The Colla Comuna Diego de Almagro Indigenous Community, and through social networks, denounces the alleged usurpation of land by a third party, in which a series of actions are allegedly being carried out to the detriment of the community and the Colla people in the region.
In the complaint and which is signed by the representatives of the community, they inform the citizens of the situation they are currently experiencing: «Through this letter and on behalf of the “Colla Comuna Diego de Almagro Indigenous Community” we want to denounce the outrage and usurpation of our territory by Wilfredo Hernán Cerda Contreras, who, abusing indigenous legislation, is developing a series of actions to the detriment of our community and the Colla people of the region.
It is public knowledge that our organization was the first Indigenous Community to establish itself in the commune of Diego de Almagro and one of the oldest in Atacama (June 1995).
During these 27 years of existence, we have maintained a sustained and transparent job of safeguarding the Cultural Heritage and the Territory that our families have used ancestrally.
In this context, three of our partners, who practice transhumance and live by raising goats in the areas surrounding the town of Inca de Oro, have been expelled from the grazing area of the Quebrada de Cadillal, as they were deprived of access to the water that our people have used ancestrally for human and animal consumption. Along with the water, we have lost rich grazing areas and medicinal herbs; fundamental elements for the survival of our animals and consequently, of our partners.
Abusing the condition of older adults and the defenselessness in which our partners find themselves, Wilfredo Cerda has prohibited them from accessing water, relying on rights obtained in a spurious manner; stating that if they want water, they must pay for it.
This character who does not have any legitimacy as a member of the Colla People, other than the abusive use of permissive indigenous legislation, has requested 22 water rights over our territories in the Commune of Diego de Almagro.
Together with these requests for water rights, it carries out an insistent and aggressive campaign to establish itself as an Indigenous Community, alleging rights of “mining transhumance” on Andean territories that include zones of the Communes of Diego de Almagro, Copiapó and Tierra Amarilla.
With the authority that our history gives us, and the memory of our ancestors who have lived for centuries in the territory, we subtract any legitimacy from Wilfredo Cerda and his attempts to validate himself as a Community. In the Colla Culture there is no “mining transhumance”this is an invention of this gentleman and of whom
He misadvises him, seeking to justify a pronouncement favorable to his ambition, on the part of the political authority.
In the Cordillera, Precordillera and Pueblo de Inca de Oro, nobody knows him, therefore, behind his actions, there is only an opportunistic desire and the intention of profiting by selling water, and with the existing companies in the area. All this also taking advantage of privileged information at the mining level, which this man handles for previous jobs that have been related to this sector.
We accuse the State of Chile of failing to comply with its international commitments, by promoting the transgression of the ancestral rights of our Community and by extension, of the Colla people.
Likewise, we accuse the General Directorate of Waters of Atacama, dependent on the Ministry of Public Works, of failing to comply with its obligation to carry out an Indigenous Consultation at the request of a private party on water rights that have been used ancestrally by our people, as established in the ILO Convention 169, on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries.
We demand that the National Indigenous Corporation of Atacama once again reject the spurious attempts of Wilfredo Cerda and his advisers to constitute themselves as a Community on the territories of our organization. There is no anthropological study that can validate the quality of Indigenous Community of these people, simply because they have not belonged, nor do they belong to the Territory.
We call on the advisor, Mr. Lautaro Loncón Antileo, so that he does not continue to endorse such ambition and lies. We appeal to his condition as a Mapuche and brother of the constituent Mrs. Elisa Loncón Antileo -and the influence that this means in the political authorities- so that he does not continue supporting the exploitation of these people outside our territory, who far from making a claim fair and decent protection of the rights of the Original Peoples, abuse the Indigenous Law with petty interests and unilaterally interpret the Principle of Good Faith.
We summon private companies that seek to settle in the region, to inform themselves and not endorse this use, making false and artificial agreements with people who do not belong to the territory and we invite them to take this fact as a precedent, to which we must be vigilant.
We invite our brothers Collas and Diaguitas, to join the efforts to put a stop to the exploitation of all those who, in an illegitimate manner, seek to usurp the Territories of the Indigenous Communities of Atacama.
Finally, we ask the Regional Governor, Mr. Miguel Vargas Correa, and the Presidential Delegate, Mr. Gerardo Tapia, to take part in all the necessary actions to restore the use of Ancestral Waters and lost grazing areas in the Quebrada de Cadillal and to actively oppose the attempts of spurious groups, who seek to become Indigenous Communities, abusing the permissiveness of the law, since this violates the legitimate rights of the Original Peoples of Atacama. We ask Governor Miguel Varas and delegate Gerardo Tapia to receive us to deliver the background of this complaint and join the search for solutions,” the statement said.
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Colla Indigenous Community Comuna Diego de Almagro denounces alleged usurpation of land by a third party | Digital medium The Northern Fox
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