Chilean indigenous peoples' recognition in new Constitutions at risk
Santiago, Chile, Oct 21 (Prensa Latina) Just four days before the plebiscite on a new Chilean Constitution, the representation of indigenous peoples in a Constituent Convention hangs in the air.
Although the recognition of indigenous communities has been debated since the very beginning of the process to call that historic plebiscite, the Senate has so far failed to reach an agreement and the senators in the Constitutional Commission have accused the representatives of the ruling party of boycotting it.
In that regard, Senator Alejandro Navarro, from the Progressive Party, said that the proposition from the political class to the country, in order to draw up a new Constitution, was a partisan Constitutional Convention, with representation from the aboriginal peoples and independents, but they are not complying with that.
Right-wing senators are trying to impose an electoral register for indigenous people only, in addition to the national register, in order to elect the delegates from those ethnical groups to the Senate, so their representation would be conditioned on the number of registered people.
Meanwhile, the opposition proposes full electoral participation of the indigenous peoples in the national electoral register and according to their proportion in the total number of inhabitants.
Juan Carlos Reinao, president of the Association of Municipalities with Mapuche Mayors, expressed concern about the parties' little willingness to make progress, and demanded that the indigenous peoples' representation accounts for 12.8%, which is their proportion in Chile's total population.
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