“The idea is that these same groups, who have been isolated from this development strategy and have even been affected by the extractive processes, go from being marginalised to being protagonists,” said the DC senator.
By Carolina Ceballos
Francisco Huenchumilla, DC senator for La Araucanía, has introduced a constitutional reform bill in the Upper House to allow indigenous peoples to participate in the administration and exploitation of lithium and other minerals known as “non-concessionable”.
The initiative seeks to insert in Article 19 of the current Constitution, which defines who may explore, exploit or benefit from the deposits, the statement “which shall include a degree of participation of indigenous peoples in the ownership and/or administration of such deposits”.
“We must generate, from the different State bodies, but above all from the Legislative Branch, spaces so that our indigenous peoples, a vast sector of society that has traditionally been marginalised from economic activity and in an eminently mining country like Chile, can make their way, making their approaches and contributions, to continue to push the development of mining in our country”, argued the parliamentarian.
He added that, “the idea is that these same groups, who have been isolated from this development strategy and who have even been affected by extractive processes, can go from being marginalised to being protagonists, leading processes of exploitation of non-concessionable minerals, and can also use this activity as a vehicle for their own growth and development”.