Santiago (Agenzia Fides) - "I believe that when the Head of State, on behalf of the State and the country, asks for public forgiveness to indigenous peoples, and especially this time to the Mapuche people, for the shortcomings in the last 150 years, this is a gesture and a sign that must be considered in all its greatness, and has to do with the policy of recognition". With these words His Exc. Mgr. Hector Vargas, Bishop of Temuco, Member of the Commission For the Mapuche cause at the dialogue table for Araucania, commented on the intervention of Chile's President, Michelle Bachelet, who on June 23 symbolically delivered the expected "Araucanía Plan" to the entire Chilean people which intends to put an end to the historical conflict between the State and the Mapuche people.
The Bishop thus commented on the gesture: "We know that the government has worked on the Advisory Commission's report for four months. We still do not know the rest of the proposals that were written because it would have been very long to do so in detail, however, we should go and see them in order to have a complete idea. But a number of delicate issues tackled, I think represent a step forward".
At the ceremony of the delivery of the Plan, the President asked for "forgiveness to the Mapuche people for the mistakes and horrors committed or tolerated by the State in its relationship with them or their communities".
According to the note sent to Fides by a local source, the measures of this Plan aim at the constitutional recognition of the Mapuche people, the productive development and the expansion of compensation programs for victims of violence. On this last point, the President said in her speech: "I recognize the pain and the losses that have affected all the victims of rural violence in the region in those moments when we failed, as a State, to ensure peace and to protect their integrity". Mgr. Vargas, concludes the note, said in the end: "Such gesture, can be very encouraging for all of us, it is the beginning of a path of true justice".
The Dialogue Table, led by Mgr. Vargas (See Fides 22/07/2016), was fundamental to this success (See Fides 25/01/2017). (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 26/06/2017)