Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

BUSINESS DAILY

Oil-producing nations meet as cracks emerge in production deal

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Head of French armed forces quits; Six months of President Trump

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Man vs Shark: Michael Phelps loses 'race' to great white

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Chris Froome 'almost' among the greats with fourth Tour de France win

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

International Francophone Games kick off in Abidjan

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Iran open to dialogue with Saudis, says top diplomat

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Spicer bows out of White House

Read more

FOCUS

Iraq's Mosul: Rebuilding a city fractured by sectarian mistrust

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Bistrot or bust? Why France's famed cafés are disappearing

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Political and social events from the Americas, with exclusive reports and interviews. Every Wednesday at 5.45 pm Paris time.

Latest update : 2010-02-24

Who should take the lead in rebuilding Haiti?

In this edition: as Haiti is still reeling from the earthquake, the focus now shifts to reconstruction efforts; in Chile, the indigenous Mapuche people are fighting to recover land annexed by the government over a century ago; and the US military is using an increasing number of unmanned drones that kill the enemy without putting soldiers in harm's way.

The Mapuche people fights to recover land, by Antoine Raux

Virgin forests, rivers, we are in Araucania, the heartland of the indigenous Mapuche people, 700 kilometres south to Santiago. A seemingly quiet countryside, but now considered a conflict zone by the Chilean state. Here, 10 years ago, the Mapuches, for a long time marginalised, woke up to recover their ancestral territory.

"Here on both sides you have private properties. To reach our community you need to cross these lands that are under police surveillance. Look! There you have a cabin where they are stationed 24hours a day with dogs", says Rodrigo Huenchullan, driving on a dirt track of Temucuicui commnunity.

After many illegal occupations, this autonomous community of 120 families has obliged the state to buy nearly 2000 hectares that had been appropriated by a forestry company. And the struggle is going on to recover more land. But anti terrorist laws, inherited from Pinochet, are still used to threaten indigenous activists.


"Here all the members of the community have been to jail. All of them know what it is to be imprisoned, to have to operate in secret. They all know what suffering is", says Jorge Huenchullan, spokesman of the community.


In the detention centre of Temuco, the provincial capital, many militants are incarcerated. Sergio Quidel, the leader of the Coordinnation Arauco Malleco (CAM), one of the more radical Mapuche groups, is among them. We have been authorized to meet him in the prison: "We have been accused of arson and attempted murder. But they can never prove anything. Every time we are victims of a police set-up. We are political prisoners", affirms the militant.


The redistribution of land to indigenous people began after the return of democracy in Chile. Since then 600.000 hectares have been returned. The Mapuche people claim 6 million. Every time the government gives back a property, it organizes a flashy ceremony in a hotel. A governmental party which is not to Gladys Trañalao's taste.


"This is a right, not a gift. I could have done without the ceremony. I would have preferred something simpler, and quicker." says this heiress of one acre of land that belongs to her father.


Nothing similar happened to mark the return of the 270 hectares of the Santa Margarita estate. In august, the assassination of a 20 year old militant accelerated the process. In an attempt to buy peace, the property has been given to one of the more violent communities.


"The policeman who killed one of our brothers has been promoted. When this kind of thing happens, we truly feel like we are from a different country", says a member of the Juan Catrilaf II Comunity.


The Mapuche people claim self government on all the territory that is historically theirs. But their experience leads them to fear that the new government will instead favour forestry companies that exploit the country’s rich natural resources.
 

 

Programme prepared by Gregory White

COMMENT(S)

Archives

2017-07-19 television

Game of Thrones returns: Mega fans bask in themed pop-up bar

The award-winning fantasy epic "Game of Thrones" is entering its seventh and penultimate season - meaning the end is nigh. To prepare for the impending finale, some fans are...

Read more

2017-07-12 El Salvador

Outrage over teen rape case in El Salvador

This week we head to El Salvador, where a 19-year-old woman has been sentenced to 30 years in jail for giving birth to a stillborn baby after she was raped. Amnesty International...

Read more

2017-07-06 Venezuela

The Venezuelans living in exile

Protests against the government of President Nicolas Maduro have swept across Venezuela for the past three months. At least 80 people have been killed and hundreds more jailed or...

Read more

2017-06-29 Brazil

Combatting corruption in Brazil through smart software

We head to Brazil for a closer look at the world's first anti-corruption software. It might not be capable of stopping the graft scandals engulfing the country, but it does keep...

Read more

2017-06-22 Uber

Travis Kalanick: Uber boss steps down amid controversy

It's been eight years since Uber came onto the scene and shook things up with its ride-hailing app that matches drivers with passengers. In that time, the company has been hit by...

Read more