President Creates Ministry of Indigenous People in Chile


An article from Prensa Latina

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet signed today at La Moneda Palace the laws that create the Ministry of Indigenous People, the National Council and the Indigenous People”s Councils.

Photo from Latercera

In a simple ceremony, Bachelet congratulated herself on benefiting, at last, the original Chilean indigenous people, who include new ethnic groups recognized by the State, with a ministry devoted to them.

We have the duty of making our nation a country where its multiculturalism and plurality, the president asserted.

She said the ides was generating more spaces for the cultural richness of our identities to be expressed and to guarantee respect and equal treatment to all men and women, something that all people and beliefs deserve.

According to an official press release, to create these authorities, representatives of the ethic groups Aymara, Quechua, Atacameños, Diaguitas, Kollas, Rapa Nui, Kawesqar, Yaganes and Mapuche were consulted.

The president explained that the new ministry would collaborate with the presidency of the Republic to design, coordinate and assess policies, plans and programs aimed at encouraging and strengthen the rights of the original people.

The new institution would also work in favor of their socioeconomic, political and cultural development, as well as to seek elimination of all forms of arbitrary discrimination.

In Chile, there is a conflict with the indigenous people, especially with the Mapuche, who demand the return of their lands, seized by transnational companies.

( Click here for the original version in Spanish.)

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