Ch. 9 – Chile: The Long Mapuche March

“In Chile, small landowners only own 7.5% of timberland, while 66% belongs to large owners with at least 2,500 acres.” In How the Other Half Dies, Susan George writes, “The most pressing cause of the abject poverty which millions of people in the world endure is that a mere 2.5% of landowners with more than 100 hectares control nearly three quarters of all the land in the world – with the top 0.23% controlling over half.” Does defense of the land fall under the same category as self-defense? Is there a right of armed resistance to land monopoly?

Did it surprise you to find that the Mapuche had resisted colonization for 260 years? This is explained by citing their non-hierarchical social structure, in contrast to the Incas and Aztecs with centralized governments. With the Mapuche “subjugation would entail conquering thousands of independent families.” Do you think that there can be more safety in dispersed numbers than in unity?

Under Pinochet over a million acres of communal indigenous lands were broken up and replaced with the concept of private property. How does this compare with what’s happening in Chiapas under the new president, according to the Zapatistas?

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