Andre Cramblit andrekar at NCIDC.ORG
Mon Nov 3 17:51:00 UTC 2003

Grupos indÃ?genas se extinguen en Chile

Two indigenous groups in Chile have died out and another two are in
danger of extinction, according to a major new report by twenty-five
experts that was overseen by former president Patricio Aylwin. The
report also recommended greater autonomy for the people of Easter

At the extreme south of Chile, ethnic groups and languages are being
wiped out. The reporters found two indigenous groups, the Aonikenk and
the Selk'am had disappeared and another two are close to extinction.
One group, the Kawesqar, has just twenty people left and the other, the
Yagans, seventy.

One Yagan woman who travelled more than two thousand kilometres north to
Santiago for the formal ceremony told the BBC there are only two people
left who spoke their language fluently.

The report recommended an urgent census and new programmes to try to
save their culture and language. The study also called for the three
thousand Rapa Nui people of Easter Island to be given greater autonomy
under the umbrella of Chilean sovereignty. On the key issue of land
rights, it called for a mechanism to study ansestral links to the land.
It said public property should be handed back to its original owners.

Clinton Porteous, BBC, Santiago

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