AMERICA/CHILE - Table for Dialogue to discuss Mapuche areas: indigenous representatives invitedi

Friday, 22 July 2016 indigenous   collaboration   violence   bishops  

Temuco (Agenzia Fides) – On Wednesday 20 July, Temuco hosted the second session of a Table for Dialogue for Araucania at which Bishop Hector Vargas took part as dialogue facilitator. At the end of the meeting Bishop Vargas informed the local press about the participation of the representatives of CAM (Coordinadora Arauco-Malleco), the main Mapuche representative group.
According to information sent to Fides, the prelate, who is Bishop of Temuco, illustrated his conversation with Héctor Llaitul, a leading member of CAM: "I explained to him the importance and aim of this table of dialogue and suggested they prepare and present their own interesting and reasonable proposal, in view of gradually overcoming conflicting opinions as has been obtained with the other institutions ". Llaitul replied that these matters must be tackled with calm and the involvement of all the other leading CAM members.
The participants at the Table of Dialogue met again yesterday 21 July to discuss difficulties regarding the indigenous peoples and the Mapuche areas. The meeting took place at the Universidad de la Frontera de Temuco, 16 of the 21 members were present.
In Chile’s Araucanía area what is known as the “Mapuche conflict” is a 90 year long dispute between the largest and most important ethnic group and farmers and entrepreneurs concerning areas of land which the Mapuche regard as their own ancestral heritage. In recent months several episodes of violent clashes between the indigenous Mapuche people and members of certain local farming communities were reported (see Fides 18/04/2016 e 24/05/2016), involving the torching of church buildings to give voice in a violent manner to the “Mapuche cause”, now the table of dialogue appears to be a means for the parties to tackle the situation together. (see Fides 4/07/2016).
(CE) (Agenzia Fides, 22/07/2016)