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…

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…

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…

Mapuche murders not just a right-wing issue

The killing of Mapuche youth Camilo Catrillanca earlier this month triggered outrage throughout Chile and the resurgence of a prevailing fear that the country is becoming increasingly militarised. President Sebastian Pinera has indeed acted upon his electoral promises, which included restructuring the dictatorship-era anti-terror laws in order to make it easier to criminalise the indigenous…

How relatives of Chile’s disappeared are exposing dictatorship-era torturers

The return of the right wing to power in Chile has come at the expense of those still seeking justice for crimes committed during the 17-year U.S.-backed dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, which ended in 1990. Former President Michelle Bachelet’s failure to close the luxury five-star prison of Punta Peuco that houses ex-torturers and military agents…

BOOK REVIEW: Ingrid Olderock. La Mujer de los Perros

“In this type of investigation, objectivity is non-existent.” Alejandro Solís Muñoz’s statement in his prologue to “Ingrid Olderock: la mujer de los perros” necessitates reflection. Objectivity, in the wrong hands, is a weapon of normalising violence and human rights violations. The end result would be normalising the dictatorship and its atrocities. It would also be…

In Chile, dismissing Mapuche resistance as terrorism

Saturday marked the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People. In the U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon’s futile rhetoric, “The interests of the indigenous people must be part of the new development agenda in order for it to succeed … Together, let us recognize and celebrate the valuable and distinctive identities of indigenous people around the…