Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

"Todos somos Americanos"

Read more

WEB NEWS

Sydney siege: Australians show solidarity with Muslims

Read more

ENCORE!

"Charlie's Country" director Rolf de Heer on the contemporary Aboriginal condition

Read more

FOCUS

Hunt for Joseph Kony and LRA militants continues

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

‘China needs Tibetan culture of peace,’ says Dalai Lama

Read more

FACE-OFF

Immigration in France: Hollande slams scaremongers

Read more

ENCORE!

'Charlie's Country' director Rolf de Heer on the contemporary Aboriginal condition

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Egypt: Gay community fears government crackdown

Read more

DEBATE

Taliban school massacre: At least 140 dead in Peshawar assault (part 2)

Read more

Political and social events from the Americas, with exclusive reports and interviews. Our journalists also give you a quirky take on the news! Every Wednesday at 5.45 pm Paris time.

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

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

2014-12-11 CIA

CIA misled White House and public about torture, Senate report says

We look at the explosive report that says America's top intelligence agency compromised national values. Also, Uruguay agrees to take six inmates from Guantanamo Bay. It is of...

Read more

2014-12-03 USA

US police under surveillance

This week, by announcing 50,000 body cameras for US police, Barack Obama vows to use his two years left in office to prevent a repeat of the fatal Ferguson killing. Next, Bill...

Read more

2014-11-20 USA

Obama to take executive action on immigration

This week, US President Barack Obama prepares to announce an executive order on immigration. We head to Colorado to investigate how much some states rely on undocumented workers.

Read more

2014-11-13 Osama bin Laden

Bin Laden's alleged killer speaks out

This week, the man who says he fired the final shots that killed Osama bin Laden has stepped out of the shadows. We bring you more on that former US Navy Seal's first ever...

Read more

2014-11-05 USA

US midterms: Obama loses the Senate

The Republican party has swept the midterm elections, as expected, leaving a lame duck presidency for Barack Obama's final two years in office.

Read more