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  • Chileans protesting against the President Sebastian Piñera.

    Chileans protesting against the President Sebastian Piñera. | Photo: EFE

Published 3 June 2019

Chilean President Sebastian Piñera's Indigenous consultation has been rejected by the Indigenous communities for violating their hard-won rights.

The Committees of Indigenous Peoples of the Communist, Progressive and Green Socialist Regionalist Front parties rejected the Indigenous Consultation being developed by the Chilean government to modify current Indigenous laws.

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The parties, in a statement, denounced changes proposed by the government which would affect land ownership, forms of organization, and the right to identity of the Indigenous communities.

The consultation of the government includes 11 measures aimed at incorporating Indigenous lands into the market, installing practices that are contrary to the cultures and worldview of indigenous peoples, and finally reducing their collective rights.

The Indigenous communities said instead of showing good faith during the consultation and having a sincere dialogue, the state is intimidating them by stationing Carabineros (Chilean military police) inside and outside the meeting rooms.

They also spoke out against the absence of Indigenous authorities from the planning meetings.

The groups said they would appeal to the international and national court of justice in the face of the violation of rights in the whole consultation process.

They added that the Indigenous consultation is a right of the people, and should be destined in favor of the latter and not as a form of imposition and an attempt to take back hard-won rights.

The Indigenous consultation was proposed by President Sebastian Piñera last year to supposedly 'advance' the recognition of the rights of Indigenous people.

But from the very beginning of the process politicians and scholars of the indigenous issue pointed out that it will only contribute to increasing the tension and distrust of these communities towards the institutions of the state and they even recommended postponing or even nullifying it.

The LGBTI community also joined the protesting people in Chile against Piñera for leaving out rights of the community in his Public Account speech of 2019.

The Iguales Foundation which advocates for LGBTI rights said that Piñera has been ignoring the demands of LGBTI people for two consecutive years and did not mention anything about the Gender Identity Law which is supposed to be enforced in near future. He did not even mention anything about equal marriage.

"For the second year one of the historically discriminated groups in Chile is invisible from the public account and without proposals in its government program," the president of the Iguales Foundation, Juan Enrique Pi told reporters.

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