AMERICA/CHILE - Archbishop Vargas: "A policy of indecision generates a debt with many wounds and painful consequences, not only for the indigenous world"

Wednesday, 24 June 2020 indigenous   environment   politics   bishops   economy  


Temuco (Agenzia Fides) - Mgr. Héctor Vargas Bastidas, Bishop of Temuco and President of the Indigenous Pastoral Care of the Chilean Episcopal Conference (CECh), in an interview published in the Diario Austral of the city of Temuco on Sunday 21 June, refers to the announcements and promises made to the indigenous world without carrying them out, in preparation for the celebration of the National Day of Indigenous Peoples, on June 24th.
In 2015, President Michelle Bachelet asked Mgr. Vargas about the difficult task of leading the commission for Araucania, an indigenous territory in the Latin American country. The Commission had managed to come up with a very concrete plan involving the Mapuche world in the political, religious, economic and social fields. In this interview, Mgr. Vargas recalls that precisely in proximity of the deadline to define an agreement between the government and indigenous peoples, there are still some unfinished points.
"It seems to me that throughout history the relationship with these peoples has not been able to meet the needs of this enormous challenge. A hesitant path is perhaps the result of a policy of indecision, which generates a debt with many wounds and painful consequences, not only for the indigenous world", said Mgr. Vargas.
"It is noteworthy that Presidents Bachelet and Piñera have publicly asked these peoples for forgiveness on behalf of the State. However, there has been little real progress on substantive issues, rather than specific measures, which create confusion because the promises the State has made often remain without significant effects", denounces the Bishop of Temuco.
The Prelate concludes with an attitude of hope: "Particular progress is needed in the real political will, to define solutions and honor commitments". (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 24/6/2020)