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The FIDH carried out an observation mission in Chile in 1997,
where it analyzed the Ralco hydroelectric plant’s construction
as well as its impact on the Mapuche - Pehuenche peoples. In
2003, there is still concern about the situation of human
rights for the Mapuche people. This is partly due to the
situation arising from forest exploitation in the VIII, IX and X
Chilean regions, which is having a negative impact on the life
and survival of the Mapuche peoples and communities that
are settled there. Another cause for concern is the progress
that is being made regarding the construction of the
aforementioned hydroelectric plant.

Between 21 April and 1 May 2002, the FIDH conducted an
international investigative mission in Chile. This mission was
aimed at analyzing the human rights situation in the Mapuche
communities as related to forest exploitation and the Ralco
project, both of which are important sectors in the Chilean
domestic economy. It bears emphasizing that, in this report,
human rights have been analyzed from a comprehensive
perspective, since there is a direct link between the
necessary conditions for the enforcement of economic, social
and cultural rights1, individual human rights2 and the
organization and/or mobilization processes undertaken by
the Mapuche communities.
The mission’s team was composed of Nicole Du Roy, a French
journalist, and Paulina Palacios, an Ecuadorean lawyer. They
carried out field visits and interviews with representatives
from warring Mapuche communities as well as Mapuche
prisoners, communities, regional and national authorities
from different States.

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