FUNDAMENTALS AND GUIDING PRINCIPLES OF THE MAPUCHE PEOPLE STRUGGLE FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF THE MAPUCHE TERRITORIAL ALLIANCE - ATM
In its original meaning, the word MAPUCHE refers to MAPU as the spatial whole that includes the earth and its components, and CHE, the notion of a person or people in its collective dimension. We, the Mapuche are the indigenous inhabitants that have historically lived in the territories located in the center and southern regions of Chile and Argentina (Gulumapu and Puelmapu respectively).
In the recent history of our people, that is, in the last 250 years, in the context of the end of the colonial relationship with the Spanish crown, and the independence processes of the local elites that gave rise to the country of Chile; we maintained control, defense and protection of all our territory and its biodiversity, through a clear socio-political organization lead by our own confederated authorities. These authorities saw each other as territorial allies. When Chile and Argentina consolidated as independent countries in the beginning of the 19th century, both countries began a campaign to occupy our territories, exterminating our people and moving the border towards the south. That border had been settled on a treaty signed between the Mapuche and the Spaniards. Neither Chile nor Argentina respected the treaty and started coordinated invasions at the end of the 19th century. We are the descendants of the survivors of genocide, and even though we have less than 5% of our historical territory, we are resisting and will continue to do so for our existence as a nation.