Boquete Nahuelpan (Esquel-Chubut) Puelmapu Mapuche Ancestral Territory
13 June 2022
To the Mapuche Tehuelche People
To those who fight for a more breathable world
To civil society
Foucault said: “the sovereign does not exercise his right over life except by asserting his right to kill, or by withholding it; he does not leave proof of his power over life except by the death that he is in a position to demand” (Foucault 1976) “to make live let die”.
Thirteen years ago, the municipal government of the city of Esquel decided to install a rubbish dump just metres from the limits of our community, violating our territorial rights. They excluded free, prior and informed consultation, a consultation that is established in the rights that the state itself committed to enforce. Tons and tons of rubbish brought from the city of Esquel, Trevelin and Los Alerces National Park are deposited in a waste treatment plant that in practice functions as an open dump. After a few months we began to feel the impact of the rubbish on the surface, in the water, in our animals, in our REWE (ceremonial place) and in our lives.
We denounced this situation in the Federal Court, the federal judge ordered an analysis of the water and the results showed that the water contains heavy metals (nickel and cobalt) and hydrocarbons. It is contaminated.
We understood that these samples would open a path of dialogue with the municipalities and National Parks. More than 25 families, a school, a train that arrives several times a week with tourists to the community, nothing, our demands are inaudible to these supremacist governments that have decided that Nahuelpan is a sacrifice zone. Letting it die is the decision.
However, that is not going to happen. Nahuelpan is not the dump of Esquel. Nahuelpan is a community of the Mapuche-Tehuelche people. Collectively we have decided to defend the forces that inhabit this territory, the pu Ngeñmapu Ngeñko (the ordering forces of land and water) heard our commitment in the last Kamaruko raised in Nahuelpan.
Today, 13 June, autonomously and collectively, we have decided to block the entrance of the trucks that bring in rubbish. In the face of indifference, lack of dialogue, harassment, failure to keep our word and countless disrespect towards the community and its members, this irrevocable decision was taken due to the urgency of what is happening in the territory. This has an environmental and geographical impact on our land, as well as on the physical and emotional health of those of us who live here.
The measure will be sustained until we recognise who are the interlocutors of the State that will sit down to discuss with us the closure of this dump.
Pu Peñi ka pu lamuen, compañeros and compañeras, this measure that we have taken is in defence not only of our lives as Che as people, but for all those who live here, the forces that give us the water, the animals, the land that we walk on, the forces that allow us to live.
For territory, justice and freedom.