A parliament of Mapuche-Tehuelche communities from Río Negro will be held in Bariloche on November 12 and 13.
Although the referents of the original peoples had already been talking about the possibility of holding a meeting due to various problems related to territorial conflicts and issues that have to do with extractivism, as well as the inconveniences that arise to carry out what is indicated by law 26,160, of indigenous territorial emergency, the eviction of Villa Mascardi accelerated the decision to hold the meeting.
In this sense, from the Coordinator of the Parliament of the Mapuche-Tehuelche People of Río Negro they speak of an onslaught in what they consider a criminalization against the indigenous population.
Thus, the Mapuche representatives expose the need for a dialogue table – but with the intervention of authorities with decision-making power – and insist on the delivery of the Villa Mascardi sector, which they consider sacred.
They do not refer to the element that is found in that place, which they call “rewe” (a kind of altar), since, in their belief, it cannot be mobilized because they understand that it belongs to the space where it was built. In other words, what they are requesting is that they be authorized to have access to that land, located within a National Park property.
The rewe, within the Mapuche worldview, is intimately linked to the machi (a kind of healer), who in this case is Betiana Colhuan (currently under house arrest), whom a large part of the Mapuche people consider to be the first in possessing that characteristic of spiritual reference on this side of the mountain range since María Epul, the woman who was in Cerro Negro and was considered the Perón family’s healer (the general’s mother, Juana Sosa Toledo, used to visit her; and she was Epul who, when consulted, said that it was too late to reverse Evita’s cancer).
Precisely, one of the detainees in the Villa Mascardi eviction, the first to be released, Andrea Despo, who is an actress and had gone to the place where the so-called Lafken Winkul Mapu community was located to see Colhuan, said: “I have a relative with María Epul, who lived in Cerro Negro. My grandmother was her niece. There is a very strong link with Mapuche spirituality from my family. Any Mapuche has the right to attend with his ancestral medicine. It is in the international treaties that the Argentine State recognizes.”
Read also: Interview with the Mapuche teacher and actress who was arrested in Villa Mascardi
It should be noted that the previous parliament took place in Viedma, at the end of February. At first it had been scheduled for December, in Jacobacci, but faced with the opposition of several communities, who considered that doing it there was equivalent to ostracism linked to political reasons from sectors close to the provincial government, Bariloche was thought of, so that it would have exposure media coverage, but finally the capital of Río Negro was chosen.
Read also: Some details about the Parliament of indigenous peoples
Now it has been decided that a new meeting will take place in Bariloche, which will surely imply a higher caliber of attention. But, beyond that, the intention is that the next meetings will be held in various regions of the province, to give visibility to the natural communities of each area.
There will be a provincial Mapuche meeting in Bariloche | El Cordillerano Newspaper