In 2015, the Mapuche community of Lof Cushamen decided to move back onto a piece of land that is part of their ancestral history but not yet recognized as such by the Argentinean government. This is just the most recent development in a long history of struggle for the Mapuche people.

Fionuala Cregan reported on the the story for Truthout:

“They are afraid more people and more communities are going to rise up, because we have shown others what is possible,” said Mirta Curruhuinca, a Mapuche woman from the Indigenous area of Lof Cushamen in Argentina. “And if more people rise up and recover their lands, there will be no way to stop them.”

The Mapuche have begun to reshape history by moving back onto the Patagonian land in the Chubut Province of Argentina that has been part of their ancestral history for more than 1,400 years. The transnational fashion company Benetton claims ownership to the land and force has repeatedly been used against Mapuche people who have sought to move back onto it.

While the majority of the world’s population is slumbering, anaesthetised by capitalism’s promotion of individualism, selfishness, privatization and fixation on monetary value, in a small corner of Patagonia, Argentina, Curruhuinca’s Mapuche community — fuelled by their traditions, culture and ancestral wisdom — have begun to cut down fences and build a new life.

The name “Mapuche” means “People of the Earth” (“Mapu” is Earth and “Che” is people), and the Mapuche community of Lof Cushamen finds incomprehensible the ongoing pillaging of the Earth’s resources for private profit and the culture of neoliberal capitalism that asks, “What will I get out of it?” rather than “What is right?”

Read the full article here.

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