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Chile

EN MG PKG F24 MAPUCHE CHILI_oPT_0 MIX OK

On Sunday November 19, Chile will hold presidential and legislative elections. Fourteen million people will head to the urns, including the indigenous Mapuche. Based in the South of Chile, the Mapuche - literally "people of the land" - have been fighting with the Chilean State to reclaim their lands for over 200 years. Today, there are between 600,000 and 1 million members of these descendents of pre-Columbian civilisations. They're pushing hard to get multinationals out of what is their region. The tension is palpable, often erupting into violence. There's a constant and heavy police presence in their region. Some right-wing members of political parties label the community "terrorists". Last month four Mapuches went on a hunger strike demanding fair justice. With election day here, the Mapuche are high on the political agenda in Chile.

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