commonplace, however, in certain sectors and especially with non-Mapuche people these same issues cause a reaction that shakes the very foundations of the society. It is not the same with the children of the Mapuche and in this case, the attitude of the public society is one that lends to a tacit permission.
It should be noted that certain sectors of the Catholic Church also played an important role in the past in the preparation of the “Mapuche Treaties” or the “Parliaments” as the Chilean historians call them. Although in Argentina it is denied that the Mapuche Nation have concluded Treaties with the Argentine State, the letters of Julio Argentino Roca to the Argentine Parliament and Perito Moreno’s actions show that those acts carried out in response to the resistance of the Mapuche constituted legitimate and proper characteristic acts characteristic of the Treaties that guide the Vienna Conventions.
The positive facts of the Jesuits that originated around the “Mapuche Treaties”, are were heavily overshadowed by the participation of the Bishop of Temuco Hector Vargas, as president of the Presidential Advisory Board of the Araucanía, an instance created by the President Michelle Bachelet. This entity adopted a text that contains 70 measures and that a rigorous examination shows that for the most part such recommendations are contained in the legal precepts of ILO Convention 169 and other complementary standards, except for some recommendations and that are obviously an effort that aims to “distort the history of Araucania” and “distort the history of the Mapuche people and their rights.” The affirmation of the text is apparently in deliberation, nevertheless, there has begun a process to compensate the individual victims of rural violence, avoiding in this way the need to compensate the victims who were the object of the state sponsored acts of collective genocide and the taking, confiscation and occupation of the Mapuche Nation territory and its resources.
In context of the document as adopted, with the participation of the Catholic Church in the figure of the Bishop of Temuco Héctor Vargas, in the immediate present historical moment of the Mapuche Peoples have borne witness again to the President of the Republic Michelle Bachelet on the occasion of the Mapuche New Year, June 24, 2017, manifesting a request for a Forgiveness from the Mapuche People. This plea for forgiveness is without any effect and as I described it at the time as served simply as a good act to promote complacency. Although the Mapuche were expecting to initiate a process for a Pardon under the guiding principles of Human Rights, it is also very understandable that there is to be no such process of leading to a Pardon, because nothing has been clarified, and instead the Presidential Advisory Board of the Araucanía adopted a document of a political nature to try to continue the “Pacification of the Araucanía”, that is, to continue with the policies of domestication and colonialism perpetrated in systemic violation of the Human Rights of the Mapuche Nation.
We emphasize and reaffirm with all the force of history to collectively face the imperative need of TRUTH, JUSTICE AND PEACE IN ARAUCANIA. At the moment that Pope Francis says to us: My Peace I Give You, we know that the peace that we have been offered after more than 5 centuries of the Hispanic era of domination and more than a century of the “Pacification of the Araucanía”, is indeed the real threat to our continued existence as Mapuche, and that Catholic evangelization has not given rise to Mapuche Peace, instead it has made Mapuchization impossible. The systematic the loss of territory and its resources has not brought Peace.
Peace for the Mapuche is the path of Self Determination. When the facts have been clarified and the victims have received just reparations, we could then build a Firm and Lasting Peace in the Wallmapuche and in the province of Neuquén, Rio Negro and Chubut.