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Tue Apr 16, 2019, 12:07 AM

'We are hostages': indigenous Mapuche accuse Chile and Argentina of genocide

Group told international criminal court the countries had committed genocide and torture against indigenous populations

Mat Youkee
Fri 12 Apr 2019 05.00 EDT Last modified on Fri 12 Apr 2019 11.40 EDT

Representatives of South America’s indigenous Mapuche people have petitioned the international criminal court (ICC) to take action against the governments of Chile and Argentina for acts of genocide and crimes against humanity.

Lonko Juana Calfunao, who led the delegation to The Hague on Thursday said that since their formations, both countries had committed crimes including genocide and torture against their indigenous populations.

“In the so-called Pacification of Araucania, the Chilean army with the complicity of the Catholic church, invaded our territory, burned our [homes], killing our people and drowning babies in the rivers,” Calfunao told the Guardian. “Even today … we are hostages of states that don’t recognize our Mapuche nationality.”

The legal battle has a curious origin and backer: the Kingdom of Araucania and Patagonia, the surviving government in exile of an ephemeral 19th-century state.


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