Faculty Seminar Advisor

Dr. Max Geier

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Department

History

Document Type

Paper

Publication Date

Spring 2013

Abstract

The Mapuche Indians are the largest indigenous group in Chile and they account for nearly ten percent of the country’s total population. The Mapuche have struggled with land usurpations since the end of the nineteenth century. The most difficult of these struggles came from neoliberal economic policies of the Military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990). Laws such as Decree Law 2568 that dissolved Mapuche communal land and divided it up into individually held land titles. With the return of democracy in 1990 the Mapuche had hope that Pinochet era policies would disappear. This hope was realized in 1993 when Indigenous Law 19253. Harmful aspects of Decree 2568 were repealed by the Indigenous Law, but the ideas and polices have continued to be use by the Chilean government. Under the pretext of promoting civilization, the neoliberal legal framework allowed for usurpation of ancestral territory resulting in the destruction of entire communities, and repression of any protest to industrial projects.

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