Chilean commission rejects land transfer to indigenous communities

Editorial Staff

Indigenous communities in the Chilean region of Aysen have failed in their latest effort to gain control major salmon producing areas of the country.

Chile’s Regional Commission for the Use of the Coastal Edge (CRUBC) has overwhelmingly voted to reject the transfer of over 600,000 hectares of the country’s coastal areas to indigenous communities for the second time in three months.

On June 3, the CRUBC voted against the appeals from the Antünen Rain and Pu Wapi communities, who sought recognition for the Coastal Maritime Space of Native Peoples (ECMPO).

The commission denied the ECMPO Huichas applications with 27 votes against, 3 in favor, and one abstention, and the ECMPO Cisnes applications with 25 votes against, 3 in favor, and one abstention.

The Regional Governor of Aysén, Andrea Macías Palma, noted the commission’s adherence to deadlines in the 8-year processing period, emphasizing the importance of compliance due to the issue’s relevance.

Fabián Teca, representative of Indigenous Peoples on the commission and voter in favor of the claims, regretted the conditions of the vote, pointing out that the arguments presented lacked legal basis. He rejected claims that navigation through the sectors requested by ECMPO would be prevented for those not belonging to the requesting communities, describing them as false and highlighting that the law sanctions such impediments with the expiration of the ECMPO.

The decision was praised by industry representatives, including Loreto Seguel of the Consejo of Salmon and the union SalmonChile, who highlighted the importance of maintaining decisions that support various coastal industries and regional development. They also expressed hope that modifications to the Lafkenche Law would reduce conflict and uncertainty in the region.


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