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  • Accusation by the Mapuche community of Jose Jineo

    This declaration, made by the Mapuche of Jose Jineo, Chile, gives an example of the kind of land-grabbing which is attempted on indigenous territory, with the connivance of the military junta - even though the community has legal title, and no single member has requested sale or division of the land.

    from Ch. 16 The Land is not for Sale

    The members of the community of Jose Jineo, Rofue, department of Temuco, who are the present occupiers of the community's land, inform the authorities and public opinion:

    That the communal estate of 104 hectares, Deed of Gift no. 1026, dated October 14th 1905, inheritance number 359A, registered in the General Archive of Indian Resources, has never been divided, nor have the present occupants asked for any division.

    That they have always been troubled by individuals presenting legal documents which declare them to be the owners of properties which have resulted from division.

    That, when the matter is brought to court, they present documents of purchase and sale to people who have never belonged to the community nor are heirs of those settled there.

    This has happened in the case brought by Dona Ana Maria Ulbrich Cravero and Guillermo German Ulbrich Whal, who are presenting legal documents relating to an estate of 80 hectares in the Jineo community, Rofue.

    They accuse the owner of the land, Robustiano Gineo Calfuman, and Dona Leonor Reyes Valdes, widow of Jose Gineo, of being in illegal occupation of the land, and request the court to restore it to them. The document, a deed of sale and purchase, gives as boundaries the inheritances no. 36-37-38-39-40 to the North, and nos. 33-3435 to the West. This shows that legal apportionment of the land to its occupiers has been granted without the knowledge of interested parties.

    The entire community asks for the cancellation of the verdict of the Second Court of Temuco, which allowed the claim of the individual, because there has never been division within this community.

    No member of the community has signed an assignment of inheritance, so there cannot be any property belonging to individuals.

    For division to have taken place, the community would have had to ask for the application of some article of the law of that date.

    The Community has never asked for division, nor been informed that any such request was made; the acts of granting inheritance which are now being invoked have not been made known to, still less accepted by, the community.

    Consequently, it is dishonest to demand a free loan (comodato precario) from Robustiano Gineo, and Leonor Reyes. They live on their land in accordance with the Deed of Gift, having inherited from their parents. If there has been no division, there cannot have been a granting of inheritances, still less the sale of land.

    This is not a new attempt to dispossess them under the government of Jorge Alessandri, another individual land claim to the same estate; the authorities at Temuco supported him, as they are doing today. Gineo and his family were held in custody while his house was burned and its surroundings wrecked.

    Robustiano Gineo's mother, Dona Bartola Calfurnao de Gineo, went to Santiago in defence of her land and her children. She saw the Minister of Land and Colonies, Julio Filipi, and demonstrated to him that her community had never been divided and none of its heirs had sold any estate.

    The deed of sale and purchase made out for this individual was demonstrably invalid, because the seller belonged to another community and had no connection - by inheritance, kinship, or in any other way - with this community.

    By order of the then President, Sr. Alessandri, and his minister Sr. Julio Filipi, Gineo and his family were restored to their land and have remained there to this day, on land which belongs to them. As it is a very serious matter to try to impose legal documents on a community which has never been divided, and claim sale and purchase which has never been made by the Mapuche, we ask the Government to intervene and to give us JUSTICE.

    An attempt is being made today to drive from their land members of the community who have never sold their rights, and who have lived in the community since the time of settlement in 1905.

    We look to the Chilean government to correct the mistakes which have been made, and to all authorities to ensure justice.

    Signed by all members of the community of Jose Jineo currently occupying land there.

    Source: Moody, Roger ed. The Indigenous Voice: Visions and Realities. 2nd Edition. Utrecht: International Books, 1988. p.393-394. Taken from Boletin Informativo Mapuche, Chile, date unknown, quoted in Survival International Review, Spring 1982.

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