AMERICA/CHILE - Araucania Forum: solutions must directly come from the people of the region

Thursday, 29 September 2016 indigenous   reconciliation   politics  


Santiago (Agenzia Fides) - The forum "Todos somos Araucanía", an event organized by Sofofa (Sociedad de Fomento Fabril), an organization representing more than 4,000 companies, 38 associations and 23 Chilean trade unions began with the slogan "Search for agreements and development for the region", with the participation of various political figures such as Interior Minister Mario Fernandez.
"The reality of La Araucania is now a problem of all of Chile, it is not a problem of that particular area. The violence and the fragility of the state of law in the south must be urgently addressed", said the President of Sofofa at the opening of the event, on September 27.
In his speech, the Bishop of the Diocese of Temuco, His Exc. Mgr. Héctor Eduardo Vargas Bastidas, S.D.B. said: "Unfortunately, the increasing diversity of victims of rural violence, which affects farmers, small property owners, laborers and their families, could lead to the risk of stigmatizing the legitimate demands of the Mapuche people, which must not be confused in any way with the reprehensible actions of radical groups". Then he added: "We should all be careful how to speak when we deal with the problem, avoiding the idea that this is a fight between the Mapuche and farmers, or worse, between the Mapuche and the settlers".
Interior Minister, Fernandez in his speech stressed that some measures, such as the increase of the police force, was insufficient to overcome the problem. He added that the solution is to "radically alter the course of things: analysis and solutions must come directly from the people of the region themselves, Mapuche and non-Mapuche" (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 29/09/2016)