BY TIARE AGUILERA HEY FOR DEBATES INDÍGENAS
After 130 years of systematic breaches with the Agreement of Wills, the Constitutional Convention has opened a window of hope for the Rapa Nui people to achieve their right to self-determination and for the State of Chile to become a "friend of the island". Through extended open councils held on the island, the Rapa Nui are elaborating a special article that takes into account their specificities. This article is to be included in the new Constitution, with the objective that their voices finally be heard.
Photo: The Rapa Nui people’s pineapples at the Constituent Assembly. Photo: One
Despite steadily increasing since the 1990s, Chile’s Indigenous population has not seen any major variations since the 2017 census. 2,185,792 people self-identify as Indigenous, which is equivalent to 12.8% of the country's total population (17,076,076). The Mapuche are the most numerous (almost 1,800,000 individuals), followed by the Aymara (156,000) and the Diaguita (88,000).[i] Trends highlight the sustained increase in the urban Indigenous population, with 87.8% of Indigenous people now living in towns and cities compared to 12.2% in rural areas.[ii]
BY JOSÉ AYLWIN AND PABLO POLICZER FOR DEBATES INDÍGENAS
After Gabriel Boric's call for a peaceful solution to the conflict in the regions of Bío Bío and Araucanía, the most radical Mapuche organizations, along with some analysts and politicians, rejected the possibility of a negotiation. While tough on crime policies are popular, they only exacerbate the problem in the long run. The experience in other countries suggests that peace is possible, even in situations as complex as Chile's, and that third parties may be necessary to facilitate the dialogue process in a neutral manner.
Photo: Boric Press