Two Italian citizens were expelled from Chile earlier this week for
their production of a documentary film on the indigenous Mapuche
communities of south-central Chile.
The two filmmakers, Dario Ioseffi and Giuseppe Gabriele, were taken from
inside Mapuche territory May 3. At the time, they had been recording a
Mapuche protest on lands under use by Forestal Mininco, a logging and
wood-products company (ST, May 27). The Chupiko community has claimed
its rights to the land for almost two decades.
The government rejected the Italians’ petition for “reconsideration” and
ordered their immediate expulsion from Chile.
The events represent the third crackdown in recent months on filmmakers
seeking to create an outlet for Mapuche opposition to the control of
southern forests by timber-harvesting and paper-products industries.
Chilean Elena Varela remains in custody today after her May 7 arrest and
confiscation of her equipment and four years’ worth of recordings (ST,
June 5). In March, police detained French journalists Christopher Cyril
Harrison and Joffrey Paul Rossj for questioning related to a fire on
forest company property. Authorities released them several days later.
Chile’s Investigations Police drove the two Italian filmmakers on Monday
to the Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport where agents
escorted them to a plane bound for Italy.
Coincidentally, the expulsion took place just two days before Chile’s
National Indigenous Day. President Michelle Bachelet marked the annual
observance with a speech from Santiago, declaring, “Multiculturalism
makes us better as a country, more democratic and open. And it always
obligates us to put ourselves in the shoes of others.”
Bachelet announced a proposal for an Undersecretary of Indigenous
Affairs and signed a presidential order tasking each federal government
ministry and each regional government office to create specific units to
address indigenous issues. She directed each office to propose at least
two initiatives that would support indigenous communities.
“In the beginning of this new cycle of life, we renew our commitment to
advancing Chile’s indigenous policies that look to build a Social Pact
of Multiculturalism,” Bachelet said, marking the new year of Chile’s
Bachelet also announced the return of 28,000 hectares of land to the
indigenous Talabre community in the San Pedro de Atacama Desert. The
president committed to honoring indigenous land rights using “all
available legal means.”
SOURCE: EL MOSTRADOR