Multinationality, recognition of denied indigenous roots: Elisa Loncon Antileo, a Mapuche woman

Photos and images Fernando Santillan

Elisa Loncon Antileo, a Mapuche from the Araucania region of Chile, an academic at the University of Santiago, explains how the world’s first constitution written in parity was drawn up in Chile, which included indigenous peoples and accepted the climate crisis.

MEXICO CITY. “The indigenous population, territories and autonomies” were part of the thematic axes of the discussions in #Clacso2022.

-What would it mean for Chile to have a multinational state?

– Multinationality is connected with the democratization of the state and with the fact that the monocultural, monolithic, monolingual state is reconstructed with all its diversities.

Multinationality is another component of the diversity that makes up Chilean society.

Multinationality in a specific indigenous sense is a concept full of content, which is the collective rights of indigenous people and the rights of nature, but it also implies a democratic dialogic principle in which the diversity of Chile will lead a dialogue and have the opportunity to recognize our roots, which have always been denied, postponed and which have weakened the sense of being Chilean.

Sometimes being Chilean does not mean much because it is an empty concept, today it has the opportunity to include the whole deferred history of what we have been, we see the multi-nationality of the state as a political option, a constitutional political mandate to recognize rights and opportunities where we strive for peoples to also respect the right to autonomy and the opportunity to decide our future.

This process represents only part of the struggle of the Mapuche people, on the other hand, it has its own system, its own thoughts, kimün (fundamental knowledge of the Mapuche nation), the values ​​that at the moment of strengthening their identity, this language, this knowledge will have more force and the content that is ours will be restored.

– What changes do you intend to generate with a multinational state?

– It is a two-stage situation, immediately, for example, what will happen with the issue of land restitution, and after a longer time, how do we have a less racist, less class-oriented, less procrastinating Chilean society.

– Is Chilean society ready for these changes?

-Racism is part of the structural violence with which states attack indigenous peoples, and this structural violence has a political inspiration, which is from the hegemonic power to control the system and leave indigenous people without rights. This sector of privilege does not want to give up on them, and they can achieve it in the future, to the extent that they value understanding between people, understanding between cultures, appreciating the human condition of everyone, but we are just getting started on this.

-Why raise land rights?

-We, as indigenous peoples, called in the draft of the new constitution for the return of the lands that were ours, because the state was installed on our lands without our consent and this meant the impoverishment of the Mapuche people, not only economic impoverishment, but also cultural impoverishment, linguistic and they too were genocidal policies. But beyond the land we want for our lives to continue our people. The earth is also the basis for practicing the thought that humans have for appreciating every being that lives in nature.

It is believed that the earth has life, the earth is the mother, and because if the earth is a mother, if it gives us life, the earth is protected. This protection of the earth is protection of mountains, rivers, diversity, animals, etc. And we, the indigenous people, cannot protect it alone, we all have to do this protection, because this is the guarantee that we have to continue to exist as a society.

What does the proposal for the new constitution suggest in terms of the good life?

-The principle of the good life speaks specifically to the recognition of ourselves as interdependent among humans and interdependent with nature, that we need harmonious relationships between humans, between men and women, but that the harmony of respect, recognition and value must also be with nature .

It also implies an economic model that does not consider nature as a resource and at the same time has economic systems of reciprocity with the earth, reciprocity with us, a way of working in a collective, communal way, forms of exchange and this is not measured by wealth or. materials. What we ultimately strive for is to maintain balance and harmony with all.

What are the challenges of the founding process?

– The main challenge is to change the neoliberal model of exploitation of people and nature towards a democratic welfare state of rights, which is multinational and parity.

We cannot have a society ruled only by men, women, apart from having rights, can occupy positions of political influence in society and positions of political representation.

Where to vote for the September 4 plebiscite?

The Chilean government, through its Internet portal, states that all persons authorized to vote in Chile must vote, while the electorate authorized to vote with electoral residence abroad may do so voluntarily.

If you are abroad, you can consult the polling stations and places assigned to you by entering your RUN on the website of the Chilean Electoral Service www.servel.cl. For its part, the Consulate General of Chile in Mexico City disseminated through its page information about voting in Mexico City.

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