Mapuche genocide needs international attention … and ICC action

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…

What happened after Chile withdrew from the Escazú Agreement?

In 2018, 16 Latin American and Caribbean countries signed the legally-binding Escazú Agreement, which sought to counter government and multinational corruption, exploitation of resources and violence against environmental activists in the region. Costa Rica and Chile had pioneered the agreement, the latter under former President Michelle Bachelet, even as, on home terrain, Mapuche activists seeking…

Repatriating remains is an obligation not a gift

The South Australian Museum is rectifying slivers of colonial damage with the announcement that it will repatriate the remains of over 4000 Aboriginal people to their communities. This will be welcome news for Aboriginal communities, but also a reminder of the need to lobby against policies that deprive them of the right to a dignified connection with…

Australia’s politicians have a history of ‘othering’ Muslims and normalising right wing bigotry

Following the New Zealand terror attack, there has been a plethora of statements from politicians worldwide, ranging from perfunctory condolences to victim blaming. Australian Senator Fraser Anning’s tweet, “Does anyone still dispute the link between Muslim immigration and violence?” is not a solitary sentiment. Indeed, the only factor distinguishing Anning from the right-wing elements in any…

Land rights and climate change in Chile, Brazil

The High Court of Australia last week handed down ‘the biggest native title ruling affecting Aboriginal ownership of the land in decades’. According to lawyers representing mining companies the ruling could ‘trigger compensation applications from many of the hundreds of native title holder groups around Australia, which could amount to billions of dollars’. The ruling recognises two losses…

Australia’s Chile extradition test

Five years ago, the Chilean courts made an extradition request to Australia, to return former National Intelligence Directorate (DINA) agent Adriana Rivas to face justice for her role in the kidnapping, torture and disappearances of seven dictatorship opponents affiliated with the Chilean Communist Party and the Revolutionary Left Movement. On 19 February, the news that…

EU’s dirty dealings with Libya over refugees

In 2018, an estimated 23,000 refugee children arrived in Europe through Mediterranean trajectories, landing in Italy, Spain and Greece. During the first two weeks of January 2019, 400 refugee children arrived in Europe. The United Nations International Children’s emergency Fund (UNICEF) is asking the EU to adopt ‘a region-wide approach’ to prevent further suffering for minors, at…

Collusion in the name of democracy: The EU and Palestine

Last December, Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas dissolved the Palestinian Legislative Council and indicated that elections would be held within six months. The decision was rejected by Palestinian factions, notably Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). Hamas deemed the decision “an invalid political decision because it is issued by an illegal body”….

Brazil President slights indigenous rights

  During his speech at the World Economic Forum on Tuesday, Brazil’s right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro was adamant that throughout his tenure, the country would be open to global investors. In a weak attempt at creating a semblance of balance between economic growth and environmental protection, Bolsonaro stated, ‘It is now our mission to make progress…

The Farce of Arab Humanitarian Aid in Palestine

In recent months, Gaza’s humanitarian situation has been under intense, albeit useless scrutiny. There is no disagreement that deprivation has reached unprecedented levels. Yet this consensus was also the product of an international effort that supports the Palestinian Authority (PA) regaining complete control over Gaza. In the words of UN Special Coordinator Jamie McGoldrick, the PA “would…