Mapuche Community prepared to resist eviction

Mapuche Community prepared to resist eviction

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John Ahni Schertow
March 16, 2009
 

A Mapuche community is preparing to resist eviction from their lands in the Aluminé municipality of Argentina’s Neuquen province.

The order to evict has not been officially handed down yet, but the community is expecting it either today or tomorrow. Whenever it comes, they have no intention of simply walking away.

“We’re waiting for the eviction, “says Raul Maliqueo, a spokesperson for the community. “It appears that they are going to send the police to evict us from this place. We are resisting, but not alone because we have more communities that will support us. The police will surely come with guns and all that, with rubber bullets and even with firearms. We will fight for the land.”

Maliqueo goes on to explain that, at the center of the eviction, “is a former federal judge of the military dictatorship that served in Buenos Aires and is now a refugee in Mapuche land.”

And the primary reason for it? Tourism. “We are surrounded by lakes, rivers and natural beauty of the forest… They even brought a plant from another country, a plant that is called ponderosa pine, which have been planted here and now is wiping out native species. This plant grew very well here, but now it is a plague. They have been planted in our own community by force.”

“Families in the community have [already] been suffering,” explains Agencia de Noticias Biodiversidadla. “Burning of houses, fences of fields, loss of medicinal herbs, the progress of afforestation and tourist attractions are decimating a cultural identity that today, by an order of eviction, seeks to exterminate it into oblivion.”

PHOTO: argentina.indymedia.org

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