NACLA Update 09/10/09 - Chile's Mapuches Call For Regional Autonomy

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Chile's Mapuches Call For Regional Autonomy
by Roque Planas

Mapuche political leaders are taking the logic of land reform one step further and demanding regional autonomy for Wallmapu, as Mapudungun speakers call the Araucanía. In an appearance on the television talk show Tolerancia Cero, a spokesman for the Council of All Lands (Consejo de Todas las Tierras) Aucán Huilcán, proposed the creation of an autonomous, self-governed area south of the Bío Bío river. Huilcán cited the rights to political self-determination and regional autonomy granted by the 2007 UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as the legal basis for the demand.
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Spying Scandal Highlights the Use of Colombia's Women as Weapons of War
by Kristina Aiello

The Inter-American Commission of Human Rights (IACHR) recently expressed concern over revelations that Colombia's Administrative Security Department (DAS), the powerful intelligence arm of the president's office, had spied on IACHR Commissioner and Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Women Susana Villarán and her delegation during a June 2005 visit to Colombia. The Uribe administration's interest in spying on that mission points to its concern that an international investigation might highlight Colombia's abysmal women's rights record, including the underreported use of sexual violence as a favored weapon of war by the country's many armed groups.
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September/October 2009:
Political Environments: Development, Dissent, and the New Extraction

Conflicts over natural resources are on the rise in Latin America. Even with a global downturn in foreign investing, capital has been flowing steadily into the region's growing mining and hydrocarbon sectors, as governments push the extraction agenda. Indeed, the presidential decrees that touched off violence in Bagua, Peru, in June were "only the most brazen" expression of a new continent-wide push to open up frontiers to various extractive industries, as noted in this Report. The articles in this issue make clear that conflicts in the region over natural resources occur in a variety of "political environments"—from neoliberal Peru to anti-neoliberal Bolivia. The aim of this Report is thus to showcase examples of natural resource conflicts in which development projects and environmentalism collide, in the context of the region's "new extraction."
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