By a commentator for Tjen Folket Media
The Norwegian state-owned company Statkraft is beginning a new project in Chile. A hydroelectric dam will be built on the Pilmaiquén River, which will have great consequences for the Mapuche community.
Statkraft owns the hydroelectric dam, Rukatayo from earlier and has a license for expanding a third construction project, Osorno. This was secured in the acquisition of the Chilean hydroelectric company Empresa Eléctrica Pilmaiqué in 2015. According to the company itself, this was done in order to strengthen their position as a power producer in the country.
The construction of the Osorno project will hit the Mapuche people particularly hard, and in October 2018, they occupied the Statkraft office in Osorno and condemned the foreign invasion by the Norwegian state on Mapuche territory along the Pilmaiquén in a statement released on YouTube. Tjen Folket Media has earlier written on the occupation and translated the statement to Norwegian.
The Association for International Water Studies (FIVAS) has expressed concern for the three rural towns that will be afflicted by the construction, and for the fact that the company has not acknowledged the ceremonial and religious significance that the area has for the Machupe people. Statkraft as additionally been accused of having forged signatures and manipulation through bribery of the poor local population in order to attain building permits. This has also lead to conflicts and divisions among the Mapuche community.
Statement Against Norwegian Capital in Wllmapu
Several Chilean organizations have released a collective statement against Statkraft’s plundering of Mapuche territory. El Pueblo has published this statement in both English and Spanish. We reproduce the English statement below:
WHAT SHOULD DO NORWEGIAN CAPITAL IN WALLMAPU?… NOTHING!!!
Pilmaiken is a river and its meaning in mapudungun language is swallow. This river flows in Puyehue lake then it connects with Rio Bueno, this spectacular natural scenario goes from the Andes mountains to the Pacific ocean. Pilmaiken is a central part of the daily life of Lofs and mapuches communities from Williche territory.
Pilmaiken has an abundant river with massive biodeversity along it, this is the reason why it called the attention and the ambition of Spanish crown at first, and then the same thing happened to chilean goverment into the process of the wrongly called ‘Pacificacion de la Araucania’ This process meant that chilean authorities gave to European landowner huge piece of land. Nowadays in this territory Starkaft , a Norwegian company, is working in at least three hydroelectric power station projects, proyecto Central Hidroeléctrica Los Lagos, Central Hidroeléctrica Osorno y Central Rucatayo. As a first consequence of it, we have the intervention of the riverside and woods with the installation of different electronic devices like cameras, drones and others, the main purpose of this is to avoid that any ‘suspicious mapuche’ achieves the river, if it happens they suffer immediately the excessive response of special force of police (FFEE) and the group of police for special operation (GOPE). The limitless action of these special groups of police, left invaluable and deep physical and psychological aftermaths.
In the last years, the Norwegian company Statkraft helped by the legal and economical conditions given by Chilean government, has started the excavations in sacred places. This activity includes mapuche graveyards. They have quarried ancient human skeletons, utensils and tools. These aggressive and incomprehensible actions reaffirm that Statkaft company doesn’t know how important is Pilmaiken river for Mapuche culture and their next generations.
In other hand, The Lof and Williche communities have made the decision to occupy the territory in order to protect their sacred places against this greedy attack.
In this battle Mapuche people have realized the fight is not only against this norwegian company, it is also against the police, judges, chilean ministries, the council for national monuments. In addition to this group of institutions we should consider landowners like SAGO and SAVAL, the the Evangelical Church represented by Heriberto Ortiz and a group of gangsters paid by these hydroelectric plants.
It hasn’t been an easy situation, there’s a deep poverty down there, it has been provoked by the usurpation of mapuches’ communities lands. In addition to, it’s important to inform all the unjustified police harassment that our peñi and lagmnen suffer every day being arrested and others illegal actions against them.
Mapuches must face criminal charges based on racist arguments using as main evidence being on possession of well known films as ‘Scary movie’ and ‘The godfather’. For everybody these movies are anything but any proof, except for chilean goverment and its judges, because they want to make us to believe this is subversive material.
Nowadays we see how Mapuche people fight for their lives and the right to be an independent nation which is against chilean goverment and its institutions,it is because we consider they support to all the imperialist powers that sack our sacred territorries and heritage.
We are absolutely convinced norwegian goverment shouldn’t make any decision about mapuche’s lands, heritage and culture. This is the reason why today there are Lofs and mapuche communities in strong resistance according their own authorities and ‘kimun’ (knowledge).
Statkraft will begin to work on a new dam in Pilmaiken river, this actions are not going to be free of all the well known concequense against the natural environment and all the information given before, that’s why we call to all the Mapuche communities to keep going on the resistance and the control of our territory, thinking of a Mapuche nation without landowners and imperialistic goverments.
Statkraft … Get out of Wallmapu!
Programa Raíces Poblacionales
Comité de Defensa del Pueblo Hermanos Vergara Toledo
Bloque de Organizaciones Populares
Hinchada Mapuche Antifascista
Comité de Apoyo a la Lucha Mapuche
Periódico El Pueblo