Steppin’ Out of Babylon: Podcast-Radio Interviews by Sue Supriano

“Babylon” is the “isms” and “schisms” not only within the system but within ourselves. Let's organize, unify and step out of Babylon.

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Sue Supriano’s Steppin’ Out of Babylon is a radio interview series covering a broad range of important issues in today’s world: peace and war, human and civil rights, communication, the media, the environment, food security, racism, globalization, immigration and matters of the spirit. Over 250 shows are available at this site!

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Pablo Miriman (translator: Seline Jaramillo)

Human rights issues of the Mapuche, indigenous people of Southern Chile

Play Audio.
TRT: 28:39
Date: 2009-02-27

Chilean Miriman is a University Professor of History, author of the book, Escucha Winka, and a person of Mapuche (indigenous people of S. Chile) heritage. Seline Jaramillo, also of Mapuche heritage, translates.

The Mapuche people, who make up over ten percent of the population of Chile, have been asking for their human rights to be protected since the 1970’s and especially during the last ten years. Their cultural has a very rich knowledge base. They know about medicines and healing, their governing system is built on horizontal, non-centralized distribution of power, their economic structure is in relationship with their environment and some of their traditions have never been interrupted. The Mapuche lived independently and were unaffected culturally until about 100 years ago. The present oppressive situation started about thirty years ago with a decree by the military dictatorship of Pinochet, which divided and put up for sale the communal lands of the Mapuche people so they would serve the interests of the market. The Pinochet government said that as long as there are no Mapuche in Chile there are no Indians and the people are all the same. When the Pinochet dictatorship came to an end the Mapuche were disappointed to find that the same attitudes and the neo-liberal economic policy went on the same as before. No one cared what the Mapuche thought about the damage that was being done to their lands and their lives. When the Mapuche speak up, they and their supporters are targeted with anti-terrorist laws which can put them in prison. Since there is no reason to trust the system of justice Mapuche activists go into hiding rather than to trial.

They don’t want to be victims of development. They ask for respect of their rights, which are “human rights”, and a healthy relationship with the environment as a basic principle. They want to resolve their differences with the government peacefully. They want an autonomy model wherein they can rule themselves or, if they live in a mixed community they can share power with others. They want “interculturality”, which means that equal respect should be given to the Mapuche vision of health, education, culture and economic development. They want to live in their own culture, not assimilate and actually be respected. The politics of segregation and repression lead only to more conflict.

Interviewed in October, 2008

Table of Contents


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December 26, 2015

In memory:

Sue, who lived an amazing life from 1938 - 2015.