Indigenous communities in conflict in Rincón de los Sauces over the claim of legal status

The conflict that broke out over the weekend at the entrance to a YPF deposit in Rincón de los Sauces once again highlighted an unresolved conflict from the previous administration with the granting of legal status legal assistance to indigenous communities of Neuquén. Now the pressure falls on the government of Rolando Figueroawho must define whether he grants what his predecessor had promised, in the face of increasing pressure on the lands where Vaca Muerta is exploited, but also the rejection of the already existing communities.

In Rincón de los Sauces, On Saturday there was a claim from Newen Kuraone of those for which the Executive claims legal status, which ended with two representatives detained for a few hours after a police operation.

The government, for the moment, avoided making statements regarding the consultations of RÍO NEGRO Diary.

The gammashun (authority) of the Lucero Pichina:u community, from the Günün A Küna town (also called Tehuelches) told this newspaper yesterday that they are “the only recognized community in the entire Pehuenches department” and warned that the Molina family, which now claims to be a Mapuche community, “They are breeders, yes, but they must demonstrate within the regulations that they are descendants”.

“They have even asked us for DNA tests and we have granted them”stated the reference.

He said that the status of his community was granted for the first time in 2002 and that, after the agreement signed by the province of Neuquén with the National Institute of Indigenous Affairs (INAI), they obtained the “definitive papers” in 2015.

“I am not opposed to recognizing a Mapuche community, but they have to be legally constituted,” said Lucero. He stated that the process they went through “was not easy at all” and claimed that “They should demand the same from everyone”facing the possibility that the government will give in to avoid a new conflict like the one that occurred on Saturday.

The law of prior, free and informed consultation that was approved last year established the process, which involves involving the communities before starting a work or project, only for those that have legal status.

From the Xawnko zone that responds to Jorge Nahuel and Gabriel Cherqui They accepted this restriction due to the commitment that the Omar Gutiérrez government had made to create a Special Registry of Communities that would grant the legal status claimed for Winkul Newen, Fvta Xayen, Wiñoy Folil and Newen Kurathe majority settled in the area of ​​Añelo and Rincón de los Sauces.

 
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