Chilean president Sebastian Piñera used a Monday, October 15th OpEd in El Mercurio (reprinted here) to launch a ‘new deal’ for Chile’s indigenous peoples. This is a fairly substantial step given that there remain important constituencies on the right in Chile who don’t believe that the country has an indigenous population and that these peoples are simply trying to manipulate the system.
Piñera’s new deal is built around four pillars:
1) Amend the constitution to formally state the Chile is a multicultural nation, which would require full recognition of the cultures of the country’s native peoples;
2) Replace the strategy of ‘assimilating’ indigenous peoples in Chile with one of integration that not only tolerates but appreciates and promotes the culture, history, worldview, languages and ways of life of Chile’s indigenous peoples;
3) Promote a more dynamic social and economic development indigenous communities; and
4) Ensure peace, security, public order and the full observance of the rule of law in indigenous areas.