Monday, March 15, 2010

Earthquake in Chile: A Mapuche Indigenous Perspective

Mapuche Region in Chile Devastated by Earthquake
Photo New York Times

From Glenn Morris:
Although the international media have reported on the enormous earthquake that struck Chile last week, almost all of the reporting has concerned the northern and central areas of the country. The central-southern region, where most of the indigenous Mapuche Indian territory is located, has been virtually ignored. The report below from José Mariman Quemenado, a Mapuche scholar residing in Denver, gives a glimpse of conditions in the Mapuche region, and methods for people to assist our indigenous relatives, who are being ignored by the Chilean government. Please post and distribute widely. --Glenn Morris, Denver

Denver 03/07/2010

Marri marri pu ladmien pu peñi! (Hello sisters and brothers!)
By Jose Mariman Quemenado

On Saturday, February 27, 2010 a mega earthquake 8.8 (Richter scale) affected the central area of Chile. Between the V region and the IX region of Chile, that is, the most populated area of the country and where the most important cities are located (Valparaíso, Santiago the capital, Concepción, and Temuco, the heart of the ancient Mapuche territory). Many people lost their houses completely or they are uninhabitable. But the worst part of this disaster is that after the earthquake a tsunami crashed into the coastal area, destroying several small towns. People there lost everything.

Among those destroyed towns is Tirúa, in the border between the VIII and IX region, which was around 40% destroyed, and Puerto Saavedra in the IX region. Those places are inhabited principally by Mapuche Indigenous people (60 to 70% of the total population), and they are the poorest of the poor in Chile (principally artisanal fisherman or peasants).

Today, a week after the earthquake, we don´t know exactly how much damage occurred in those areas, because the Chilean media are focused on informing about what happened between Santiago and Concepcion, and the government agencies are more concerned with those areas. However, we know from sporadic information (internet, local media, and Mapuche organizations), that people are living in improvised campgrounds on the hills, wearing only the clothes that they wore the day of the tragedy, without food and clean water (water wells in rural areas collapsed or are contaminated and public potable water is recovering slowly). In the short-term Mapuche organizations, firemen, churches, college students and Chilean NGOs are working to provide food and water for these people, but in the long-term nobody knows how long this may last.

Because winter is coming very soon to a rainy south of Chile (April is the month when the rainy season starts), and because the Mapuche affected by the earthquake and tsunami are not confident in government help and efficiency, as a Mapuche immigrant to the States I am soliciting your solidarity with my people. Please, these people urgently need winter clothes for children, women and men. Also, they need blankets or sleeping bags and different size shoes. You can send your own parcel directly to Mapuche organizations in Chile or Chilean NGOs at the addresses at the end of this note.

Thanks very much in the name of my people,

Pewkayal (Good bye)

Jose A. Mariman Quemenado, PhD. (Mapuche)
(Affiliate professor, Metropolitan State College of Denver)
724 W, Sterne Pkwy, Littleton CO, 80120, USA


Titua town in youtube.

Puerto saavedra

Addresses to lend assistance, or to receive more information:

José Aylwin (Director)
Observatorio Ciudadano
Antonio Varas 428
Temuco, Región de la Araucanía, Chile
Fono: +56 (45) 213963
Fax: +56 (45) 218353 -

Marisol Huenuman L. (Secretaria)
Identidad Territorial Lafkenche
Los carreras N°152
Temuco, Región de la Araucanía, Chile
(001-56) 8-9961925 (cell)

Organizaciones de sociedad civil hacen llamado a la solidaridad y se coordinan para ayudar a comunidades costeras de la región de la Araucanía

· Un conjunto de organizaciones de la sociedad civil de la Araucanía se coordinan para ir en apoyo de la comunidades más afectadas por el terremoto en la región, principalmente en la zona costera y sectores aledaños. La acción solidaria se hará en coordinación con comunidades y dirigentes locales e indígenas.

Temuco, 3 de marzo de 2010

Luego de recabar información de los lugares más afectados por el terremoto y tsunami en la zona costera de la región de la Araucanía, un conjunto de organizaciones vinculadas a la sociedad civil y de organizaciones mapuches se han reunido para coordinar apoyos específicos para las comunas de Toltén, Saavedra y Tirúa.

Para estas organizaciones es relevante apoyar a éstas y otras comunidades, principalmente la recomposición de sus organizaciones locales para que puedan cumplir un aporte específico de ayuda y reconstrucción al interior de sus comunidades. Por eso hacen un llamado también a los dirigentes locales a comunicar los requerimientos que puedan servir con a propósito.

El grupo de organizaciones hace un llamado también a las diversas organizaciones sociales, estudiantiles, gremiales, organismos de derechos humanos, mujeres, del pueblo mapuche y a todos quienes quieran apoyar con alimentos no perecibles, materiales de aseo, pilas, implementos para dormir y de comunicación, los que serán distribuidos a dichas comunidades a contar del viernes 5 de marzo. Una primera caravana saldrá desde Temuco este viernes a las 9:00 horas.

Los aportes se recibirán en las oficinas del Observatorio Ciudadano, ubicada en calle Antonio Varas 428, Temuco. Fono: 45 – 213963 / Móvil: 89001189, de 09:00 a 19:00 horas.

Las organizaciones agradecen desde ya la difusión de este mensaje y los aportes solidarios que se hagan llegar.

Observatorio Ciudadano / Agenda Regional AGRA/ Red de Acción Ambiental RADA/ GEDES / REDESOLES / Grupo de Trabajo por los derechos colectivos / Mapuexpress / CODEFF / Casa de Arte Mapuche / Comunidad Desarrollo Humano / CIISOC-UFRO / Fundación Indígena Indígena.




Observatorio de Derechos de los Pueblos Indígenas




Nº RUT: 65.436.570-9


Bank name

Banco Santander


Bank account number

63 547 409



Arturo Prat 724. Temuco





Antonio Varas 428. Segundo piso




Region / Province / County / State








Telephone / Cell phone

56 45 213963

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