Mapuche genocide needs international attention … and ICC action

L-R: Judge Baltasar Garzón and Chilean Ethical Commission Against Torture founder Juana Calfunao. | Courtesy of Calfunao.

In the early 1860s, French lawyer Orelie de Tounens travelled to Araucania and established himself as King with the consent of the indigenous population. Contrary to the colonial agenda which would later massacre 90 percent of the Mapuche population in an invasion known as the “Pacification of Araucania”, de Tounens established a system based upon Mapuche traditional assembly, according to Reynaldo Mariqueo.

De Tounens was eventually banished from Chile. Yet since de Tounens, there has always been a Mapuche Kingdom representative in France. While the symbolic value in terms of Mapuche sovereignty has been recognised within the community, Luz’s decision to present the case to the ICC goes beyond symbolism and marks a form of anti-colonial diplomatic strategy.

Speaking to the Wry Ronin, Reynaldo Mariqueo from Mapuche International Link explained, “Juana Calfunao’s visit to the ICC was made possible due to the intervention of Prince Frederic. Following the compilation of information on human rights violations committed by the governments of Chile and Argentina under Sebastian Piñera and Mauricio Macri, as well as members of their governments who are promoting and committing genocide and crimes against humanity against the Mapuche, the Prince wrote a letter to be delivered to the ICC.”

Consultation with the indigenous communities in Chile and Argentina, as well as documents prepared by the Mapuche Human Rights Commission and other information presented to the UN Human Rights Council formed part of the dossier presented to the ICC. The ICC, said Mariqueo, will formulate a reply to Prince Frederic as regards to acknowledgement and forthcoming processes.

About Calfunao’s meeting with judge Garzón, Mariqueo stated that advice was offered as regards to the best way to represent the Mapuche and communicate the case to the ICC.

Prince Frederic Luz not only remarked upon the genocidal acts committed against the Mapuche, but also the links between massacres, dispossession and criminalisation of resistance.

“In the past, Argentine and Chilean states colluded in the physical genocide of the Mapuche people, to destroy its state. Now they collaborate in order to repress and criminalise their just demands for their rights. They use legislation and anti-terrorist laws to violate their individual and collective human rights, police raids, detentions, violence and even assassinations, all techniques designed to exterminate them as a people.”

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