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Not In My Backyard!

The Discourse and Practice of Hydroelectric Mega Projects in Chile
Suzanne Nievaart

Not in My Backyard!
The Discourse and Practice of Hydroelectric Megaprojects in Chile
By Suzanne Nievaart

November 10, 2008 Under supervision of Dr. Arij Ouweneel and Dr. Annelou Ypeij Final Thesis accomplished as a requirement for the completion of a Master’s of Arts degree in Latin America Studies at the Centre for Latin American Research and Documentation, Amsterdam, Netherlands

For Asshak. 1

Table of Contents
List of Maps and Figures List of Acronyms Glossary Abstract Acknowledgements A note on the text 1. Introduction
The Ralco Case In the Field About this Thesis

3 4 5 6 7 8 9

2. Hydroelectric Megaprojects and Relocations: The Case of Ralco
Introduction History Repeats Itself The Polemic Ralco Conflict Pangue, the First and “Only” Dam Ralco and the Environmental Impact Assessments: Si o Si Protests and Pressure The Power of Persuasion From Promises to Permutas CONADI: The Burden of Representation Conclusion


3. Forced Relocations and their Problems
Introduction The Chess Pieces Land, the Indigenous Law, and ENDESA Dissapointments and Disillusions Failures of the Relocation Plan The Loss of Traditions Municipal Challenges The Discourse and Practice of Relocation Plans Conclusion


4. Megaprojects and their Social Impacts
Introduction Uneven and Unequal Development Distrust The Crisis of Representation The Relocated Comunidad Conclusion


5. Conclusion
Ralco, Relocations, Impacts Ralco, Emblem of a Capitalist Democracy Not in My Backyard Conclusion


Bibliography Appendix A: Survey Sample El Barco Appendix B: Survey Results El Barco

87 92 99


List of Maps and Figures
Photo of Relocated comunidad El Barco, Sector Costa Ralco Photo of the Ralco Dam Map of the Alto Bío Bío, including Pewenche comunidades and dams Photos of scenery en route to Ralco, and Photos of Villa Ralco on windy summer day Drawing of land use in the invernada-veranada system Photos of mountain ranges from the invernada to the veranada Photo of the construction of the Ralco dam Photo of the Pangue dam Photo: Relocated comunidad Ayin Mapu, Sector A-B Photos of Ayin Mapu Photos of El Barco Photos of family in El Barco with oxen Photos of the Internado and Chenqueco Photos of housing in Ayin Mapu and El Barco Photos of the Ralco reservoir during the drought Photos of Inundated forests in the Ralco Reservoir Photo of the plaza in Villa Ralco Photo of promotional sign of regional government Photo and drawing of the Pewen tree 15 16 17 18 19 21 23 27 39 40 41 43 45 52 54 55 58 58 61


List of Acronyms
CAO: Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (of the World Bank Group) CNE: Comisión Nacional de Energía (National Energy Commission) CONADI: Corporación Nacional de Desarrollo Indígena (National Corporation of Indigenous Development) CONAF: Corporación Nacional Forestal (National Corporation of Forestry) CONAMA: Comisión Nacional del Medio Ambiente (National Environment Commission) CTT: Consejo de Todas las Tierras/Aukiñ Wallmapu Ngulam (Council of All the Lands) DIDECO: Dirección de Desarrollo Comunitario (Community Development Director) EIA: Environmental Impact Assessment ENDESA: Empresa Nacional De Electricidad Sociedad Anónima (National Electricity Company Incorporated) GABB: Grupo de Accion del Bío Bío (Bío Bío Action Group) GDP: Gross Domestic Product IFC: International Finance Corporation (Private Sector arm of the World Bank) IFDH: International Federation of Human Rights ILO 169: International Labour Organisation’s Convention number 169 concerns indigenous and tribal peoples’ rights, such as culture, land, development, education, and health INDAP: Instituto de Desarrollo Agropecuario (Institute of Agricultural Development) IWGIA: International Workgroup of Indigenous Affairs MIDEPLAN: Ministerio de Planificacion (Ministry of Planning) NGO: Non Governmental Organisation PLADECO: Plan de Desarrollo Comunal (Municipal Development Plan) PRODESAL: Programa de Desarrollo Local (Local Development Programme) SEC: Superintendencia de Electricidad y Combustibles (Superintendent of Electricity and Combustibles) SIC: Sistema Interconectado Central (Central Interconnected System) WCD: World Commission on Dams


Chedungun : the name of the Pewenche language Comunidad: a legal term designed by the Chilean State to define an indigenous community. It is a politically laden term, as will be discussed in this thesis, and therefore is distinct from the English word community. When the English word is used in this thesis, however, it refers to the broader societal concept, and not specifically to indicate this legal, indigenous unit. Cosmovisión: Mapuche worldview based on their relationship the natural environment, by the Mapuche often referred to as their religion. Dirigente: the legal representative of a comunidad, in Chile, as recognized by the State. In practice, this often entails that the dirigente is the leader and decision maker. The dirigente is the only one legally authorized to accept and access any services offered by the public, private or NGO sectors, on behalf of the comunidad. In this thesis I will use this term to cover all kinds of leaders in the comunidad, in order to protect my informants’ anonymity, although in practice they are often referred to as “presidente” or “vice-presidente” as well. Fundo: or as in other parts of Latin America referred to as a latifundio, is a private rural estate. Chapter 2 elaborates on the latifundista expansion in the Alto Bío Bío in the 19th century. Guillatún: The most important Pewenche ceremony, it is an annual, elaborate two to three day land fertility ritual which marks the invernada-veranada transhumance. It is a religious ritual, and the locations in which these ceremonies are held are considered sacred sites, assigned by the ancestors. It is the most relevant marker of the Pewenche culture and identity. Invernada: winter pastures. In the Alto Bío Bío this land is the most fertile, next to the Bío Bío River, where the Pewenche live three-quarters of the year. Lamien: Mapuche name for sister, which they use to refer to each other Lof: the Mapuche name for the traditional Mapuche social organisational unit, a more or less naturally bounded place with its inhabitants, and headed by the lonko. Its kinship structure is patrilineal group, or rather a group whose core is formed by a number of agnatically related men with their families (Stuchlik 1976: 29, 31,32). Lonko: Mapuche name for chief, or traditional leader. In Spanish colonial terms known as the cacique. Mapudungun: the name of the Mapuche language Muday: the Mapuche name for a drink made of fermented Pewen nut flour, similar to Chicha. Ñuke Mapu: the Mapuche term for mother earth. Peñi: Mapuche name for brother, which they use to refer to each other Permuta: land exchange contract Veranada: summer pastures. In the Alto Bío Bío these lands are higher in the mountain range. The Pewenche spend three to four summer months there. Werkén: The Mapuche word for messenger. In practice, the role of the werken is traditionally to communicate messages from the lonko to the people and vice versa. It is also the spokesperson of the lof, or comunidad, to external actors. Winka: the Mapuche name for non-Mapuche, or foreigner Wetripantu: the Mapuche New Year, or solstice, on June 24th.


Ralco is a hydroelectric megadam in southern Chile for which approximately 500 MapuchePewenche (indigenous people) had to be relocated, albeit protests spanning the better part of a decade. In the arena of the Ralco conflict, concepts such as mitigation, indigenous rights, corporate social responsibility and progress were found in a discourse promoted by the energy company ENDESA and the Chilean State in order to legitimize the dam amidst environmental and human rights controversies. The Pewenche experience bears witness that this is a far cry from the actual practice of the relocations, and the impacts this has had on their lives to date. This thesis will present the perspectives of the Pewenche on the events leading up to the construction of the Ralco dam and their subsequent relocations. Additionally, an analysis will be made to demonstrate how these events have affected and been affected by their different forms of capital (natural, cultural, human and economic), as defined by the livelihoods framework. Any weaknesses in these forms of capital that may have been present in the Pewenche communities previously were exacerbated during the conflict with ENDESA and thereafter. This was compounded by the tension between the Indigenous Law, which attempts to reconcile Mapuche traditional structures with the Chilean political system. Therein lays a conflict of representation between traditional and formal indigenous leadership, and a weakness of the legal power of the Indigenous Law to protect indigenous territory when confronted with a Chilean constitution that favours private property such as land and water. Democratic institutions such as the CONAMA and the CONADI were thereby reduced to instruments of the State to reinforce their authoritarian power in order to approve the dam. The usurpation of local control and Pewenche land by ENDESA in the construction of the Ralco dam was an emblematic case for the “Mapuche conflicts” of the late 20th and early 21st centuries in Chile. The protest against the dam united the national Mapuche movement, yet the approval of the dam by the Frei government proved to be a breaking point in Mapuche-Chilean State relations. Although a critique of megadams and forced relocations is not new, this thesis intends to contribute to an understanding of the processes which allowed the Ralco dam to be built and the social fabric of the relocated Pewenche communities of the Alto Bío Bío to be affected. The Ralco case may thus provide insight for other peoples in their struggles against hydroelectric megaprojects, or industrial megaprojects in general, as it unfortunately forms precedence for similar project being elaborated throughout Chile and the Latin American continent today.


I would hereby like to thank the following people and organisations who made my fieldwork period and thesis possible throughout my preparation time in the Netherlands as well as my stay in Chile, and in the production of the final work. I am very grateful for their help and support in the incredible experience I had in producing this thesis, from start to finish. In alphabetical order: Abdel Elbahri, Alejandro Kohler, Alexis Flores, Angel Rogel, Annelou Ypeij, Anna Ravensbergen, Arij Ouweneel, Arjanne Schaaf, Barbara Hoogenboom, Beatrice Simon, Bernardo Toledo, Carmen Pirquiante, Carolijn Terwindt, Cecilia Fuenzalida, Cristian Castro, Cristian Gutiérrez, Claudia Pirquiante, David Diaz, Diafne Chamorro, Diego Fuenzalida, Edilia Vergara, Eladio Bastias, Erasmo Vergara, Eva Tranamil, Fabiola Aravena, Gabriella Lecaros, Gaston Campos, Gilberto Huenollanca, Gloria Hueitra, Guillermo Salamanca, Herman Diaz, Herman Nievaart, Hugo Huechecal, Jacqueline Catrileo, Jaime Valdés, Juan Cox, Leon van de Reep, Lieke Rozendaal, Lily Sanchez, Lydia Pirquiante, Marcela Villalobos, Maria Elizabeth Aravena, Maria Eugenia Calfuñanco, Maria Paz Donoso, Marike Soeterik, Marielle Nievaart, Marjolein Westerhof, Marte Garcia, Mauricio Peña, Mesa Pellaifa Newen, Miriam Delgado, Nele Loos, Osvaldo Riedemann, Paco Fernandez, Pascal Bodemeijer, Patricia Aravena, Patricio Alvarez, Pedro Cardyn, Rita Henderson, Roberto Morales, Rodrigo Martinez, Rosane Rutten, Sergio Sandoval, Sybren Busken, Sylvia Huenollanca, Termas El Rincón, Termas Vergara, Trudy Schouten, and of course, all the other wonderful people I had the pleasure of meeting along the way, that, however brief, have influenced my work and allowed me to have an amazing time in Chile. I am also very grateful that financing for my fieldwork was made possible by the Dr. Hendrik Muller`s Vanderlandsch Foundation, CEDLA, the Bekker-La Bastide Foundation and the University of Amsterdam Alumni Fund (AUV Fonds).


A Few Notes on the Text
All quotes will be presented as anonymous, in order to protect the identity of my informants, due to the sensitive nature of social conflicts in Chile and the vulnerability of the Mapuche communities who are subject to the many interventions and manipulations as described in this thesis. I have chosen not to use pseudonyms as it may cause confusion. First and last names in Chile are often very common, so any Chilean or Mapuche name that I may choose as a pseudonym may implicate someone who has nothing to do with the data. Therefore, I will only refer to the quotes as derived from interview 1,2,3, or informal conversation 1,2,3,4, etc. Furthermore, I have chosen to maintain all quotes used, whether written or spoken, in their original language, and to translate them to English in the footnotes, in case the reader does not understand Spanish. I will use both the terms ‘original peoples’ and ‘indigenous peoples’. The first is the emic term, used by most of the Mapuche I have met, and the second is the etic term, generally used by national and international institutions. I will thus employ them in this thesis according to their respective contexts. All photographs were taken by the author in the Alto Bío Bío in late 2007 and early 2008, unless otherwise indicated.


1. Introduction
Ralco was arguably one of the most prolific and controversial land conflicts in Chile, between Pewenche communities of the Alto Bío Bío region and the Spanish energy consortium ENDESA (Empresa Nacional de Electricidad S.A.).1 It spanned nearly two decades. It began in the early eighties when ENDESA revealed its plans for an industrial megaproject consisting of six hydroelectric dams on the upper Bío Bío River, which had been planned since the 1960s (Keijzer et 1992: 69; Wilson and Allaway 2001: 4; Moraga 2001: 6; Aylwin 1998: 11). Pangue was the first dam, constructed from 1994 to 1997, and Ralco was the second dam, built from 1997 to 2004. The Ralco dam inundated land where the Pewenche lived, and for which approximately 80 families from the comunidades Ralco Lepoy and Quepuca Ralco had to be relocated. 2 The Ralco reservoir also flooded Pewenche cemeteries and sacred sites. The Pewenche are a subgroup of the Mapuche, Chile’s largest group of original peoples. Their economy is based on small-scale farming and animal husbandry. The conflict between ENDESA and the Pewenche was at its height during the construction of the Ralco dam. The protest was iconic for the Mapuche movement, and received worldwide attention from environmental and human rights groups. After having watched a documentary film (“Apaga y Vamonos” by Manel Mayol, 2005) about the issue in Amsterdam, I was moved to investigate the consequences of the relocations for the people in the two relocated comunidades, Ayin Mapu and El Barco, for my master’s research. Thus, this thesis is centred on the Ralco conflict and its repercussions for the affected people. This introduction will provide a short description of the Ralco case, the methodology used in obtaining the data, the theoretical concepts in which the case will be analysed, the thesis goal and proposition, and finally the structure of the thesis.

The Ralco Case
Before going to the Alto Bío Bío, I heard Chileans warn me about the Mapuche: “Be careful, they are violent”. Everything I had read and heard about the Ralco conflict had prepared me for a militarized zone, fierce resistors and powerful activists. This was how it may have appeared at the height of the conflict, about which much had been written and publicized. However, since the dam went into operation in 2004, the area has calmed down significantly. However, the fact that the resistance to the construction of the dam failed is a pain and damage in the hearts and minds of the Pewenche people, which cannot easily be repaired by psychologists and NGOs. They are reminded of this failure each time they see the dammed river and its decaying, inundated forests. The people that did not resist, but chose to negotiate, are either completely disillusioned, as ENDESA did not live up to the promises they had made to them in order to get them to relocate peacefully, or they are left to be confronted by their communities and family members, who resent them for having “sold out” to ENDESA. In a group discussion of the women of Ayin Mapu the following was expressed:
Por culpa de la empresa estamos acá pero no nos cumplió bien, el cumplimiento no salió”… “nos engañó ENDESA”…“Todos los años es así, no es un año no mas, desde que llegamos estamos sufriendo”… “Por lo menos de la posta, el cementerio y del agua que el había dicho…¿donde ahora vamos? ENDESA le prometió a la gente”…“en vez de tener más no tenemos, en la cordillera al fin…teníamos vacas… caballos…ovejas, chivas, pero cuando trajimos un poco de chivas aquí se terminaron”…. “no han llegado los documentos todavía, del terreno que tienen, los saldos de terreno de la gente, mas la luz que aquí sale muy caro, mas la leña y el poco terreno que tengo aquí”…“y los hijos quedaron a un lado y tienen artos hijos y esos hijos donde van hacer su casa, así como van casándose y siguen teniendo hijos (Women’s Group Discussion Ayin Mapu 2008).3

National Electricity Company Incorporated Comunidad is a legal term designed by the Chilean State to define an indigenous community, as will be discussed in this thesis, and therefore is distinct from the English word community. When the English word is used in this thesis, however, it refers to the broader societal concept, and not specifically to indicate this legal, indigenous unit. 3 Translation: We are here because of the company, but they did not fulfill their promises”… “ENDESA deceived us”… “every year is the same, it’s not just one year, since we have arrived here we are suffering”… “at least the medical centre, the cemetery and the water, they had promised us…what are we to do now? ENDEDSA promised the people”… “instead of having more we have less, in the mountains at least we had cows, horses, sheep, goats, but when we brought a few goats here, they died”… “our documents haven’t arrived yet, for the land that is left there, and the electricity is very expensive here, and the firewood and the little land I have here”… “and the children are left out and there are many children and where will they build their houses, as they are getting married and having children”.



ENDESA promised a whole lot of things in exchange for the relocations, very little of which has actually made it to the hands of the people, although they continue expecting them. The end of the 10-year relocation assistance scheme is nearing and the people are starting to ask: “¿qué vamos hacer cuando ENDESA se van?” 4 In order to understand the broader context within which such a conflict arises, hydroelectric dams must be seen within a general global political agenda. Neoliberal policies were implemented across the continent of Latin America in the 1980s and 1990s. Especially Chile, under the military dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet (1973-1989), was praised for its far-reaching privatisation and liberalisation of services, such as energy. The neoliberal agenda rests on free market ideals as promoted by “flat earth” notions of fair competition (Friedman 2005). This necessitates the reduction of government control, and an increase in the private sector, in a process of deconcentration, decentralization, and privatisation of industries. This agenda rests on export-oriented growth, the free-market, and privatisation policies. Many of these policies were encouraged by multilateral financing institutions such as the World Bank in the 1990s. In Chile, this was especially designed for natural resource-based industries such as mining, forestry, agriculture, salmon farming, and energy. Hydroelectric dams were designed in the 50s, and 60s. The infrastructure and neoliberalisation were laid out during the dictatorship. The Chilean model for its electricity market, introduced in 1982, was a pioneer on the Latin American continent in terms of deregulation and the introduction of private capital (Watts et al. 2003). “The old concept of energy as a national security resource is present in many nations, mainly among the military hierarchy, with a deep fear of energy dependence” rings true for the electricity business that boomed under the Pinochet regime (Rudnick 1998). The Pinochet regime installed a series of laws that liberalized natural resources, neatly separating the rights to land, water, and minerals for the exploitation of private companies.
En Chile, el propietario de la tierra no es dueño del subsuelo del predio, ni de las aguas, ni las riberas, ni especies que en ella existen…los derechos de aguas o las concesiones mineras de sus tierras, estén a nombre de otro particular (Moraga 2001: 60). 5

Much of these resources are found in the territory of original peoples. Many of the megaprojects now being implemented were devised during the dictatorship (Ray 2007: 184). Since democracy in 1990, foreign investors have financed industrial megaprojects such as hydroelectric dams (Watts et al. 2003). The large majority of the private companies that implement hydroelectric, geothermal, biofuel or mining projects in Chile are from outside the region, such as Spain, Norway, Germany, Italy, England, Switzerland, Canada, and Australia. One of Chile’s major natural assets is water, and the State is aiming to exploit it to its fullest, so that hydropower will form the major source of energy for the nation. At the same time, the opposition to hydroelectric projects has been fierce. At least 25 projects currently in progress, completed, or being planned are found from the first region in the north, down to Aysen, in southern Patagonia. There are at least ten (multi)national energy companies involved in the installation of these mega-projects throughout Chile, and are met with local opposition (CNE 2007). However, ENDESA is still the largest energy producer in the country, since it has the rights to most of the Chilean rivers, while at the same time it has an important market share (Watts et al. 2003). ENDESA owns 60 percent of the country’s water rights, as well as over half of the generation, transmission, and distribution of energy through the SIC (Central Interconnected System) (Moraga 2001: 70). This near-monopolistic position is backed by the financial powerhouse of ‘ENERSIS, the holding company for the largest distribution company in Chile, owns around 25% of ENDESA´s shares…TRANSELEC was created as an ENDESA affiliate in order to own and operate the SIC´s transmission assets when they were spun off from ENDESA in March 1993. This new entity aimed to provide more transparency and alleviate concerns about the generator's potential for self-dealing transmission access on a priority basis’ (Vignilo 2000). Enersis is used by ENDESA to structure its investments in Chile and other countries, although all strategic decisions are made in Madrid (Fazio 2005: 12). Enersis was ranked the third largest stockholder of the Chilean market in 2005(Fazio 2005: 16). There is no doubt that the energy sector means big business. In Chile, Pinochet’s 1982 Electricity Law continues to ensure that investors will prosper. The CNE (National Energy Commission) fixes the base costs of electricity according to the construction and operational costs of
4 5

Translation: What will we do when ENDESA leaves? Translation: In Chile, the land owner does not own the subsoil of hte property, nor the wáter, nor the Banks, nor the species that exist therre…the rights to wáter or the mining concessions of his lands, are in the name of another private individual.


the plants, maintaining a determined level of profit. Due to this amazing amount of State support, a company can construct a very inefficient, expensive project, and the costs will only be borne by the consumers. Thus, the inefficiency of Ralco was convenient and profitable for ENDESA, although it caused inflation in electricity on the national level (Moraga 2001: 67). However, during the Ralco conflict, an aggressive media campaign was launched to sway Chilean public opinion in favour of the dam, focused on the “need for Ralco’s power to support industrial development” in a period of economic recession (Aylwin 2002: 10). However, many maintain that it was the disorganisation of the opposition movement that failed to halt the construction of the Ralco dam. As Moraga points out, this may have been part of the problem, but focussing solely on this explanation would be a great injustice (2001: 7). One must see this in light of the fact that ENDESA is a powerful private multinational firm, giving them an entirely different position in the Ralco conflict than the Pewenche people. ENDESA had employed an intense and systematic legal strategy to ensure that the dam would be built, with the support of the Chilean government. The Chilean political-economic landscape contributed to the approval of ENDESA’s megaproject on the Bío Bío River. The combination of an electoral democracy with authoritarian rule, however, did not enable the regulation of monopolistic activities in Chile. On the contrary, neoliberal reforms and privatization policies implemented during the Pinochet regime allowed for ENDESA’s monopoly over Chile’s energy production and distribution (Nordbø 2001: 5-6). President Eduardo Frei (1994-2000), whose cabinet finally approved the project, wrote his engineering graduate thesis on Ralco (Parra-Jerez 1999). At the time of the Ralco conflict, he had shares in ENDESA and in the two construction companies that built the Ralco dam and the surrounding infrastructure, as did his cabinet and family members (Wilson and Allaway 2001: 6; Palacios and Du Roy 2003: 35; and Aylwin 2002: 15). The Frei administration repeatedly voiced its support for the dam, and played an enormous role in ensuring that the Ralco project would be approved (Nixon 2003). President Frei had made public statements criticizing those who “impede development for environmental reasons” (Aylwin 2002: 14).

In the Field
In order to situate this thesis, I will introduce my own context, perspective, theory, and methodology, which informed the point of view for my investigation. While reading literature on the Ralco case in the Netherlands, from November 2006 to October 2007, I was also searching for contacts in Chile to get an idea of how to connect with the comunidades in order to perform anthropological fieldwork. I had read in theses of previous students and investigators that this was the most difficult part of the job, especially in light of all the interventions on the part of ENDESA, NGOs, and the government, which have generated an immense level of distrust among the people. This is something that would take a lot of time to bridge. In a virtual “snowball effect” through email correspondences prior to my travels, I contacted the organisation Küme Rakiduam. This was a local NGO and the name means “good thoughts” in the Pewenche language, Chedungun. They were welcoming and open to cooperate with me, and I sent them my research proposal. Once I arrived in Ralco at the start of December 2007, to my surprise it appeared that the organisation already had a similar proposal planned. Their proposal focussed on the social and cultural impacts of the relocations of the Pewenche from the comunidades Ralco Lepoy and Quepuca Ralco to the fundos El Barco and El Huachi, 6 and in order to discover the actual problems and needs in the relocated comunidades. The goal was to use this information to formulate projects for the improvement of the livelihoods in the comunidades of the Alto Bío Bío. The proposal was very similar to mine, only theirs had a more practical dimension relating to the future projects of Küme Rakiduam, and mine had a more theoretical dimension pertaining to the different forms of capital of the Pewenche themselves. We decided to work together. Of course, I did not want to repeat the same investigation as theirs. In addition, it would have otherwise meant yet another intervention in the comunidades. This connection made for a relatively positive entrance into these comunidades. The Küme is made up of local Pewenche, which had been directly or indirectly involved in the conflicts with ENDESA. They gained the people’s trust somewhat easier, so that we were actually able to conduct the investigation.


Fundos, or as in other parts of Latin America referred to as a latifundios, are private rural estates. Chapter two elaborates on the latifundista expansion in the Alto Bío Bío in the 19th century.


The forming of the Küme as a local, indigenous NGO, and their investigation was encouraged and financed by the World Bank, whose private sector arm, the Internal Finance Corporation (IFC), had originally invested in ENDESA`s Pangue dam. The Bank had withdrawn its support during the construction of the Ralco dam, with the World Bank president at the time, James D. Wolfensohn, officially apologizing in 1998, due to the controversy surrounding the dam and the relocations (Johnston and Garcia-Downing 2004). At the same time, the Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO) was formed. It is the independent recourse mechanism for the private sector arms of the World Bank Group, which includes the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA). For the CAO, the idea is to challenge financial institutions that support these types of megaprojects so that they can take responsibility for their social impacts. However, the Bank’s then self-imposed moratorium on megadam funding was apparently lifted in 2006, with the Nam Theun 2 dam in Laos (Mydans 2006). In an investigation in the relocated comunidades El Barco and Ayin Mapu during the months of December 2007 and January 2008, I worked with three other anthropology students from Santiago: Diego Fuenzalida, Patricio Alvarez and Alexis Flores. Forty-three household surveys were conducted to register the economic, social, and cultural aspects of the households.7 Additionally, at least thirty informal conversations, and thirteen semi-structured interviews were conducted, and two group discussions were generated in the comunidad Ayin Mapu, one with the women and the other with the men. One spontaneous group discussion occurred with the comunidad El Barco at an encuentro that Küme Rakiduam had organised in Ralco Lepoy, as a form of reconciliation with their past location. All of these conversations, interviews, and discussions were intended to discover how the relocatees have experienced the relocations, in order to be able to analyse what the consequences of such a relocation are in the long term, and what the possible solutions are for the acute and chronic problems that the relocatees are experiencing. In February and March 2008, we conducted 35 interviews with the persons responsible for each programme or project in public, private, and other non-governmental institutions operating in the municipalities of the Alto Bío Bío and Santa Barbara. Directly or indirectly, these all have an institutional relationship with the two comunidades Ayin Mapu and El Barco. These conversations gave us insight into the shortcomings that exist in the areas of coordination, communication, and participation, which prevent the existing resources from reaching the people in the comunidades. It was our intention to interview all of the institutions to get the clearest picture as possible. However, some were very difficult to arrange meetings with, such as the mayor of the Alto Bío Bío, ENDESA, and CONAF (National Corporation of Forestry), given our limited timeframe and their unwillingness to cooperate. We were to finish the final report in February, yet we were still performing interviews at the institutions in March and attempting the more reluctant ones in April. All of the surveys and interviews were recorded with audio and/or video. I personally participated in conducting twenty household surveys, ten informal conversations, five semi-structured interviews, and three group discussions in Ayin Mapu, El Barco, and Ralco Lepoy, as well as seventeen interviews with the institutions of the Alto Bío Bío and Santa Barbara. In January, my colleagues and I generated a preliminary report of our findings in the comunidades, which we presented to representatives of the World Bank and the CAO, visiting Ralco.8 The final report of the investigation was presented to the World Bank and the CAO. The institutions that we interviewed received a copy so that they may coordinate to plan their future projects with the comunidades. The dirigentes of the comunidades were endowed with copies so that they have documented advice for any institution that wishes to start projects or other interventions in their comunidades.9 The final report generated by the investigation is a separate result, a “diagnosis” aimed to assess the social and cultural impacts, as well as identify the problems and necessities in the communities, and formulating a strategic plan for improving the conditions in the future. This thesis is my independent product. In this thesis, the Ralco case will be analysed to demonstrate the experiences of relocatees in the repeated interventions by multinational companies imposing

Please see the appendix A for an example of the survey used. Please see Appendix B for an excerpt from this report: the survey results from El Barco. 9 A dirigente is the legal representative of a indigenous comunidad, in Chile, as recognized by the State through the Indigenous Law of 1993. In practice, this often entails that the dirigente is the leader and decision maker. The dirigentes is the only one legally authorized to accept and access any services offered by the public, private or NGO sectors, on behalf of the comunidad. In this thesis I will use this term to cover all kinds of leaders in the comunidad, past or present, in order to protect my informants’ anonymity, although in practice they are often referred to as “presidente” or “vice-presidente”, “expresidente” or “ex-dirigente” as well.



industrial megaprojects, along with NGOs, public institutions, academics and other professionals aiming to aid them.

Theoretical Premises
In order to situate the Ralco confict theoretically, this thesis will look at the power positions and discourses of the different actors in the conflict, as an arena of power struggles. Historical social structures produce different types of identities which change and generate diverse conflicts within society. Social reality, however, is a subjective reality, and its internal tensions are subject to the cultural and institutional constructions, according to the social norms. These internal tensions are what De Ruijter calls an arena of society (1998: 29): the interaction, and thus conflict of different discourses or cultural logics (De Ruijter 1998: 28), or the relationship between different definitions of reality. Actors within the arena form coalitions and therefore exclude others, according to their rules, cooperating or competing with others in society in order to achieve their respective goals. Society, in this view, is not primarily a market where everyone has free and equal participation to exchange ideas, goods, and services. Conversely, society is seen as an arena of power struggles, where difference and inequality form integral parts of competing personal interests. The actors and their weapons, such as their different forms of capital and access to capital, form their positions in the arena. The arena is the point in which the different stakeholders come together to fight out a particular issue, which in the Ralco case is the conflict over the dam and the relocations. It is where the networks of relationships, organisations, and social categories meet in a particular negotiated order as a result of the conflict. These relationships reflect the power differences between the parties involved. This is in turn, is perceived as negative or positive, depending on the actor’s definition of reality. The existing social order is thus being renegotiated in the arena (De Ruijter 1998: 33). Capital, in turn, is an inherent force in objective and subjective structures of society, and at the same time is a fundamental principal of the internal regularities of the social world. The distribution of the different forms of capital corresponds to the immenent structure of the social world, to the totality of forces which are inherent and determine the functionality of the course of social reality. Bourdieu (1986) saw capital as part of the relationships of social exchange, and not of economic relationships, exclusively. He describes three forms of capital: economic, cultural and social. Cultural capital can be seen as the cultural goods, norms and knowledge which a person has. The objectification of cultural capital occurs through transferrable materials, such as an academic title, implying a profession, exchangeable for economic wealth. Bourdieu sees social capital as the totality of potential resources or associacions in the form of a social network or relationships, which can consist of the exchange of goods or symbolic goods and knowledge. For Durston (1997), social capital is also the whole of norms, institutions, organisations and persons that promote trust and cooperation between individuals, including the concept of reciprocity, as presented by Mauss (1950). Cultural, social and economic capital are not necessarily mutually interdependent. In recent studies of rural development contexts, the forms of capital are elaborated in the concept of livelihood. The livelihood approach analyses the relationships between resource access, use and transformation. Resources are defined as five forms of capital: human, social, cultural, natural, and economic (Bebbington 1999). While natural capital comprises the natural resources available, generally to be converted into economic capital, human capital indicates the capabilities and skills, allowing for access to economic capital, such as the conversion of labour into salary. Social capital, on the other hand, refers to the web of social networks and organisations upon which people draw on, while cultural capital consists of those objects and symbols that provide meaning to their actions and contribute to social interaction within society as a whole (Bebbington 1999). Therefore, livelihood itself is not only seen in terms of survival, but in terms of well-being, the meaning that the lifestyle presents, and the capability to achieve the lifestyle that is desired. This view considers “a person as a ‘whole’, his or her perceptions and ideas, hopes and fears, norms and values need to be taken into account” (Kaag 2004: 54). People are not merely seen as homo economicus, and their social networks are taken into as much account as their natural resources (Kaag 2004: 67). Furthermore, the different forms of capital or assets create opportunities for people to become empowered and change the world in which they live (Bebbington 1999: 2022). The five forms of capital are in turn subject to new and changing cultural practices, ideas, technologies, as well as transformations in social relations and power structures, which in turn, influence livelihoods themselves.

Furthermore, “capabilities enhance people’s ability to be agents of change” (Kaag 2004: 49). Capabilities allow for the acquirement of access to forms of capital, and this access in turn allows for the acquirement of capabilities, so that they are mutually reinforcing mechanisms, as are the relationships between actors, wherein they renegotiate the rules governing access, distribution, control, transformation and defence of assets. In the same vein, de Haan and Zoomers (2005) emphasise the role of institutions, as an embodiment of these power relations, in sustaining the structural position of the dominant actors, a fact that demands sustained and organised efforts if these conditions are to be transformed. The access to capital and capabilities also determines the position of power in the arena, and the experience of this position determines the discourses of the different actors in the arena.

About This Thesis
The goal of this thesis is to contribute to an understanding of the arena of the hydroelectric issue for the affected populations in their struggles to seek social and environmental justice, and their plight to maintain control of their own lives, livelihoods, and futures. The local perspectives of an event such as the construction of a dam and consequent relocations are presented in order to inform this understanding. The Ralco case will demonstrate that the displaced communities were not a homogeneous group, and that their different strategies to resist or negotiate the move fragmented them even further, wherein their access to the different forms of capital infuenced their ability to fight for their rights. ENDESA contacted individuals, and there was no discussion about the project with the community as a whole. Throughout the Ralco conflict, or arena, which resulted from the construction of the Ralco dam and the relocations, the social networks of the Pewenche have been altered. Family relations, political, and economic networks have been disrupted, which was previously the fabric of their social capital. As expressed by a Pewenche man whose family was evicted from their land in order to make room for the relocatees:
…se fueron en contra nosotros, y siendo también Pewenche nosotros…es… cruel…cuando tu propia gente te desconoce….le hayan dan vuelta en la espalda….en contra de la voluntad de la familia…por un beneficio propio de ellos…y que todavía tienen beneficios (Interview 1).10

Therefore, this thesis will answer the following questions: What are the perspectives of the Pewenche on the events leading up to the construction of the Ralco dam and their subsequent relocations? How have these events affected and been affected by their different forms of capital? This thesis will begin by introducing and defining the Ralco case study with a brief historical contextualization, followed by a description of the arena of the Ralco conflict and its actors, and the negotiated order of the conflict. The interventions of ENDESA and the conflicting opinions of the locals will be shown, and how these caused divisions and distrust between communities and families. The political and legal frameworks that supported the construction of the dam and obstructed the legitimate protest of the people, due to their limited power positions in the arena will be shown. Subsequently, an analysis of the EIA process that allowed the Ralco project to be approved despite all the controversy and protests will be presented as one of the power structures present in the arena of the conflict. The tension between the Chilean legal land title framework and the new Indigenous Law will be discussed. Then, the problems of the relocations, as had been predicted by opponents during the conflict, will be demonstrated. Herein, the role of land will be discussed, as an object of conflict due to diverging discourses, material context of the relocation, legal and symbolic marker of indigenous identity and rights. Additionally it is an object of the tenuous relationships between the public and private sectors in Chile, especially concerning the indigenous institute, the Corporación Nacional de Desarrollo Indígena (CONADI). Other failures of the relocation will be described. These are primarily the discrepancies between the verbal promises made in order to convince the Pewenche to relocate, the relocation plan on paper, and the reality on the ground. Next, the impacts on the social capital of the Pewenche due to the endless interventions in the communities will be explored. Additionally, this has led to larger problem of the lack of community organisation, compounded by a crisis of representation in the leadership roles, their relationships with external actors, whether public,

Translation: “…they turned against us, and being Pewenche ourselved as well…is…cruel…when your own people do not acknowledge you…they turned their backs on us…agains the own will of their families…for their own benefit…and today they still are still benefitting”.


private or NGOs, reinforcing unequal and uneven development, and dependence. The inequalities arose from the capabilities and capitals present which determined the success of the negotiations. The contrast between the discourse and practice of the relocation plan become evident. Finally, the thesis will be concluded with a short summary, then framed by the larger Chilean and global contexts, and end by answering the thesis questions.

Photo: Relocated comunidad El Barco, sector Costa Ralco


2. Hydroelectric Megaprojects and Relocations: The Case of Ralco
This chapter will provide a description of the setting, the actors, the main outlines of the historical context of the relationship between the Pewenche of the Alto Bío Bío and the Chilean State, focusing on the role of land, and then finally a chronological description of the Ralco conflict between the Pewenche and ENDESA. The Ralco Dam is located in the upper basin of the Bío Bío River, deep in the Chilean Andes, close to the border with Argentina, approximately 120 kilometres southeast of the city of Los Angeles. The 380 km long river is located in the middle of Chile and defines the border between the VIIIth Region of the Bío Bío and the IXth Region of La Araucanía. The Bío Bío River is also a historical symbol of the Chilean landscape, deemed the most important River in Chile (Moraga 2001: 6), as it was appointed La Frontera between the Spanish and the Mapuche territories (Zibechi 2007). The Bío Bío River’s location and ecological qualities make it a strategic place for the extraction of hydro energy, as recognized in the cadastral surveys conducted by ENDESA starting in 1958. They pinpointed fourteen possible locations to build hydroelectric dams, despite the high levels of seismic activity in the area (Moraga 2001: 25). (See map below). The 155 meter high Ralco Dam is one of the largest roller-compacted concrete dams in the world (Ray 2007: 184), its potential is 570 Mw, and the reservoir covers a total surface area of 3467 hectares. The reservoir inundated large tracts of native forest, and 290 and 219 hectares of invernada land in the comunidades of Ralco Lepoy and in Quepuca Ralco, respectively. The construction and surrounding infrastructure occupied another 129 hectares. This required the relocation of 96 families from those two Pewenche comunidades, acounting for approximately 600 people, and another 280 families were indirectly affected, as they live on the margins of the inundation (Moraga 2001: 25). However, ENDESA’s engineers predicted that the Ralco dam would only be in service for 100 years, due to sedimentation processes (Moraga 2001: 27). 568 million dollars were invested in the dam’s construction, ten percent of which was contributed by the World Bank’s IFC.

Photo: Ralco Dam


Source: 26-02-2007. 17

The area surrounding the Ralco Dam is called the Alto Bío Bío, which is comprised of the Queuco Valley and the mountain range surrounding the Bío Bío River, including the high peaks of the snow-capped volcanoes. The beginning of the Alto Bío Bío is marked by the junction of the Queuco and Bío Bío rivers. The Pewenche territory is found between the Bío Bío, Queuco and Trapa rivers, where now eleven Pewenche comunidades reside. Getting to the Alto Bío Bío requires travelling an hour by rural bus to Villa Ralco from the small rural town of Santa Barbara, which is one hour from the city of Los Angeles. The paved road passes seemingly endless fields and farms, spotted with cows and sprinklers, until it winds alongside the Bío Bío River, steadily rising into the Andes Mountains. Looking out the window, the edge of the road drops off about fifty meters down to the rushing river.

Photos: Scenery on the road to Ralco.

As the journey proceeds, the road’s inclines become steeper, the bends in the road sharper, the glory of the mountains and volcanoes closing in. The forests become denser, darker, and lusher; it is a contrasting mix of native growth and neat rows of scientific forestry: the North American pine tree plantations, with large scathes of clear-cut patches, the red earth showing through. These mountains are mainly misty, and rain is common. In summer, the dusty gravel roads are dry and barren. The journey there feels like you are heading to the middle of nowhere, to the isolation of the forbearing Andes, with only the natural elements to bear or admire. The road then approaches Villa Ralco, and suddenly a small, but industrializing town appears. There is a modern school, with a modern plaza, including a brand new museum and lookout, all thanks to ENDESA. The saplings on the plaza give away the youth of its construction. They give no shadow, so the bright, scorching summer sun leaves the plaza empty of people. This is where the pavement ends. Moving on from there, the gravel roads are steeper, narrower, rougher and from very dusty in the summer to inaccessible in the winter. One road goes to the five comunidades of the Queuco valley. The other takes a three-hour journey through Quallaqui, by the Pangue and Ralco dams, through Ralco Lepoy and Quepuca Ralco, and up to El Barco. The dams present omnipresent symbols of industry, right in the middle of the breathtaking natural beauty of the lush, green mountain range. Now and then, people walking on the side of the road stop passing trucks for a lift. The bus only passes by a couple of times a day in either direction. Now and then a jeep filled with tourists passes by; now and then it is a red ENDESA truck.

Photos: a windy summer day in Villa Ralco 18

The Alto Bío Bío is Pewenche territory. Nowadays, the Pewenche are widely recognized as a subgroup of the Mapuche. They are also emically defined as being part of the Mapuche society and culture. The assessments made by anthropologists show that they share social norms, behaviour, communication codes and the significance of social relations with the Mapuche (Morales 1998a: 135). There are an estimated one million Mapuche living in Chile and another 200 000 living in Argentina. They are Chile’s largest group of original peoples, and the third largest in South-America (Nesti 2002: 2). The Mapuche predominantly live in the south of Chile, although only half remain in rural areas, while the other half are found living in the peripheries of the urban centres (Bacigalupo 2004: 3). In the Mapuche language, Mapudungun, ‘Mapu’ means land, and ‘che’ means people; they are the people of the land. Pewenche, in turn, means people of the pewen, or araucaria,11 the native pine tree which has always provided piñones for their sustenance (Haughney 2006: 102; Nesti 2002).12 This language use signals the historic importance of land and its resources to the Mapuche people, and their discourse emphasizes its integral and significant part of their existence to this day. Most anthropologists and observers recognize and argue the integral role the land and the environment play in the Pewenche cosmovisión (Malmborg 1999; Palacios and Du Roy 2003; Nesti 2002; Nordbø 2001: 7; Wilson and Allaway 2001). 13 Yet, the historical indigenous narrative also makes it the object of their grief and strife, in their struggle to protect it from encroaching colonization and industrialization. The Ralco conflict is an emblem for the land conflicts that have resulted due to State industrialisation and integration policies over the past few decades. Before this conflict, due to the arrival of ENDESA, there were approximately 5000 Pewenche in the Alto Bío Bío, organised in seven comunidades. The comunidades share a common territorial history, through kinship relations, their proximity, and a common lifestyle and for having historically defended their territory together against repeated interventions of the winkas (Molina 1998: 86). 14 The kinship system of consanguinity and affinity was based on the extended family, unifying kin groups in blood and marriage ties, crossing the closest neighbouring comunidades. These alliances allowed for the trade of material and symbolic goods. The social reproduction occurred through the oral tradition of recounting family and Pewenche histories, as well as religious rituals such as the Guillatún. The lonko, head of the comunidad, held a decisive role in this reproduction as well as the political decisions of the comunidad (Morales 1998a: 138). The traditional authority of the lonko is said to have been affected by the dynamic of ENDESA’s interventions in the comunidades (Morales 1998a: 144). The annual transhumance and vertical migration of the veranada and invernada system, marked by two socio-ecological spaces allowed for their animal husbandry, recollection of piñones and firewood, and subsistence horticulture (Molina 1998: 78). The invernada lands are in the protection of the lower valley, they are more fertile lands surrounding the Bío Bío River where the Pewenche spend about three-quarters of the year, (between May and December) and have their permanent settlements (Molina 1998: 98). Soil quality and the abundance of water courses were notably greater in the invernada, for the extensive cultivation of vegetables, wheat, oats, potatoes, and fruit trees (Barchiesi and Contreras 1998: 117). The veranada lands are in the higher altitudes where they spend the summer months. In the veranada, the recollection of the piñones was the main activity, as well as the grazing of the animals in locations higher than 1000 meters in the summer months, where shrubs and grasses grow in abundance (Molina 1998: 93; 98; González-Parra and Simon 2003: 3). Agricultural products, piñones, as well as local fruits and usually wooden or wool artisan’s products were traded within and between the comunidades. Animal husbandry was the principle source of income as it provided the consumption of milk, the consumption and sale of meat, leather and wool (Molina 1998: 99). Trade strengthened socio-economic ties, and their isolation from Chilean society and environment necessitated a strong bond with the natural resources (Molina 1998: 103). Property use and ownership of land had complementary individual uses in the invernada lands and collective uses in the veranada lands and ritual spaces (Morales 1998a: 136).This control allowed for autonomous developments until the interventions of ENDESA. The creation of the reservoir by the Ralco dam meant the loss of 40 percent of the invernada land in Ralco Lepoy and 80 percent of invernada land in Quepuca Ralco, for which the Pewenche had to relocate (Morales 1998b: 167). This system is demonstrated by the figure below.

The name for the araucaria in English is the monkey-puzzle tree. Piñones are the nuts of the pewen tree. 13 Cosmovisión: Mapuche worldview based on their relationship the natural environment, often referred to by the Mapuche as their religion. 14 Winka: the Mapuche name for non-Mapuche, or foreigner.


Use of Land in the Comunidades Ralco Lepoy and Quepuca Ralco before the Ralco dam, by Altitudinal Gradation

Source: Molina 1998: 105.

The drawing above demonstrates the altitudinal difference between the invernada and the veranada lands, and at which times of the year they are used. The arrows show at which point in the year they move up to the veranada, and when they come back down, although the exact date can vary annually. In the drawing you can see that the Pewen trees only grow at the level of the veranadas. On the far right, the meters above sea level are indicated. The inundation line indicates that they lost an important part of the invernada. This drawing is of course a very simplified version of the density and arduousness of the Andes, as can be seen in the photos below:


Photo 1: Bío Bío River Mountains at 800 meters, Photo 2: Reserva Ralco at 1600 meters, and Photo 3: Volcano Callaqui at 2000 meters.

As will be shown in this thesis, the veranada-invernada system was an object of contention in the arena of the Ralco conlict, as it was affected by the relocations. The conflict over the Ralco dam between the Pewenche and ENDESA spanned two decades. It received wide national and international attention. This is mainly due to the controversy surrounding the opposition of the Pewenche, environmental organisations and other social and political institutions, even energy experts, who all denounced the project as questionable at best, and resulted in lengthy court litigations and violent protests at worst, while the dam’s construction continued relentlessly (Moraga 2001: 7). “Por primera vez en muchos años un caso específico condensaba y lograba reavivar un movimiento étnico…que exigía demandas en torno a la tierra perdida…Más que tierra, reconocimiento político para recobrar un territorio: autodeterminación” (Moraga 2001: 107).15 The Ralco case demonstrates that the displaced comunidades were not a homogeneous group, and that their different strategies to resist or negotiate the move fragmented them even further, which impeded their ability to fight for their rights. One of the reasons for protesting the dam’s construction was that the lands which were flooded contained ancient and modern burial sites and sacred sites, as well as over seventy archaeological sites (Nixon 2003 and Estrada 2004). For the Pewenche, as for most original peoples, land does not hold a price tag, it is priceless. The land is central to their identity, not only as original peoples but also as farmers. The protesters to the dam argued that they as Pewenche, they came from the land, have always lived there, and that the land has always provided their sustenance. They see it as their job to work the land, to cultivate their sustenance, take care of the land, and to protect the land from any external threat (Interview 19). Those that came later were foreigners (“winkas”) from distant places. Without the land, they are the same migrants as any other in the world. And that is exactly the argument for their ever-lasting struggle against the encroaching winka, who seek to exploit their land, take their land and send them away, or move in on their land (Interview 2; 7). Indeed, even in contemporary conflicts, the defence of their land forms the crux of their claims as a people. In the indigenous narrative, their ethnic identity thus rests on a historical ‘belonging’ to the land, which also forms their cultural, social, political, and economic relations (Morales 1998a: 136; Relmuan 1998: 209). Therefore, the role of land will be placed in its politicalhistorical context in this chapter. To understand the Ralco conflict and how the Chilean State managed to get the Ralco Dam built despite all of the controversy, it is useful to sketch here the main outlines of the historical context of the relationship between the Pewenche of the Alto Bío Bío and the Chilean State.

History Repeats Itself
Throughout Pewenche history, conflictive relations with winkas have marked historical transitions (Moraga 2001: 11-12). Historians estimate that there were Pewenche inhabiting the Alto Bío Bío since 1200 D.C. (Moraga 2001: 10). Since then, however, there have been significant changes. The Inca Empire had expanded south to Chile in pre-conquest times (Hamilton 1998: 23). This was most likely the first contact the Mapuche had with other peoples, reflected in the Mapuche word for foreigner: winka. The Pewenche were an ethnic group of nomadic hunters and gatherers of the Andean range, and had their own language. At the time of the Spanish conquest, the Pewenche
15 Translation: For the first time in many years a specific case condensed and achieved the revival of an ethnic movement…which demands centered around lost lands….More than land, the political recognition to recuperate territory: self determination.


banded together with other ethnic groups such as the Lafkenche who took refuge in the mountains in order to defend themselves. As a result of the wars, intermarriage and refuge, they adapted their language, customs and belief systems to one another (Moraga 2001: 11). However, the Pewenche maintained their hunting and gathering practices for sustenance, as well as their annual transhumance: the veranada and invernada system. Even during the Spanish Conquest, as the Mapuche repeatedly fought to defend their land until they finally signed a treaty with the Spanish Crown in 1641, recognizing Mapuche territory as south of the Bio Bío River until Chilean Independence in 1818 (Zibechi 2007). Previously to Chilean Independence, Pewenche territory extended further, across both Chilean and Argentinean sides of the Andes, from Santa Barbara and Quilaco, the Duqueco Valley to the east of the Antuco volcano. It was organized in territories controlled by lonkos. Since then, the Chilean State has repeatedly introduced laws and policies that reduced the size of Mapuche territory. It is often stated that in the 150-year period following indepence, Mapuche territory has been halved (Claude 2006: 126). The first laws introduced by the first president of the Republic of Chile, Bernardo O’Higgins, formed towns and villages of ‘indios’ in order to “protect and aid the indios who live uncivilly, lacking morals and education”. 16 This was to ensure that the indigenous population had the same rights to the latter as the all other Chilean citizens (Oliva 2000: 131; Molina 2000: 185). In 1866, the Comisión Radicadora de Indígenas granted the so-called Títulos de Merced,17 a land deed given to the lonko at a Chilean authority, not to be resold, and only to be left to heirs, confining them to a number of reserves, known as reducciones. This set of laws and reduction process is named “The Pacification of the Araucanía”, which ended in 1883 (Moraga 2001: 77; Oliva 2000: 131). According to anthropologist Faron (1961), Mapuche society had undergone major structural changes since the implementation of the reducciones. Previously, the lonkos were the oldest men of the lof, a “residential kin-group centred on the core of agnatically related males” (Stuchlik 1976: 46). According to anthropologist Stuchlik, the ‘División’ of the whole of Mapuche territory into small family farms resulted in the weakening of group integration and a redundancy of the lonko’s position as organizer of collective work (1976: 16). In Stuchlik’s time, however, this unit was also commonly referred to as the comunidad, although this did not have the legal significance in the Chilean system that the reducción did. The reduction of their territory intensified even further during the latifundio expansion in the 18 1870s, accompanied by the military occupation of the mountain range of the Araucanía (Molina 1998: 78). From 1870-1881, the State converted all of the Pewenche lands into private latifundios (Moraga 2001: 14; Molina 1998: 87). However, the radiccación of the Pewenche in the Alto Bío Bío was incomplete. The Títulos de Merced were not given to those living on private fundos. These were inhabited by inquilinos, renters which sometimes became colonos of lands abandoned by the owners of the fundos (Molina 1998: 88). Acquiring land from the Pewenche was often conflictive (Moraga 2001: 77). When the Argentinean government sent troops to conquest the Argentinean Mapuche territory from 1878 to 1883, Pewenche from the other side of the Andes in Neuquén sought refuge in the Alto Bío Bío, Queuco and Antuco valleys (Molina and Correa 1996: 20). They thus became incorporated into Pewenche society. From 1920 onwards, various laws were dictated that further generated the division of Mapuche lands into individual parcels and their subsequent conveyance to non-indigenous people. As many as 832 of the 3000 existing reservations were divided between 1931 and 1971, and it is estimated that a fifth of Mapuche lands were transferred to non-indigenous people during this period (Aylwin 2002: 6). The State began a process of assimilation, and the division of Mapuche communities served to integrate them into Chilean society (COIT 2005: 2). One well-known latifundista was Gonzalo Bunster, who was known for ‘duping’ the Pewenche with his wine and promises of prosperity so that they would sign their land titles to him (Flores 1998: 71-72). The refuge of Argentinean Pewenche in the Alto Bío Bío was used by lawyers defending the Bunster family in their attempt to evict a comunidad from the fundo Ralco in 1940. They pleaded these people had ‘emigrated’ from Argentina during the war (Molina and Correa 1996: 22). In the 1960s, the timber company Maderas Ralco was set up by a latifundista in the Alto Bío Bío, which attracted Chilean labourers to the area, later becoming colonos. This was the first industrial megaproject introduced in Pewenche territory, which largely impacted the social structures due to disputes between families which resulted in the process (Morales 1998b: 159). The broader

Indio was the Spanish name for an indigenous person in that era. Indigenous Roots Commission 18 A latifundio is a private rural estate.


agrarian reform project initiated in 1967 by the Frei Montalva administration (1964-1970), and intensified during the Allende administration (1970-1973), based on the Chilean Christian Democratic model, were to give the Pewenche certain benefits. However, the reform proved to be largely campesinista in the Alto Bío Bío, favouring the colonos who occupied abandoned fundos, which were subdivided, and they were granted land titles by the Instituto de Desarrollo Agropecuario (INDAP).19 This overshadowed the Pewenche demands of recuperating their territory, and caused conflicts with the colonos (Molina 1998b: 89; Moraga 2001: 79). The fundo Ralco was not expropriated by INDAP. Instead, it was designated as a National Park by CONAF in order to protect the native Pewen forest from being exploited by Maderas Ralco, which prevented the Pewenche to access some of their veranadas, where the Pewen trees, whose nuts, the piñones, provide a main component of their sustenance (Moraga 2001: 80; Molina 1998: 90). Many Pewenche we spoke to, now think that CONAF have a pact with ENDESA, as they do not punish them for cutting down native forest, while the Pewenche themselves are prohibited from making use of the Pewen trees in the reserves. Additional prohibitions were implemented when the Pinochet regime (1973-1989) introduced assimilation policies through a series of laws forbidding the practices of Mapuche language and religion, and intensifying the implementation of individual indigenous land titles throughout the 1980s: the Título de Dominio (Ouweneel 2004: 152; Mallon 2005: 122; Oliva 2000: 131). A number of Mapuche leaders who had been promoted by the Allende administration had been assassinated during the coup, and in the 1980s, protests were militarily repressed (Ouweneel 2004: 151-152). In Ralco, several organized comunidades demanded collective land titles, while INDAP pressured them to divide. This resulted in divisions within and between comunidades, according to the contradictions in preference for individual or collective land titles (Molina 1998: 81; 91). The height of the conflict was in 1985, when the military regime exerted strong pressures to impose the individual titles. Many families did not accept, based on the argument that they wished to continue living as a comunidad in order to conserve their traditions and customs (Moraga 2001: 62). The assimilation efforts of the Chilean State were not completely effective. The Pewenche continued to inhabit the Alto Bío Bío, conserving their geographic-historic borders. In Ralco, it was not until 1989 that the comunidades Ralco Lepoy and Quepuca Ralco were granted land titles, individually in the invernadas and collectively in the veranadas of the Ralco National Reserve. That same year the Acta de Nueva Imperial treaty was signed by President Patricio Aylwin (1990-1994), concerning indigenous rights in Chile, various indigenous leaders, academics, and politicians began working on the new Indigenous Law, which was introduced in 1993, along with the coordination of its application by the CONADI. The only indigenous association which was not involved in the process was the Consejo de Todas las Tierras (CTT), who preferred a more radical proposal of autonomy for the Mapuche Nation and the possession of its own territory, the Wall Mapu (Moraga 2001: 82; 84). The 1993 law mainly serves to establish the protection of indigenous lands and their resources, prohibiting their expropriation by non-indigenous people, with the exception of land exchange (permuta) (CONADI 2007). Since the arrival of President Aylwin, until the end of 1996, Mapuche organisations maintained a certain level of trust in the Indigenous Law. They were convinced that this would aid them in resolving their land conflicts. When ENDESA arrived in the Alto Bío Bío, land in the comunidades were divided into individual Títulos de Dominio amongst the families in the invernada lands where they had their permanent settlements in Quepuca Ralco and Ralco Lepoy, and collective rights to land in the veranada lands higher in the mountains, Guillatún sites, cemeteries and other sacred sites. In the Ralco case there were nine communal land titles (Moraga 2001: 45). Under the Indigenous and Environmental Laws of 1993 and 1994, respectively, ENDESA was obligated to provide compensation for the lands to be inundated by the Ralco dam. ENDESA was legally able to negotiate a permuta, or land exchange, individually, on the basis of the Títulos de Dominio, as the land to be affected by the Ralco dam was in the invernada land. The permuta is a legal land contract, to exchange one piece of land of equal or greater commercial value, for another. The lands that were offered were private fundos owned by non-indigenous Chileans, which ENDESA had purchased as early as 1979. If the Indigenous Law recognized customary law in terms of collective land rights, ENDESA would not have been able to inundate the invernada land, for it allowed ENDESA to make individual contracts with the Pewenche for their relocation, so that they did not legally need the consent of the entire community. In the Pewenche discourse, ENDESA is seen as a usurper, as winkas that came to take away their land (Relmuan 1998: 197). ENDESA had

Institute of Agricultural Development


given the land a price tag, a commercial value so that it could be exchanged for land elsewhere of equal or greater value. The Ralco conflict was an emblem for the Mapuche movement, yet also represents a historic rupture in the relations between the original peoples and the Chilean State, as will be described in the next section.

Photo: Construction of the Ralco Dam. Source: 23-04-2007.

The Polemic Ralco Conflict
Although the Ralco conflict was politically controversial in Chile, ENDESA is a private multinational company, originally created by the State, and privatized in the last years of the dictatorship. During the Ralco dam’s construction, it merged with a Spanish-based multinational. ENDESA had registered for the water rights of the Bío Bío River in the 1980s, without considering the usage rights of the Pewenche comunidades that live on its banks (Morales 1998b: 161). Thus, the Ralco Conflict emerged when ENDESA’s plans became public in the mid-eighties, and strong critical voices surged in opposition. In the Ralco arena, mapuche organisations, the affected comunidades themselves, as well as human rights and environmental organisations manifested their disagreement with the mega project, and its planning without consulting those who would be directly affected by its construction (Aylwin 1998: 11). Initially, there was a majority opposition to the Ralco dam in the comunidades that would be directly affected, as they did not wish to be relocated. In 1989, Pewenches sent a letter to the newly democratic Concertación Government, stating that they did not wish to be removed from the lands for the proposed hydroelectric projects (Moraga 2001: 81).20 Comunidades throughout the entire Alto Bío Bío area were protesting the dam’s construction, as they would all be indirectly affected. Especially so in the divisions caused between family members and comunidades, causing local long-term economic, political, social, and cultural impacts, as will be argued in this thesis (Relmuan 1998: 221). In the Ralco arena, the opponents to the dam and relocations not only argued against possible impacts, they also argued for their identity as Pewenche, which they saw as fundamentally tied to their land and their sustenance, and criticized those who supported the dams as betraying their own people, their own flesh and blood and ancestors (Fletcher 2001: 52; Quintremann 2000: 92; Interview
The Concertación de Partidos por la Democracia is a coalition of democratic parties formed in the 1990s, which promoted an export-oriented, resource-based economy, and signed free trade agreements such as the FTA, the MERCOSUR and APEC (Aylwin 2002: 2).


20). In the Pewenche culture, which is emically defined as their cosmovisión, the ancestral lands are priceless. They were divine gifts, the life force, and the opponents to the dam felt it their responsibility to protect the Ñuke Mapu for their children and grandchildren. 21 The opponents would teach them to fight as well, as their parents did before them (Quintremann 2000: 92). “Furthermore, the Pehuenche, like all the Mapuche, believe that each natural element has a being, an ngen. The mountains, the springs, animals, and swamps—each one has a being and special powers…The well being of the Pehuenche and their land requires equilibrium based on the respect for others and of nature” (González-Parra and Simon 2003: 3). This discourse is distinct from that of ENDESA in the State, who both promoted the dam.

Pangue, the First and “Only” Dam
Hydroelectric megadams are justified by Nation-States in a discourse of progress, national interest, and the “greater common good”. However, there is another motive. “The international dam industry is worth 20 billion dollars a year” (Roy 1999: 11). The IFC of the World Bank loaned ENDESA US$55 million directly and another US$115 million through European banks to construct the Pangue dam. The first loans were approved in 1992 (Moraga 2001 and Nordbø 2001). Two basic conditions for the loans for Pangue were conducting an EIA and creating a mechanism for mitigating the negative impacts on the affected communities. This was how the Fundación Pehuén was born, to which Pangue S.A. contributes 0,3 percent of its annual net profits (Interview 24, Fundación Pehuén Pangue). In 1992, the Fundación Pehuén started its campaign to convince people to support the dams (including Ralco), by offering the Pewenche a collective purchasing scheme, giving them up to 80 percent discounts on food and other primary needs. In order to receive these benefits, the families had to sign on as associates of the Foundation. ENDESA then presented these signatures to the IFC as support of the Pangue dam. The lonkos complained about the manipulation at the time. Two of them travelled to the offices of the World Bank in Washington to make an official complaint. At that moment, it first became clear to the people at the World Bank that the Pewenche land, where people lived, would be inundated by the Pangue dam, and that ENDESA had previously lied about it. Nevertheless, World Bank financing continued (Moraga 2001: 31). Other European funds financed the construction of the Pangue dam, through development aid programmes,22 and in 1993 stated that the Pangue dam “se trataba de una represa aislada…Ralco era una ficción que existía en la mente de los ecologistas” (Moraga 2001: 34).23 The financers were convinced that Pangue was the only dam to be built. If they acknowledged the existence of the plans for other dams, they would have had to take the cumulative impacts of more than one dam into consideration (Nordbø 2001: 8; Moraga 2001: 27). By the end of 1994, however, ENDESA was already contracting anthropologists to perform EIA studies for the Ralco dam (Moraga 2001: 35). One of the resistors to Pangue described the pressure under which they lived during this time:
En el tiempo de Pangue, la empresa empezó a ofrecer servicios médicos a la gente…llevaron firmas de la gente, sin que ellos sabían que estaban firmando su apoyo a la represa. No teníamos la Ley Indígena, no teníamos documentos jurídicos para demostrar que la tierra nos pertenece. No había CONADI...El proceso de la construcción de las centrales fue muy duro, era un tiempo de lucha. No sabíamos cómo, no teníamos experiencia con eso… Yo vivía siempre en Quepuca Ralco... Papa no quiso luchar, mi mama lo hizo sola, con sus hijos…Los Carabineros nos persiguieron…Un día llegue
Ñuke Mapu is the Mapuche term for mother earth. Norway financed the Pangue dam through the governmental NGO for cooperation and development, NORAD. The Swedish BITS (Swedish Council for Technical and Industrial Cooperation) financed the turbines of the Pangue dam through its development programmes. In 1993, President Patricio Aylwin assured the Norwegian Prime Minister, Gro Harlem Brundtland (of the famous report, Our Common Future), that Pangue would be the only dam built, and that he would personally oppose all plans for more dams on the Bío Bío river. Another critical point is that according to OECD policy, development aid is not to go to economically sound, profitable projects, which is what Pangue was projected to be (Nordbø 2001: 11). Ironically, the Swedish Agency of Cooperation for International Development (Sida), which finances BITS, also financed GABB, in its Swedish Society for the Conservation of Nature (SNF) fund, with a contribution of US$50 000 annually, for three years (Moraga 2001: 35). This may have been a form of “cooptation” (Foweraker 1995: 64), an attempt to control the movement against the dams, although this simultaneously made it hard for the Sida to deny that there was opposition to the project, or something questionable surrounding the project, raising yet more doubts to their intentions of financing it under the banner of development. 23 Translation: ...the Pangue dam “was an isolated dam...Ralco was a fiction which existed in the minds of the environmentalists”.
22 21


del colegio y no había nadie afuera, eso es extraño porque siempre había alguien afuera... mis hermanas tenían 11 y 13 años, yo 15, y cuando llegue a la casa, mi mama y mis hermanas contaron todo lo que pasó. La gente de la empresa las ha pegado (Interview 2). 24

He said that the company had falsely obtained signatures from people when offering them medical services, and using these to demonstrate support for the Pangue project. His family resisted being evicted from their land on the bank of the Bío Bío River, which is now the Pangue reservoir, and endured harassment and physical aggression by the police and ENDESA labourers throughout the construction of the dam. His mother resisted alone, with her children. Her husband did not want to resist, and moved away. When ENDESA constructed the Pangue dam, neither the Indigenous Law nor the CONADI existed. The affected comunidades were therefore not able to make claims based on Indigenous Rights within the Chilean legal system. Within that system, ENDESA owns the rights to water on the Bío Bío River, but in order to access the river and build the dam, they had to intervene in the Pewenche territory. In this process, there was a lack of consultation and information about the Pangue project, leading to misconceptions and conflicts between the people, and allowed for ENDESA to convince them into supporting the projects (Morales 1998b: 178). The mere mention of the projects caused divisions between and within families, before ENDESA even started construction of the dam (See Malmborg 1999, Morales 1998, Johnston and Downing 2004; Relmuan 1998; Namuncura 1999; Aylwin 1998; Moraga 2001; Aylwin 2002; and Skjaevestad 2006). The construction of the Pangue dam introduced construction companies and winka labourers into the previously virtually isolated Alto Bío Bío area, increasing access to the comunidades and disrupting the lives of the Pewenche. The first EIA, as dictated by the IFC, was performed in the area that was to be inundated by the Pangue dam in 1992. Alejandro Colomés, responsible for the study, arrived with police forces and ENDESA’s security agents (Moraga 2001: 27). However, his report “fue rechazado por sus aberrantes carencias. Pese a todo el informe de Colomés – clasificado como documento oficial de ENDESA – identificó al menos 100 impactos ambientales de algún tipo, de los cuales el 30% fue positivo, un 20% fue neutral y el restante 50% fue negativo en diversos grados. Más bien por presiones de los organismos crediticos que por un aumento de la sensibilidad social, ENDESA contrató luego al arqueólogo Mario Orellana para realizar un nuevo diagnostico…llegó en helicóptero a Callaqui…Estuvo en terreno poco más de 24 horas…Luego regresó a Santiago y emitió su informe: la represa es positiva para la zona y para los indígenas…olvidó citar a muchos de los autores utilizados. Algunos los acusaron públicamente de “pirateo” (Moraga 2001: 28). 25 Conversely, anthropologist Theodore Downing was hired by the World Bank’s IFC in 1996, in response to complaints made by the GABB, to investigate the actions of the Foundation. He was not received well by the Pewenche, as many did not trust anyone working for the World Bank, or any other institution allied with ENDESA (Moraga 2001: 32). Nonetheless, both GABB and Downing denounced that the Fundación Pehuén was financing propaganda projects and studies for Ralco, with funds actually intended for mitigating the impacts of Pangue, violating its own statutes. Meanwhile, ENDESA claimed only to have plans for one dam (Moraga 2001: 32). ENDESA petitioned the World Bank to keep Downing’s report from being made public, something that contradicted the original agreement Downing had made to share the results with the Pewenche. The results were not released until a year and half later, after CONAMA had already approved the EIA for Ralco, in 1997, and the construction of Pangue was in its final stages (Moraga 2001: 32-33).


Translation: In the time of Pangue, the company started to offer medical services to the people…taking their signatures, without them knowing that they were signing in support of the dam. We did not have the Indigenous Law, we did not have legal documents to show that the land belongs to us. There was no CONADI …The process of the construction of the dams was very difficult, it was a time of struggle. We did not know how, we did not have experience with that… I always lived in Quepuca Ralco…Dad did not want to fight, my mom fought alone, with her children …The police were persecuting us…One day I arrived home from school and there was no one outside, that is strange because there was always someone outside…my sisters were 11 and 13 years old, I was 15. When I came home, my mom and my sisters told me everything that had happened. The company people had hit them. 25 The report ‘was rejected for its aberrent deficiencies. In spite of everything, Colomés’ report – classified as official ENDESA document – identified at least 100 environmental impacts of some sort, of which 30% were positive, 20% were neutral and the remaining 50% were negative to diverse degrees. More because of pressures from the credit agencies than for a heightening of social sensitivity, ENDESA later contracted the archeologist Mario Orellana to conduct a new assessment…he arrived by helicopter in Callaqui…He was in the field for just over 24 hours…Later he returned to Santiago and submitted his report: the dam is positive for the area and for the indigenous people…he forgot to name much of the sources he had used. Some of the authors publicly accused him of “piracy”.


The construction site of the first dam (Pangue) resembled a battlefield: as dynamite blew the sides off sacred mountains, armies of workmen marched into tunnels and convoys of heavy machinery wheeled down new penetration roads into what had been one of Chile’s more isolated areas…Company sociologists and lawyers roamed Pehuenche lands, collecting signatures—signing Indian people up as members of a newly-formed, company-controlled, indigenous development handing out foundation—and gifts…Promised project-related benefits— primarily unskilled construction jobs—have almost disappeared. Traditional leaders have been undercut or deeply scarred in skirmish after skirmish. Factionalism has fractured kinship bonds (Downing and GarciaDowning 2001: 7-9). Photo: Pangue Dam.

The World Bank had sent Jay Hair in 1996 to write another report, due to the formal complaints made by GABB, representing 300 Pewenche families, about the operations of ENDESA. However, his final report was censored by ENDESA because his denunciations were much stronger than GABB`s (Moraga 2001: 33). The World Bank then threatened ENDESA with incompliance of the credit contract clauses, to which ENDESA reacted by taking out a loan with the German Dresdner Bank, and paying off the IFC loan immediately in March 1997 (Moraga 2001: 33-34). The construction of the first dam, Pangue, was finished in 1997, and it affected lands of the Pewenche comunidades Quepuca Ralco, Pitril, and Callaqui (Moraga 2001: 25). Neither the Indigenous Law nor the Environmental Law, of 1993 and 1994 respectively, existed at this time. The dam was thus constructed legally, however, not without protests by the affected communities.

Ralco and the Environmental Impact Assessments: Si o Si
For the Ralco dam, the Environmental and Indigenous Laws were in effect, which meant that ENDESA had to take the affected Pewenche into consideration. The 1997 environmental regulation stipulates that companies have to present EIA studies to the CONAMA, an institute entrusted with processing these reports prior to approving new projects. The companies are granted two years to perform their studies before having to turn in the reports. In practice, the EIA studies are performed by specialists contracted by the companies themselves. This not only raises questions about bias and manipulation of the methodology in which the studies are performed, and the allegiance with which the reports are written, but it also raises questions about the credibility of those writing the reports. Those writing reports that do not lie in the interests of the company, are punished or fired by the companies employing them, or reject or censor their findings if it does not convenience them. This was the case for anthropologists Theodore Downing, Rodrigo Valenzuela, Jay Hair and Verónica Tagle who all worked on reports for the Pangue/Ralco cases (Moraga 2001: 30, 33, 37). Once the EIA has been presented to the CONAMA, the general public and civil society institutions have only sixty days to comment on the report, with documented argumentation. In 1996, CONAMA rejected the first EIA presented by ENDESA for the Ralco project in response to the critiques of 22 public organisations, external consultants and civil society entities, including the CONADI, who declared Ralco to be the “ethnocide” of the Pewenche people. The EIA was rejected because of a faulty methodology, an incomplete description of the details of the project, and the mentioning of a relocation plan without actually including one, nor civil society participation. In response, ENDESA had a second EIA study conducted by anthropologists Juan Le Bert and Daniel Quiroz, among others. Their report stated that the cultural system of the Pewenche was in a state of deterioration due to their poor living standards, and that their primary concern was to resolve their poverty and find work. Therefore, migrating to urban centres would allow them to recuperate their dignity and well-being. According to the study, 90% of the people wanted to relocate, and

emphasized that they recognized sacred sites in the relocation site of El Barco, although previous studies made by the CONADI, other government bodies and anthropologists declared El Barco inhabitable in winter (Moraga 2001: 38; Namuncura 1999; Morales 1998). CONAMA rejected the second EIA, the addendum that included the relocation plan designed by Quiroz. CONAMA required ENDESA to implement a monitoring system for the park reserves, flora and fauna, the arqueological sites and to increase the technical assistance plan for the relocated communities from four to ten years. Therefore, the second addendum (or third EIA report) was written and approved by CONAMA in 1997, with the condition that the permutas (land exchange contracts) were to be approved by the CONADI and with the voluntary consent of the families that were to be relocated. The approval of CONAMA was apparently the only thing necessary for ENDESA to start construction of the Ralco dam in 1997.

Protests and Pressure
From the time that ENDESA arrived in the Alto Bío Bío in the early 90s, until the end of the construction of the Ralco dam in 2004, the opinions of the Pewenche have varied on the issue. Some chose to protest and others chose to relocate. This process led to tensions within the communities, dividing families and communities, “between those who believe the land is priceless, and those who think that land has a price, but it is a high one” (Ray 2007: 181; Correa 2000: 94). However, the people who opted for relocation do not see their identities as Pewenche tied to any specific land. They do not see their culture exclusively as a “tradition” (Fletcher 2001: 53). The cultural reasons for the opposition were the loss of cultural captital due to the inundation of the ancestral cemeteries and the sacred Guillatún sites (as will be discussed later), central to the Pewenche cosmovisión (Morales 1998b: 188; Relmuan 1998: 208). They also stressed the importance of the veranada-invernada system, as it was a large part of the invernada lands that was inundated. Opposition to the relocation also included a general discontent with the new sites proposed by ENDESA. Initially ENDESA had offered to relocate them to countryside near Los Angeles, but this offer was outright rejected due to its distance from the Alto Bío Bío. Unanimously in Quepuca Ralco and a majority in Ralco Lepoy said that the appointed relocation site, the fundo El Barco would not be an adequate place to live year-round because of the heavy snowfalls in winter. They also lamented the loss of contact with their family members due to the relocation (Morales 1998b: 181). In those two comunidades, since 1997, a group of 30 Pewenche women protested against the Ralco dam, organized under the banner Mapu Domuche Newen,26 and headed by the sisters Nicolasa and Berta Quintremann, who claimed they would not leave their lands behind alive. The sisters received several international human rights prizes for their struggle against the dam. However, this occurred at a time when construction was nearly completed (Fletcher 2001: 40). The Pewenche who protested the dam and the relocation, such as the Quintremann sisters, think that their identity and autonomy as a people is inextricably linked to their control over their land (Quintremann 2000: 92). They think that the people have lost their history, and will not be able to pass on their wealth of knowledge of the land onto their children and grandchildren (Interview 7). However, the Quintremann sisters today no longer practice agriculture or animal husbandry. They began a tourist enterprise, a campground at the edge of Lake Ralco. At the height of the Ralco conflict, all kinds of foreign and Mapuche activists were staying there (Fletcher 2001: 49). They later invested in facilities such as boats, but due to the widespread drought in Chile, there was hardly any lake to speak of in the 2007-2008, and there have hardly been any people passing through this year. One prominent activist group was the Grupo Acción del Bío Bío (GABB), a coalition of individual Chilean professionals and Pewenche who protested the construction of the dam, in the discourse of protecting the ecosystem of the river and the surrounding forests, as the reservoir would create irreversible damage (Aylwin 2002 and Nixon 2003). Due to this discourse, they were often simply referred to as “the environmentalists”. As they felt powerless to having their voices heard within the Chilean system, activists and organisations sought international attention and support. International NGOs such as the International Rivers Network, Friends of the Earth, and the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation “played an active role in the struggle against the dam at international forums” (Aylwin 2002: 17). The human rights organisations, such as Cultural Survival, the International Federation of Human Rights (IFDH) and the American Anthropological Association

Women with the Strength of the Earth


lamented the disregard for indigenous rights because they would not only lose their land, but also their cultural heritage. They criticized the way in which the Pewenche were threatened, coerced, and eventually violated and arrested (Aylwin 2002: 17 and Estrada 2004). None of the protestors or institutions opposing the dam in the Ralco arena had the power to stop the dam from being constructed, despite all the attempts to prove that ENDESA’s actions were illegal, immoral, and unethical. This behaviour would also set the stage for the execution of the relocation plan, as will be discussed later in this thesis. Such behaviour was demonstrated as the resisting Pewenche continually endured harassment in their homes by their neighbours who supported the project and wanted to relocate, by ENDESA labourers, and the police. The Pewenche who refused to leave their lands were threatened, blackmailed, and terrorized into doing so (Haughney 2006: 121). Eventually, most of the families signed the permutas, and left the remaining eight resisting families in conflict with their neighbours and family members (Malmborg 1999). Endless accusations went the rounds in the Alto Bío Bío. Envy, distrust, representation struggles, and personal disqualifications marked the discourses of the different actors in the opposition, frustrating any kind of unified action (Moraga 2001: 100). One woman, age 46, in Ayin Mapu, recounted her resistance:
Yo estaba luchando por la tierra, por causa de mis hijos… tengo cinco hijos y ahí mi esposo estaba firmado de ir a Ralco, yo estaba peleando con los ecologistas y peleaba con la CONAMA…yo no quería ir por acá, yo no quería ir para ningún lado. Yo no quería salir, entonces después dijeron… los van a fiscalizar así no más nos dijeron (Informal Conversation 3, Ayin Mapu). 27

She was thus fighting with various actors: the CONAMA, the GABB, and her spouse. She did not want to relocate, but her husband signed the contract. She was in the opposition movement. For nearly a decade, this movement made public statements, petitions, letters, legal actions, protests, manifestations, marches, occupations and roadblocks, which lit the stage of the Ralco conflict. Mapuche organisations, environmental and human rights groups and other civil society groups and individuals joined the opposition (Aylwin et al 2001: 5). Protests were carried out in the Alto Bío Bío, Santiago, Concepción, Temuco, and Osorno in the years 1997, 1998, 1999, and 2000. The CONADI headquarters in Temuco were occupied during five days in 1998 (Namuncura 1999: 50). A three-day, 120 km march on the highway from Santiago to the National Congress in Valparaiso included Mapuche leaders, youth, adults, and children alike. The regional government of the VIIIth Region sent the riot police to the Alto Bío Bío, as hundreds of people, students, environmentalists, and human rights activists began to arrive to support the Pewenche protesters. Ralco was especially prolific in the Chilean press, and reached the international press, such as CNN and newspapers who had sent journalists to the area. The Chilean television was continuously broadcasting news reports for an entire month in 1998. The public opinion was heavily influenced by these reports, deriving either sympathy or racism towards the Pewenche, as the images of the militarised zone promoted the label of the Pewenche as a violent or an oppressed people. ENDESA ran a lengthy and widespread publicity campaign and manipulated the press in order to keep crucial information about the project from the citizens and public institutions (Aylwin 2002: 11-12; Namuncura 1999: 58).

The Power of Persuasion
Such crucial information was uncovered in CONADI reports, which showed for example, that ENDESA had illegally started the construction of the Ralco Dam, cutting down native forest, building roads and bridges, without consulting or requesting permission from the Pewenche people (Namuncura 1999: 16):
…la concesión provisoria otorgada por la Superintendencia de Electricidad y Combustibles (SEC) por el plazo de dos años, venció en enero de 1998…A pesar de no existir por parte de la SEC la concesión definitiva, actualmente se construyen las obras a través de contratos que ENDESA, por privativa


Translation: I was fighting for the land, for my children…I have five children and my husband signed to be go to Ralco, I was fighting with the environmentalists and with the CONAMA. So I was fighting, I did not want to come here, I did not want to go anywhere. I did not want to leave. And then they said…we will buy the lands anyway, just like that.


voluntad, por si o mediante terceros inicie los trabajos relacionados con las obras de construcción y faenas de la central hidroeléctrica Ralco (Namuncura 1999: 19). 28

Even though the provisional contract with the SEC had expired, and the definite contract had not yet been approved, ENDESA continued construction on the Ralco dam. In order to persuade the Pewenche to support the dam and negotiate the relocations, ENDESA representatives would arrive in the comunidades and offer people rides and buy them household items.“Faltaba al puro gato que lo llevaron en camioneta, uno andaba por la calle y paraba el chofer ‘súbase, a donde va’ y todo eso, lo llevaban a un negocio que quiere…a veces uno no quería nada y le compraban harina, fideos, le surtían la casa, eso era que hacia ENDESA” (Informal Conversation 1, Ayin Mapu). 29 ENDESA contacted individuals, and there was no discussion about the project with the community as a whole, according to the Pewenche customs, which simultaneously impeded an organized opposition (Morales 1998b: 179). ENDESA hoped to avoid conflicts by establishing relationships that would allow for negotiated agreements. They worked these negotiations case by case, family by family, and person by person. They tried to convince the people, seducing them with proposals of material benefits, investments or cash. This caused the gap between young and old to widen, as the young were more susceptible to the discourses of promised wealth which ENDESA labourers offered them (Moraga 2001: 45; 97-98). The negotiations were used to convince the families to support their projects, leave their lands and relocate, which reveals the classic unequal power relation between a multinational company and indigenous communities, found in the power of coercion. In those negotiations, ENDESA persuaded some of the Pewenche families to sign the permutas by offering them jobs in the construction of the dam, and alternative land elsewhere, as well as monetary compensation. They only offered these packages for a short period of time, letting the Pewenche believe that they would be relocated either way, their insecurity motivating them to sign the permutas quickly (Malmborg 1999). Therefore, contesters argued that those that accepted the offers did so under false pretences, and felt pressured to do so (Nixon 2003). The discourse of those in favour of the project emphasized the need for salaried employment, the improvement and construction of roads and bridges, schools and housing as positive benefits of ENDESA’s presence in the area (Relmuan 1998: 215). Some Pewenche chose to relocate in order to receive jobs offered in the construction of the dam. Others were uncertain, and thought they had no choice. Two men in El Barco who initially resisted the relocation explained how the negotiations went:
Antes del 2000… llegaba como a las 11 de la noche, estaba en mi casa…ese que andaba negociando…yo no le daba la cara, yo no le respondía, le decía no, yo no voy a permutar……tengo dos hijos…ahora me atrincan a mí, ‘para que hiciste el negocio…tendría que hacer sido buen negocio’, entonces uno no sabe leer, a uno le pasan un papel, uno le dice… dos veces fui a la notaría de Santa bárbara, a la fuerza me hacían firmar … ‘si usted no firma no va a tener terreno’…“Mucha gente fue convencida que la represa se construirá, sí o sí. Nosotros luchamos para defender nuestra vida, nuestros derechos, como pueblo….Mucha gente no luchó, porque no sabía luchar, no sabía que la gente que luchaba hasta el fin, como las cuatro mujeres, tendrían la mejor negociación. Las mujeres eran exitosas porque lucharon juntos, no individualmente. La gente que luchó individualmente perdió. Las mujeres no lucharon para negociar, lucharon para defender sus tierras, que pertenecían a sus abuelos, donde vivían hace muchos años, donde tenían todo su vida (Interview 8 and 2, El Barco). 30

Translation: The provisional concession authorized by the Superintendent of Electricity and Combustibles (SEC) for a term of two years elapsed in January of 1998...Even though a definite concession from the SEC does not exist, ENDESA’s contractors, by private will, or through third parties, are currently initiating the construction related to the building of the Ralco hydroelectric plant. 29 Translation: Before when they were negotiating…they came to take all but the cat in their truck, one would walk in the street and the chauffer would say “get in, where are you going” and everything, and they brought you to whichever store you wanted to go to…sometimes one did not want anything and they bought you flour, pasta, they stocked the house, that is what ENDESA did. 30 Translation: Before the year 2000…he came at about 11 o’clock at night, I was at home…the man who was negotiating…I did not even give him the time of day, I did not answer him, I told him no, I will not exchange my land…I have two children…now they bug me, why did you negotiate….you should have negotiated well, but when one does not know how to read, they pass one a paper, they tell one…twice I went to the notary in Santa Barbara, they forced me to sign… “If you do not sign, you will not have any land”… A lot of people were convinced that the dam would be built either way. We fought to defend our life, our rights, as a people…A lot people did not fight, because they did not how to fight, they did not know that the people who would fight until the end, like the four women, would have the best negotiations. The women were successful because they fought together, not individually. The people who fought individually lost out. The women did not fight to negotiate; they fought to defend their lands, which belonged to their grandparents, where they had lived for many years, where they had their whole lives.



ENDESA’s negotiators kept arriving at their homes late at night, even though the people did not want to negotiate. At the notary they were told that if they did not sign, they would not longer have any land. Now, people see that the people who negotiated individually, lost out, as the four women who fought until the end, together, won in the end. Additionally, there were enough testimonies to indicate that ENDESA had misled the Pewenche into thinking that the project had already been approved and that they had no other choice than to accept the compensation packages for their relocation. “…el mismo negociador… que trabaja con ENDESA …que vive en Santiago el caballero…dijo si ustedes no hacen negocio igual se va a hacer la represa y lo va a tomar el estado, nos metió susto como para ir atemorizados a hacer negocio casi toda la gente…pero yo no quería negociar, yo le decía no negociemos nada, quería hacerlo igual como las ñañas Quintremanes… que no le creímos lo que decía la ñaña Berta, que el que resistía le iba tocar mejor, hacía mejor negocio…ahí la gente todos debilitaron… de primera porque el presidente que teníamos no tenía muy claro que iba a pasar más adelante, que nunca había estado en este tema de negociar y permutar campo entonces si me demoro más voy a perder, entonces llegaban los hombres buenos a tasarle el campo y le pagaban no más” (Interview 4 Ayin Mapu).31 Furthermore, most of them were illiterate, which meant that they would sign off their lands without knowing the details of the contract, and with a thumbprint it was sealed and would hold up in court (Malmborg 1999 and Haughney 2006: 106; Skjævestad 2006). Most of the people are 50 years or older, and lived in the time when schools did not exist in the Alto Bío Bío. “…tengo 3 hijos…esos saben leer, cuando hice la permuta estaban chiquititos ellos, entonces no me acompañaron nada, si no, habría hecho un buen negocio” (Interview 3, Man, Age 50, El Barco).32 Dirigentes of Ayin Mapu explained the process of the individual negotiations, how they started with the newly appointed dirigentes in 1995:
La empresa venían a conversar con los lonkos más nuevos…fue el año 95 que empezaron … a conversar muy fuerte… después empezaron a trabajar a cada uno…ENDESA tuvieron muchas maneras de saber llegar, llegaban a pata con la nieve a la rodilla, buscando, preguntando cómo era la vida del invierno… no le gustaría cambiar una vida, ellos estaban dispuestos a cambiar, a apoyar… muchos caímos, porque no debió haber sido así, muchos dijeron que si claro, a mi me gustaría, pero le gustaría negociar su campo, que nosotros le compráramos otro por allá que le diéramos un poco de plata… allá no hay nieva, vamos a hacerle una y esta otra oferta, donde pillaban debilidad empezaron a llegar más rápido…empezaron a mostrar su voluntad… hasta que al final nos sacaron engañados… yo lo digo…a cada uno, independiente… yo no sé cuanto negoció mi vecino…ni el otro…fue el error de que nos decían ‘lo que sabe usted lo sabe usted no más no tiene porque decirle al otro, usted no se meta porque esas cosas son delicadas…así se hacen los negocios’, nosotros como ignorantes le creímos… nunca… nos juntamos…después era de todos los días, que andaban detrás de nosotros… son muy astutos… como empresa son muy trabajadores, saben cómo trabajar la gente (Interview 5, Ayin Mapu). 33

The dirigentes told us that the ENDESA men arrived through wind and weather at all the houses asking people how the winter was, if they would not like to live somewhere else with less snow, or
31 Translation: “…the negotiator…working for ENDESA…he lives in Santiago…said if you do not negotiate, they will build the dam anyway, and the State will take your land, he frightened us into negotiating, almost everyone…but I didn’t want to negotiate, I said to him we will not negotiate anything, I wanted to be like the Quintremann sisters…but we didn’t believe what the ñaña Berta was saying, those who resisted were better off in the end, they negotiated better…that was the weakness of the people…first of all because the dirigente we had did not really know what was going to happen in the future, he had never been involved in negotiations and exchanging land so we thought if we wait longer, we will lose out, so the hombres buenos arrived to assess the land and they paid us”. (The so-called Hombres Buenos were a commission appointed by the Ministry of Economy to visit the properties to determine how much ENDESA had to pay the families to move). 32 Translation: I do not know how to read because before there was no school, I am now 50 years old…afterwards there was a school, now they know, I have three children…that know how to read, when I signed the permuta they were very young, so they were not able to help me, otherwise I would have made a good negotiation. 33 Translation: “The company came to talk to the new lonkos…it was the year 95 when they started…they started to talk very strongly…then they started working at each one…ENDESA had many ways in which they arrived, on foot with snow up to their knees, searching, asking how life was in winter…wouldn’t they like to change their life, they are prepared to change, prepared to support…many of us went down, becuase it should not have been that way, may said yes, of course, I would like that, but would you like to negotiate your land, so that we buy you different land over there and we will give you some money…over there there is no snow, we are going to offer you this and that, where they found weakness they started arriving quickly….showing their will…until finally they had deceived usa ll…I tell you…to each one, idependently…I don’t know how much my neighbour negotiated…nor the other one…that was the mistake, that they told us “what you know is only for you to know, you do not have to tell anyone, don’t interfere with others because these are delicate matters, that’s how negotiations are done”, then they started coming everyday, they were chasing us …as a company they work really hard, they know how to work the people.


with more land, or whatever the people preferred. They said to the people that their neighbours were already supportive and negotiating, and they need not discuss such delicate matters between them, that negotiation was meant to be a personal affair. They also said that if they did not negotiate, they would lose any benefits. That is what the dirigentes identified as the main error, or weakness on which ENDESA prayed: that they did not get together to discuss the negotiations collectively. They did not discuss the issues together. ENDESA employees then started coming more and more frequently, putting on the pressure until the permutas were all finally signed individually.
…aquí cada uno hizo el compromiso con la persona que andaba…entonces no todos tienen el mismo problema…Ahí en la misma notaria, cuando fuimos a hacer la firma… le dije léamela pausadita y para entenderla yo… y ahí me dijo la única persona usted que ha preguntado qué significa lo que va a firmar, porque aquí vienen personas y no tienen idea que están firmando, porque ellos hacen acuerdos y no sé si aparezcan acá en la carpeta o no (Interview 4, Ayin Mapu). 34

Since they made agreements without knowing what the others had agreed to, they all ended up with different benefits, and now have different problems accordingly. There were thus discrepencies in what was promised and what was on paper. The people rarely asked what it was exactly that they were signing. Such misinformation and any other weakness that existed within the comunidades prior to the relocation, was worked at by ENDESA’s interventions, as described in the previous section, and resulted in divisions, conflicts, distrust and a lack of organized action to face the relocations as a community. A dirigente, age 50, in Ayin Mapu explained that he thinks ENDESA took advantage of the fact that the people were not organized and did not participate much in the meetings of the comunidades for the distances that they had to travel (Interview 4). ENDESA exerted psychological pressure on the Pewenche families in order to convince them to support the project and to relocate. The opponents claimed that ENDESA was taking advantage of the ignorance of the people in order to negotiate the relocation, as ENDESA used very difficult technical and legal language, foreign to them, as well as the concept of negotiation itself (Correa 2000: 93-94; Aylwin 1998: 15). ENDESA took advantage of the weaknesses in or lack of access to the social, human, and economic capital of the Pewenche, due to the relative isolation in which they lived from Chilean society. The Pewenche did not have electricity, had basic or no formal education, and lived mainly from small-scale farming. Their human capital was weak as they had a lack of knowledge or awareness of their rights (Haughney 2006; Malmborg 1999 and Skjævestad 2006). A woman in Ayin Mapu, age 52, explained how they did not know how to negotiate, and this is the ignorance of which ENDESA took advantage:
Uno no tuvo ayuda de nadie y uno no tiene costumbre de hacer negocios como mapuches que somos y uno que no sabe leer menos, más bien ellos se aprovecharon con nosotros, se aprovecharon de la ignorancia (Informal Conversation 6, Ayin Mapu).35

She said that no one facilitated them in the negotiations, which allowed ENDESA to take advantage of their illiteracy. One man, age 42 in Ayin Mapu, bitterly explained the process, which he now regrets:
Imagínese, que como somos gente ignorante los de ENDESA nos hacía firmar en nuestras propias casas y los caballeros no saben leer, ¿porqué no contrataron un abogado y firmar a una notaria? esos papeles…no se pueden firmar en cualquier lado…ellos no son una persona facultada para hacer ese trabajo, eso es un arreglo de ellos… el viejito llegó y firmó no mas …Con esos números de carnet y nuestros nombres, los de ENDESA acreditaron que las comunidades estaban de acuerdo en hacer las centrales, de primera con ese engaño se puso la Fundación Pehuén (Informal Conversation 1). 36
34 Translation:…here each one made a commitment with whoever was there…so we do not all have the same problems…Even at the notary, when we went to sign the contracts…I said read it to me slowly so that I can understand and they told me that I was the only person who had asked what it meant what I was going to sign, because the people came and had no idea what they were signing for, because they made agreements and I don’t know if they are in this file. 35 Translation: we did not receive help form anyone and we were not accustomed to negotiate, being mapuches as we are, and we did not know how to read either, they took advantage of us, they took advantage of our ignorance. 36 Translation: Imagine, as we are ignorant people, ENDESA made us sign away our own homes and they do not know how to read. Why did they not contract a lawyer and sign at the notary? Those kinds of papers…cannot be signed just anywhere…they are not people entitled to do that work, it was something they arranged…the guy arrived and just signed…with those identity numbers and our names, ENDESA proved that the comunidades were in agreement with the plants, first by the deception that Fundación Pehuen made.


He explained how ENDESA arrived at their houses and made them sign straight away, with their thumbprint and identity number. That is how ENDESA proved that the Pewenche were in agreement with the projects, even though they were not. Critics say that the people were not informed or were not able to understand the project’s implications, nor the laws involved, nor their rights, and did not know which role public institutions had that were evaluating their rights (Relmuan 1998: 194). That would normally be the task of the dirigente of the comunidad, however this form of leadership was evidently lacking. Dirigentes were appointed by ENDESA for the new relocated comunidades. In 1996 they were contracted to work for the company, building houses in El Barco for the construction labourers of the Ralco dam. They were offered the most benefits and were contracted to work for the company, and the Fundación Pehuén, and helped convince the families to negotiate. To this day they are the greatest benefactors of the relocation. Thus, ENDESA’s empowerment of the dirigentes and employees caused a rupture between them and the rest of the comunidades.
Cuando llegó ENDESA a negociar no había dirigente, lonko no mas había y secretario…el lonko ya estaba viejo, estaba jodido cuando llego ENDESA”…“los mismo de ENDESA hicieron un arreglo…sacaron a una persona como dirigente que ellos le convenía, un dirigente que fuera guiado por ellos… una persona que sea manipulado por ellos no puede hablar en contra… ahora mismo no sabemos para qué lado va el bus”…“me sacó como supervisor el mismo ENDESA…pero tenía que aceptarlo como uno necesitaba la plata así que…no había dirigente en la comunidad, cuando ya llevábamos varios meses trabajando ya empezaron a sacar dirigente…sacaron como ocho dirigentes…dijeron este sirve porque este comprende dijeron, comprendía todo el trabajo”… “pero que hace por la gente, nada, al contrario… siempre está respaldando a ENDESA y como ENDESA a él lo apoya…él que tenía que más haberse puesto de acuerdo con la gente y luchar... Hubo mucha manipulación por parte de los dirigentes, porque los llevaban a concepción a reunión, imagínese en avión, entonces ahí hubo manipulación y andaban de asado en asado (Interview 12, El Barco; Informal Conversation 5, Ayin Mapu; Interview 6, El Barco; Informal Conversation 15, El Barco).37

The dirigentes were the first to negotiate and relocate. They were offered salaried employment, taken to asados and other events. They were to lead the rest of the people to form their new comunidades in the new locations. The people say that they were backed by ENDESA’s money, not elected by the comunidad, that ENDESA appointed the dirigentes, and played a role in the negotiations of the rest of the comunidades, convincing them of ENDESA’s benefits.
Hay muchos dirigentes ,,,que fueron la voz de toda la comunidad en el Barco…que desapretaron que ellos querrían, en contra de la voluntad de la familia… por un beneficio propio de los dirigentes en este tiempo…Los dirigentes fueron los que negociaron por la comunidad….Hay se produce automáticamente las divisiones entre familias y dirigentes…Y que ese primo también es familia de acá, también va tomar este precio con este primo, con el dirigente…Entonces, automáticamente es una cadena…de vibras negativas…que se van cultivando en la comunidad (Interview 1).38

Family loyalties proved to be a strong chain reaction in the conflict. Similarly, in another strategy to generate loyalty while simultaneously disqualifying the opposition, ENDESA attempted to incorporate any opposition into the projects, by employing them as labourers or indirectly as government employees, or as members of supporting institutions such as the Fundación Pehuén (Morales 2000; Moraga 2001). Especially the families of the most prominent resistors of the projects
Translation: When ENDESA arrived to negotiate with the people, there was no dirigente, there was only a lonko and a secretary…the lonko was already quite old, he was faltering when ENDESA arrived”… “the ENDESA men made an arrangement…they appointed someone as dirigente, who convenienced them, a dirigente that was guided by them…a person who was manipulated by them could not speak in opposition…even today we do not know which way the wind is blowing”… “ENDESA appointed me as supervisor…but I had to accept because I neede the money…and as there was no dirigente in the comunidad, when we were already working for several months they started to appoint dirigentes…they appointed about eight dirigentes…they said this one will do because he understands the job…they were the first to go ahead”… “but what does he do for the people, nothing, just the opposite…he is always supporting ENDESA, as ENDESA supports him…he should have been together with the people in resistance...The dirigentes very being manipulated, because they took them to a meeting in Concepción, can you imagine in an airplane, so they were being manipulated, and they were going from asado to asado. (An asado is a rural Chilean form of barbeque). 38 Translation: There were many dirigentes that were the voice of the comunidad in El Barco…they got what they wanted, against the will of the family, for their own benefit… That’s how the divisions automatically were produced between families and dirigentes…And because that cousin is family here, so we will give him the same price as the dirigente…So, automatically it’s like a chain of negative vibes which begin cultivating in the comunidad.


were targeted, in order to discredit the opposition, which fragmented the communities and allowed for those protesting to be depicted as radicals, and thus further marginalized them (Moraga 2001: 45; Interview 7, Haughney 2006: 99-100). For example, Berta Quintremann’s son was recruited by ENDESA in 2002, clearly for strategic reasons (Ray 2007: 181). In early January 2002 it was said that Berta and Nicholasa “had received $20 million from ENDESA… having already turned down an offer of a million dollars and 70 hectares. Yet on January 5th, a press conference was held by Mapu Domuche Newen to deny that the sisters had swapped their land” (Ray 2007: 182).
Para poder defendernos nos unimos, pero después nos dividimos, los de ENDESA hicieron dividir madre con los hijos, hijo con el padre, hermano con la hermana, sobrino con la tía, antes cuándo pasaba esto, quien iba a pensar de esa manera (Quintremann 2000: 92).39

Nicholasa Quintremann lamented that ENDESA managed to divide mother and son, aunt and nephew. This proved an effective way to sow distrust and create the idea that the dam would be built with or without their consent. The divisions surged within the families directly affected as well as between them and their other social relations, which were previously determined by kinship, political and economic ties. Misinformation about the Ralco project acted as a catalyst for the divisions and conflicts, generating misconceptions and distrust and the disintegration of social networks (Relmuan 1998: 208; Morales 1998b: 178). In this way, their decisions to negotiate and relocate were directly affected by the actions of ENDESA.

From Promises to Permutas
Due to the heavy resistance of the people, ENDESA persuaded them one by one to give up their lands by promising more and better land elsewhere, along with a whole list of benefits such as jobs, housing, schools and medical centres. These last benefits had previously been used during the construction of the Pangue dam in order to win the support of the affected comunidades. Through the Fundación Pehuén, they offered more and better land in the individual parcelas of the invernada and the communal lands of the veranada, in the relocation sites, including access to firewood; lands in their ancestral territory El Barco, jobs in the repair of roads and construction of houses in El Barco and other employment, as well as pensions, housing with running water and bathrooms, free electricity, subsidies, goods and services at very low costs, which were tempting offers for those experiencing financial difficulties (Relmuan 1998: 204, 214; Aylwin 1998: 13, 15). Additionally, the people were promised animal feed and fodder, animals (a set of oxen, four cows, a horse, sheep and goats); a community centre, a football field, a medical centre and a school for each comunidad, including transportation for the children; the transference of the cemeteries; domestic appliances such as a gas cooking stove; free access and rights to water; agricultural assistance such as sowing and harvesting equipment, garden tools, fencing, a tractor, seeds and irrigation, resulting in high yields, to provide income (Interview 27, Informal Conversation 9 and Informal Conversation 10, El Barco; Informal Conversation 11, Ayin Mapu; Informal Conversation 16, dirigente Ayin Mapu). In the process of negotiating the permutas, ENDESA made verbal promises to the illiterate Pewenche in order to persuade them to relocate. The promises were especially to entice people, giving them a hope that they had the possibility to obtain material benefits and a better future. The testimonies we heard during the course of our investigation reveal that the great number of things that ENDESA promised are still alive in their individual and collective memories. ENDESA continued making verbal promises to each land title holder, door to door, telling them that they would receive everything they could possibly desire or need, until nearly all of the Pewenche signed away their lands in the permuta contracts. Up until the time of writing of this thesis, I was not able to obtain the exact text of the permuta. In the field this mostly had to do with the lack of trust, as the people feel that the document is the only material evidence with which they personally can prove their claim to land. There were very few people that actually had the documents in their possession at the time of our investigation. Some said to have lost them, others said that the grandparents had them, and still others thought that they were in the possession of the CONADI or ENDESA. Surely ENDESA has copies of all the

Translation: In order to be able to defend ousevles, we united, but after we were divided, ENDESA made mother and child divide, father and son, brother and sister, nephew and aunt, before that happened, who would have thought in that way.


documents, but the office at Pangue did not grant us an interview during the course of our investigation in order to ask them about it. In all the documents I revised which touch on the issue, the permuta itself is not published. Most base the discussion on the criticism made in the CONADI report demonstrating the involuntary nature of the signing of the permuta, as will be discussed in the next section (see Namuncura 1999: 231). The fact that the permuta itself is not published, may have to do with the personal details that are included in the text. Each title holder is named and their signatures and identity numbers are included. However, from the documents and articles which discuss the issue, I can largely reconstruct the contents of the permuta. It is a legal document detailing the exchange of one piece of land for another, based on the Título de Dominio, concerning private property. The amount of hectares to be exchanged in both locations is stated, as well as the exact location, a description of the land, its commercial value and the personal information of the land title holder. A map of the land is included as an appendix. Although the property is signed under the name of the title holder, this person is usually the head of a family. The permuta is based on the concept of the Unidad Agricola Familiar (UAF).40 A UAF consists of a piece of land with a certain amount of hectares, including a house with drinking water and hot water, electricity, a shed, a cooking house including woodstove (fogón), fencing around the cultivable areas and grazing areas, and around the perimeters of the property. The relocation sites thus must contain all of these items. ENDESA had the people sign the permutas at the notary in Santa Barbara. The Indigenous Law was introduced in 1993 mainly to establish the protection of indigenous lands and their resources, administered by the CONADI. The Indigenous Law is an instrument to identify and register indigenous land by the CONADI. The law distinguishes between comunidades ancestrales, which have historical premises such as the Título de Merced, and the comunidades constituidas, many of which were established after 1993, often with the return of Mapuches to the rural areas from the urban centres to which they had migrated in previous decades. Under Indigenous Law, indigenous land may only be leased for a period of five years, or exchanged for land of equal or greater value. Additionally, indigenous land may only be sold to or exchanged with landowners belonging to the same ethnic group, and the land must hold the indigenous status. Leasing to a non-indigenous person or an exchange with non-indigenous land requires the approval of the CONADI. Indigenous land exchanged for non-indigenous land reverts the status: the indigenous land becomes non-indigenous and vice-versa. All acts and contracts that contravene this law would be considered invalid. The CONADI, however, was not involved in the process of negotiation, or in the signing of the permuta contracts between the Pewenche and ENDESA.
Pero al final en el caso de Ralco, la CONADI no facilitó a la gente para negociar. La gente no sabía negociar, nunca tenía que hacerlo”…“nadie nos dijo, sobre todo de la CONADI…no hubo asesoramiento… ellos debieron decir, hagan negocio de esta manera peñi, y nosotros lo haríamos pero ellos se retiraron de nosotros…ellos nunca nos vinieron a decir peñi háganlo de esta manera… después de que estábamos listos nos visitaban y hacían preguntas y decían mal negocio hicieron peñi, pero ellos nunca hicieron una explicación de cómo teníamos que hacer la negociación (Interview 2; Interview 4). 41

The CONADI assessed these processes after the fact, and criticized the lack of information with which the Pewenche signed away their land, as will be discussed next.

CONADI: The Burden of Representation
In 1997, the permuta requests started arriving at the offices of CONADI. Because of their suspicious circumstances, CONADI created a special commission to investigate the process by which the permutas were signed. At this time, they established a new regulation concerning the permutas of indigenous lands, distinguishing between permuta requests that only concerned one family and those that involved more members of the comunidad, such as in the Ralco case, implying a mass
Family Agricultural Unit Translation: “But in the end of the Ralco case, CONADI did not facilitate the people in their negotiations. The people did not know how to negotiate; they had never had to do it before”… “Nobody told us, especially not the CONADI…there was no support…they should have told us, negotiate in this way brother, and we would have done it but they distanced themselves from us…they never came to visit us to tell us how to do it… after we were finished they came to visit us and asked us questions and told us you negotiated badly, brother, but they never gave us an explanation of how we were supposed to negotiate”.
41 40


displacement.42 This new regulation defined the necessity of the voluntary signing of the permuta, and the consideration of the cultural value of the lands in question. In the case of Ralco, CONADI was apprehensive of the free will of the Pewenche, considering their fragile socio-economic circumstances and the actors who had previously indicated that there had been deceptions involved. Case by case it was verified if the contracts had been signed voluntarily. The legal team analyzed the interviews and concluded that they had not signed the permutas freely and voluntarily, as the Indigenous Law stipulates (Moraga 2001: 51; Namuncura 1999: 51). A comment on one case went like this: “El señor…es una persona muy mayor de edad, ciego y sordo, que no sabe leer ni escribir y que firmó la permuta a ruego, es decir un familiar firmando por él” (Namuncura 1999: 41). 43 CONADI fought ENDESA on more than one occasion, as in 1998 to denounce the violation of the Indigenous Law as ENDESA had signed a land lease contract directly with one of the Pewenche, without the authorization of the CONADI (Namuncura 1999: 40). In that same year, “those who had originally agreed to move found that they had sold their land too cheaply, when the higher land was covered in over a meter of snow, making it impossible for their animals to live there. So, having originally signed up to the scheme, they then publicly declared their change of mind” (Ray 2007: 181). Until 2001, only eight of the 96 families were still holding out, refusing to negotiate resettlement with ENDESA. The Pewenche and other contesters of the projects went to the courts to revert the permutas because they had signed them without knowing the extent of their contents. After long trials and delays, the claims were finally overthrown by Congress. During all the protests, legal battles and international outcry, the construction of the dam continued almost relentlessly (Haughney 2006). ENDESA had successfully lobbied at the top levels of government and commerce (Nordbø 2001: 10). The government, in turn, interpreted the law to favour ENDESA in the legal battles. The Electricity law of 1982 allows the sale of indigenous land if it is to benefit Chilean society as a whole, in terms of energy supply. Furthermore, “Article 24 of the Constitution also allows the state to expropriate private property for reasons of national interest or public good. Yet…the Indigenous Law declares that indigenous lands should be protected for reasons of national interest” (Haughney 2006: 128). The courts ruled in favour of Pinochet’s Electricity Law in all cases, subsuming the later Indigenous Law and Environmental Law, which were meant to be a priority of the government since 1993 (Haughney 2006: 131; Aylwin 1998; Namuncura 1999: 29).
Lo que está en debate es mucho más que la construcción de una central hidroeléctrica; es el tipo de desarrollo que el país quiere a futuro, el respeto por el ser humano y su diversidad étnica y cultural, el respeto y valoración por el medio ambiente (Aylwin 1998: 14). 44

The Ralco case demonstrates the vulnerability of the Environmental and Indigenous Laws in the face of industrial megaprojects, especially in terms of citizen participation and civil society. The CONADI council was supposed to approve the permutas, with a majority vote. The council is composed of eight democratically elected indigenous members, and eight non-indigenous members appointed by the government. In case of a tie, the decisive vote would be cast by the director (Moraga 2001: 51). There was a constant power struggle between those members appointed by the government and the indigenous leaders. Two consecutive directors that had rejected the permutas ENDESA had proposed were asked to resign; Mauricio Huenchulaf and Domingo Namuncura, in 1997 and 1998, respectively (Namuncura 1999: 26). The third director, Rodrigo González López, was appointed by president Frei, and he was a winka. He interpreted the Indigenous Law to favour ENDESA, and approved the permuta proposal, without the presence of the eight indigenous council members (Moraga 2001: 54). It was made clear that the government were to impose their plans, and the CONADI’s function was to make sure they were executable. The result is that the CONADI now represents another institution which the Pewenche distrust.
La CONADI observaba, no mas, eran lo mismo, junto con el Estado y ENDESA”…“la Ley Indígena no vale para nosotros al final porque también nos trataban de joder…ellos se fueron en contra incluso cuando estábamos negociando (Interview 2; Interview 4).45

Instructivo de Autorizaciones para solicitudes de Permutas de Tierras Indígenas. Translation: This man…is an elderly person, blind and deaf, who does not know how to read or write and signed the permuta by deference…that is to say a family member signed for him. 44 Translation: What is being debated is much more than the construction of a hydroelectric plant; it is the type of development this country wants in the future, the respect for the human race and its ethnic and cultural diversity, the respect for and the value of the environment.



Because CONADI did not help them in their resistance to or their negotiation with ENDESA, the Pewenche feel that the Indigenous Law is not there to protect their interests, but as an instrument of the State. For Chile’s original peoples, the Ralco conflict thus formed a symbol for an unprecedented rupture in indigenous-State relations, as established with democracy and the Nueva Imperial treaty of 1989 (Namuncura 1999: 45; 47; 58).
El caso Ralco y los conflictos con las forestales cambiaron la opinión de bases y dirigentes. Comenzaron a percibir que la política indígena de la Concertación es una farsa…solo busca ofrecer pequeños paliativos para mantener a la población mapuche quieta (Moraga 2001: 86). 46

The Ralco conflict served as a symbol for the Mapuche movement, despite its internal conflicts. Mapuche “organisations disagreed among themselves over tactics, strategies, and goals. These divisions continued throughout the protest campaign, preventing the Mapuche movement form uniting to demand collective rights and allowing the government to dictate the terms of the conflict” (Haughney 2006: 131). One man, age 42, in Ayin Mapu expressed the marriage between politics and market forces this way:
Las empresas les pasan dinero para sus campañas a la presidenta, por eso hay que reclamar afuera, porque a los diputados y senadores cuanta plata le tiran debajo de la mesa, eso está visto pero en otros países uno puede reclamar (Informal Conversation 1). 47

He thinks companies give campaign money to the president, and that this is why one has to complain abroad, because the deputies and senators receive money under the table. In January 2000, Frei approved the construction of the Ralco dam with a definitive concession from the SEC. It was one of his final acts as President before passing the torch to Ricardo Lagos (2000-2006) (Palacios and Du Roy 2003: 35). The project was approved in conjunction with Vivianne Blanlot, the director of the CONAMA at the time, approving the final EIA submitted to that institution (Seguel 2007: 103). About the Ralco conflict, Lagos was quoted:
Si ellos no quieren salir, ellos no están obligados, no firman y no salen. Eso es lo que dice la ley hoy día…de acuerdo con la legislación indígena, ellos si no quieren salir no salen de ahí.... No acepté que la obra comenzara hasta que no estuviera de acuerdo el pueblo mapuche…Aquí tendría que haberse llegado primero a un acuerdo y mientras no hay un acuerdo no se puede continuar……porque si no hay un acuerdo aquí vamos a tener un problema con la Ley Indígena (Opaso 2007: 421). 48

While he stated that it was not a forced relocation, and that the dam should not be built without the consent of the Mapuche, the project nevertheless continued. The inauguration of the Ralco dam occurred in his last year of presidency, although he himself had been too “busy” to attend. Lagos’ contradictory behaviour is typical for the relationship between the Chilean State and the Mapuche movement. Due to the Ralco conflict icons of that movement were four women of Mapu Domuche Newen, including the Quintremann sisters, who fought ENDESA until the very end. They presented a Recurso de Proteccion to the courts in Santiago. The courts ruled in favour of the Electricity Law over the Indigenous Law, at the Chilean Supreme court in Santiago on the 22nd of January in 2002. With support from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (ICHR) in a court case from December 10, 200 to 2October 17, 2003, they arranged a “friendly settlement” so that they could stay where they lived, and ENDESA had to compensate them for the land that is now underwater (Correa 2000: 93). The Quintremann sisters are now viewed in different ways. Some see them as the heroes
Translation: CONADI only observed, they were the same, together with the State and ENDESA …the Indigenous Law is not valid for us in the end because they tried to screw us…they went against us even while we were negotiating. 46 Translation: The Ralco case and the conflicts with the timber companies changed the general opinion of the people and the dirigentes. They started to perceive the Concertación’s indigenous politics as a farce….it only seeks to offer small palliatives in order to keep the Mapuche population quiet. 47 Translation: The companies give campaign money to the President. That is why you have to complain abroad, because the deputies and senators receive money under the table, this is clear, but in other countries one can complain. 48 Translation: If they do not want to leave, they are not obligated, they will not sign, and they will not leave. That is what the law says today…in accordance with the indigenous legislation, if they do not want to leave, they will not leave…I did not accept that the construction will start until there is an agreement with the Mapuche people…Here there should have been an agreement first and will there is not one it cannot continue…because if there is no agreement here we will have a problem with the Indigenous Law.


of the fight against ENDESA and are star-struck just being in their presence. Others think they negotiated well and regret not doing the same. Still others are cynical about the end result, that they received the most money out of all of them, and sold out in the end. The sisters are emblems of the Ralco conflict, yet remained on their land and made off with the largest sum, as well as travelling extensively in the name of the Mapuche cause, supporting others throughout the country in their struggles. During the Ralco conflict, the Quintremann sisters even went to Spain to plead their case at ENDESA’s headquarters. The four women from Mapu Domuche Newen were among the only successful stories that arose out of the conflicts and negotiation with ENDESA. For their stubbornness, for their social and human capital, their pride, strength and endurance, they managed to benefit.

In summary, this chapter showed the historical processes leading up to ENDESA’s arrival in the Alto Bío Bío, as well as the political mechanisms which allowed for ENDESA to construct the Ralco dam despite the disagreement of the locals. In this chapter, the focus of the geographic and political history surrounded the land conflicts which resulted from State-led industrial interventions and development in the area prior to the arrival of ENDESA. The Mapuche have historically fought to defend their territory against external invasions, such as the Inca, the Spanish Conquest and later industrialization. Successive assimilation policies introduced in Mapuche territory since Chilean independence in 1818, divided and reduced their lands, making it on object of indigenous-State relations for nearly two centuries. The 20th century industrial projects that the Pewenches were faced with included the latifundio expansion, forestry, and now megadams. Under Pinochet, the privatization and separation of water and land rights formed the legal mechanisms with which ENDESA could move in and build their dams in Pewenche territory. Only the later Indigenous and Environment Laws turned this particular conflict into an arena of political controversy. The power struggles within the arena of the Ralco conflict were most obvious as ENDESA led people to believe that the Ralco dam had already been approved by the government, leaving them no alternative than to relocate (Morales 1998b: 173,179). They also suggested that if they did not agree to relocate, they would not receive any benefits (Morales 1998b and c: 173, 281). Negotiating the relocations individually generated internal conflicts within the comunidades, and with other external actors due to the different positions taken for or against ENDESA’s projects. ENDESA used the Chilean legal system to effectuate the land exchanges with the Pewenche, although this system is completely foreign to them. As the people could not read the contracts and had no knowledge of their contents when they signed them with their thumbprints, they had agreed mainly to the verbal promises that ENDESA had made, enticing them to negotiate. CONADI assessed and criticized the manner in which the signatures for the permutas were obtained, case by case, and concluded that the contracts were not made voluntarily, with informed consent. They thus consist of forced relocations. However, the contracts are legal documents, against which the Pewenche could not fight successfully. The inaccessibility of the justice system impeded the Pewenche in the defence of their rights, as they lacked the human capital to be able to navigate in the legal system, such as little to no awareness and lack of information concerning their rights and possibilities. Operational obstacles also presented multiple barriers to this judicial system, such as the inefficiency and ineffectiveness of the system, insufficiencies of legal aid services, inaccessibility of the legal aid offices in terms of distance, the difficulties of understanding legal jargon, and the high costs that the Pewenche could not afford. Their weak economic and human capitals were thus barriers to adapt to ENDESA’s use of the Chilean legal system to negotiate the permutas (Skjævestad 2006: 23, 24; Haughney 2006: 106; and Malmborg 1999). To promote the permutas, ENDESA and the State occupied the discourse of “improving the quality of life” of the Pewenche, by introducing electricity and other material goods, as a reason to persuade them to cooperate and relocate. The opposite may now be argued when one observes the relocated communities, as will be shown in the next chapter. The social capital of Pewenche comunidades, in terms of inter- and intra-family reciprocal relations has been affected since the advent of the conflict, as it divided communities and in some cases even families. Numerous studies conclude that ENDESA applied a systematic and continual pressure on the families in order to convince them to relocate and to gain support for the projects. Anthropologists, human rights activists and CONADI officials in the Ralco arena showed early on that the comunidades were

suffering social and cultural disintegration due to the repeated visits ENDESA made to the comunidades during all the years of study and design of the projects, starting with the Pangue dam and intensifying for the Ralco project. In an authoritarian display of power in the Ralco arena, as two consecutive CONADI directors were not prepared to approve the permutas, the Frei government had them resign, to replace them with a director who was willing to interpret the Indigenous Law in favour of ENDESA. The first EIA presented to the CONAMA included the permuta scheme, but no relocation plan. The two following addenda contained a relocation plan, the first including a four-year technical assistance programme for the relocatees and the second upgrading to the final ten-year plan, which the CONAMA finally approved. Political manipulations at the top level of government transformed supposed democratic institutions such as the CONAMA and the CONADI into instruments employed to execute the will of the State’s industrialization projects. This demonstrates the gap between the discourse of environmental and social mitigation, and the practice of a forced relocation and industrialization of natural resources. This gap resulted in part from the State’s authoritarian position reflected in prioritizing the Electricity Law over the Indigenous Law, showing the ineptitude of indigenous politics when faced with industrial megaprojects. The Electricity Law privileges the persons or groups that solely gain economically from its application. This is a result of the hegemony of the economic interests of the Chilean State, which shows its power in support of their own interests. This is apparent in the political discourse, which prioritizes the economic gain over the rights of indigenous peoples, within the dynamics of the Chilean social system. This system is founded by a neoliberal, export-market oriented discourse. Thus, the Ralco conflict presented a breaking point between Chile’s original peoples and the democratic State. The following chapter will deal with the forced relocations and their failures for the Pewenche, leaving them disillusioned and distrustful of ENDESA, as well as the public institutions, as they feel that have been left to their own devices.

Photo: Relocated comunidad Ayin Mapu, Sector A-B


3. Forced Relocations and their Problems
This chapter will provide a description of the relocation sites, the problems of the relocations and their discrepancies with the original plan, and institutional obstacles, which prevent the existing resources from reaching the people in the comunidades. There are 96 Pewenche families whose lands have been affected by the Ralco Dam - migration and resistance aside - 77 of them have finally been resettled to the two new comunidades of Ayin Mapu and El Barco. Thirty-seven families, approximately 150 people, have been resettled to Ayin Mapu, and the majority of them have lived there since 2000, and the remaining forty, approximately 240 people, have been resettled to El Barco, since 1999. The relocated comunidades of Ayin Mapu and El Barco are situated in distinct areas. Ayin Mapu consists of the former fundos El Huachi and La Peña, made up of 585 hectares of agricultural land distributed in 45 lots, and the fundos Santa Laura and El Redil of 1,600 hectares, for common use as veranada land. Ayin Mapu is removed from the rest of the Pewenche comunidades in the Alto Bío Bío. Twenty-three kilometers from Santa Barbara, a gravel road on the left takes you up into the rolling hills of the precordillera and the relocated Pewenche comunidad of Ayin Mapu, although still signposted as La Peña. The comunidad is made up of vast fields, forest, eucalyptus and pine tree plantations, and the “metro ruma”, where the lumber is cut and piled into squares. Each plot of land has similar looking houses, a few animals, ranging from cows to pigs to goats and sheep, and always chickens and a rooster. Now and then a horse trots along the side of the road. People are rarely seen outside of their homes, unless they are on the road, either hitching a ride on a pickup truck, or walking. The public bus from Santa Barbara to Villa Ralco passes by several times a day, and their homes are up to an hour’s walk from the main road.

Photo 1: Entrance to Ayin Mapu; Photo 2: Ayin Mapu Landscape; Photo 3: View of Metro Ruma

Beyond Villa Ralco, El Barco is located much higher up in the mountains; it is a much vaster landscape, of 19,000 hectares, with a strange mix of rock cliffs and fields dotted with sprinklers. The plots of land each hold similar looking houses, some far removed from the road by a long dirt path. Experiencing the desolate isolation of El Barco is understanding the expressions “la ultima rincón” and “el fin del mundo”. Just a couple of hours by horseback take you to the border with Argentina. The mirador overlooking Laguna El Barco in the Ralco National Reserve is surrounded by native Pewen forests and four snow-capped volcanoes. One family lives in the reserve, they have 200 hectares of fields, streams and Pewen trees. They have no electricity, no running water, and no phone. Before our visit, their last visitors came five years ago. They work the land by hand and oxen. They go to Chenqueco for supplies, it is the nearest village in Ralco Lepoy, about four hours by horseback. In the relocated comunidades, all the houses have the same color and the same structure. They are made of wood, with cement floors; they are all supposed to have bathrooms with running water inside and a shed and a kitchen outside. My colleagues and I interviewed the people in their own homes. The relocated Pewenche left behind their land in response to the promise of a better future. They were promised many material benefits, including better and more productive land. Those resisting relocation, however, argued that their cultural identity and cosmology is dependent on their relationship with their land.


Photo 1: Map at Community Hall; Photo 2: Landscape El Barco; Photo 3: Sprinklers at dusk, El Barco

Land, the Indigenous Law, and ENDESA
The relationship to land can not only be found in the Pewenche discourse in the Ralco arena, but also the Indigenous Law and the CONADI discourse. However, the law and institution established to protect indigenous land was not successful in the Ralco arena. The permutas were signed within the Chilean legal system, and now they are left to the CONADI to process under indigenous title, after the fact. In August of 1998, the second director of CONADI was asked to resign the day before a decision about the permutas of the Pewenche in Ralco Lepoy and Quepuca Ralco was to be made by the council (Namuncura 1999: 51). The permutas were approved, but ten years later the issue has not actually been resolved, due to inefficient bureaucracy and internal differences in the CONADI. The Pewenche of Ayin Mapu and El Barco made it very clear to us that ENDESA has not kept their end of the bargain. Many do not actually possess the legal documents for their lands. The permuta contracts exchanged the inundated land for new land in the relocation sites. The remaining hectares in Quepuca Ralco and Ralco Lepoy are referred to as the saldos de terreno. For example, if someone who resettled in Ayin Mapu had the land title to 80 hectares in Quepuca Ralco, and 13 were inundated, the saldo in Quepuca remains at 67 (Interview 17, Ayin Mapu). The only land that ENDESA had to compensate were the 13 that were inundated. The legal titles to the saldo de terreno land as well as the lands in the relocation sites have not yet been processed, which fall under jurisdiction of the CONADI to complete the registrations, as they are legally indigenous lands, and need to be officially registered as such in the Registro de Tierras Indígenas.49 This should have occurred at the time that the permutas were approved, yet it has not yet occurred to date. According to our surveys, 73 percent of the respondents in El Barco are still awaiting their land title documents for the saldos de terreno from the CONADI, and they had been waiting on average 6.5 years at the time of our investigation. In Ayin Mapu, people explained to us that they are awaiting the Títulos de Dominio from the CONADI:
El problema de nosotros es que nos queda tierra allá arriba, y estamos así no más. Estamos esperando el titulo que tiene que entregar CONADI… Lo pedimos en Ralco…y nos dijeron que va a llegar el Título de Dominio…pero todavía no pasa na po”…“ la CONADI le dice “no, si, los señores de ENDESA le falta esto”, uno vuelve a ENDESA y “no, si la CONADI lo tiene… entonces tienen a nosotros igual que un balón de fútbol (Informal Conversation 3, woman age 46; Interview 5, dirigente age 45). 50

The dirigentes of the comunidades do not have the documents of the saldos de terreno, despite repeated efforts to obtain them for the people. ENDESA says CONADI has them and CONADI says ENDESA has them. CONADI sent the dirigente of Ayin Mapu from the regional to the national office, and so the game is played endlessly, while the people are kept waiting and waiting. In an interview at the CONADI office in Villa Ralco, our informant said that originally there was a contract signed between CONADI and ENDESA, which stated that the titles to the remaining land were to be handed over to the people by a certain date, which had not happened at the time of the interviews in January 2008.
49 50

Indigenous Land Registry Translation: “Our problem is that we still have land left over there, and we are just left here. We are waiting for the title which CONADI has to give us….We requested it in Ralco…and they told us that the title would arrive…but so far nothing has happened”… “the CONADI says “no, yes, ENDESA has not turned in this”….one returns to ENDESA and “no, yes, CONADI has it… so they have us going back and forth like a football”.


Our informant made it clear that the CONADI is aware that no solution has been given in the past 8 or 9 years, and that the people cannot do anything with their saldos de terreno if they are not in possession of the legal documents (Interview 33). This does not, however mean that they do not have rights. The permuta as well as the relocation plan were obligations ENDESA had made under Chilean law. Another complication is the fact that initially ENDESA did all of the land surveys and documentation without the participation of the CONADI, which is something the CONADI still needs to verify with the help of lawyers and topographers. To date CONADI has not approved any of the documents supplied by ENDESA. They need to control if the documents reflect reality. For example, if a permuta states 20 HA, they need to make sure that these hectares were not inundated as well by “lake” Ralco. If so, they would not be eligible as a saldo de terreno, and they would be eligible for compensation. All of the documents need to be registered in the Chilean land registry office (with the help of a notary public) as well as at the CONADI, but the CONADI does not have the (financial) means to perform these registrations at this time, according to our informant (Interview 33). The main problem with the documents arose from an internal CONADI dispute, between the national office and the regional office. The national office in Temuco was in charge of the transaction until 2007, when it was finally passed on to the regional office in Cañete. However, from the original date of the permutas (1999 and onwards) until 2007, the national office had maintained contacts directly with ENDESA concerning the issue, and the regional office did not participate in this process at all. Now the regional office is charged with handing out the permanent land titles to the people who still have outstanding saldos de terrenos. This is a disturbing fact, as the people are still waiting for their documents and waiting to hear who will be the official owner of the remaining land in Quepuca and Lepoy, ENDESA or the people. The land, although previously registered as indigenous land at the CONADI, is now officially public domain. Yet the CONADI has to process its registration in order for a judge to decide to whom it belongs. Alternatively, the corporation for judicial assistance of the Alto Bío Bío could be deployed to aid the people in their legal administration of the land titles. They offer free services to people with low incomes. They can perform an “estudio de título” to analyze who owns what, and where it is registered, and complete the registration if necessary (Interview 34). Apparently, the Pewenche who have attempted to acquire this service are misinformed about the technical and administrative aspects of the corporation, and they say that they are treated badly there. Our informant at the corporation’s office in Villa Ralco said that this is because they arrive without any paperwork, while the lawyers need some kind of land title, or permuta, or something to go on. Without it, it is nearly impossible to start such a process. Furthermore, to register the Titulos de Dominio or any other paperwork requires cash, as the notary in Santa Barbara and the civil registry office both charge fees. The complaints our informant at the corporation has heard are that the people’s lands were inundated more than they had been told they would be, they complained about the cemetery being inundated, that people want to leave, and exchange their lands because they are not productive. They also complain about the promises that ENDESA made such as the set of oxen that never arrived, but the permuta does not detail these items. Our informant said that it if it is not on paper, that the corporation cannot do anything about it (Interview 34). From the complaints we heard in the comunidades, it is apparent that nobody seems to know if ENDESA or CONADI are actually responsible for the documents. Each time the people ask them for it, they are just told, “yes, they are being processed”, or “they will be there next week”, or “in two weeks”, or “within a month”, or “in january”, or “in march”, or in “december” or “they are still in Temuco” or “they are with ENDESA”. Not only has this caused a great deal of confusion among the people, they also feel that they are being made fools of by the lawyers (Interview 5, Ayin Mapu; Informal Conversation 5, Ayin Mapu; Informal Conversation 14, Ayin Mapu; Interview 9, Ayin Mapu; : Interview 6, El Barco; Group Discussion 1). Now and then ENDESA’s lawyers go to Ayin Mapu and get people to sign documents so that they can send them to CONADI to administer the land titles to the people. The people are not really certain of what is going on. Another problem is that the illiterate people who signed the permutas with the thumbprint were told by ENDESA that they would have saldos de terreno, but when they asked about them at the notaria, their documents actually say that they do not (Informal Conversation 5, Ayin Mapu). Their illiteracy makes the papers they so depend on meaningless to them, and must trust what people read to them aloud. Many are also not in the possession of their new land titles in the relocation sites. The lack of the legal title and that they are misinformed about the legal procedures and their rights is causing a general insecurity among the people, and they worry that they can be removed from their newly appointed lands once ENDESA leaves, especially concerning their children’s inheritance. They feel that only the

documents are valid, and that without them, the land is not theirs (Group Discussion 1). They are worried that someone might come and “deceive” them once again as ENDESA did. A woman, age 46, in Ayin Mapu asks “¿Donde vamos a ir a dar nosotros, si ya estamos acostumbrados acá? Tenemos plantas de todo y aquí no había nada… lo plantamos todo esto” (Informal Conversation 3, Ayin Mapu).51 These fears are a typical result of a lack of information and legal assistance. However, they do need the documents to the Título de Dominio in order to register inheritance with the CONADI, as this can be registered for descendants of consaguinuity or afinity, up to the second degree, granting them the “Derecho Real de Uso” over the land registered as such. In Ayin Mapu, neither the individual title nor the legal title to the communal veranada land in Santa Laura has been processed, which does not give them any security that the veranada land is actually theirs (Informal Conversation 16, Ayin Mapu). They also have not received permission from CONAF to use the forests in the veranada for firewood. This permission can only be given once the land is legalized as Indigenous Land, and belonging to the comunidad. Apparently, the previous owner of the fundo Santa Laura had racked up debts on its title, which ENDESA did not resolve on purchasing it, which is why it cannot be registered by the CONADI yet. ENDESA’s social workers had tried to implement a tourist campground in Santa Laura, to generate income for the comunidad, but without the land title, the comunidad cannot legally occupy the grounds. Nor are the people in Ayin Mapu satisfied with the veranada in Santa Laura because it is too far away (it is 35 km away from the comunidad), and it is impossible to grow crops there and the animals have trouble getting there because it is very mountainous terrain, and there is not sufficient pasture for all of them. Therefore, another strategy they are looking to pursue in Ayin Mapu in order to alleviate their financial situations is the sale of the veranada land in Santa Laura:
Estoy un poco arrepentido de haber hecho un trato por tampoco, porque la veranada la tendría más cerca para cuidar sus animales, porque allá para llevarlo a pata no llega nunca y llegan agotados los animales allá. El problema parece que ese campo está en juicio y el hombre que vivía ahí si gana el juicio nosotros vamos a quedar en blanco y vamos a perder igual. ENDESA tendría que ponerse porque es un compromiso que tiene con nosotros. Nadie nos ha dicho claro que pasa con ese campo, la otra vez un viejo de ENDESA dijo que nosotros deberíamos ponernos de acuerdo y tomar ese campo y venderlo mejor, por eso queremos venderlo y había un comprador la otra vez, pero algunos viejos se echaron para atrás (Informal Conversation 21, Ayin Mapu).52

Nobody has informed them of what is happening with the land. Some would prefer to sell it because no one uses it anyway, and they could really use the money. There are a couple of people in the comunidad, however, who do not wish to sell it. Because it belongs to the comunidad as communal land, only the comunidad in its entirety is allowed to sell it under Indigenous Law. Either way, they do not have the legal land title in their possession yet. Some attempted, to deaf ears, to demand another location allotted for their veranada and be compensated for all the years that they were not able to make use of it. There is an obvious tension between individual property titles, as is the Chilean norm and which was in effect for everyone until 1993, and the legalization of the comunidad as a collective entity under Indigenous Law. The permutas were negotiated individually by ENDESA, based on the Títulos de Dominio, but the relocatees now constitute two newly created comunidades, for which CONADI is responsible for the legal administration. Not only has the CONADI not fulfilled their responsibilities, ENDESA is also seen by the relocatees as an irresponsible actor in the Ralco arena, as will be described next.

Translation: Where are we to go, we are already used to being here, we have planted all kind of things here, there was nothing here before, we planted all of this. 52 Translation: I regret having made the agreement for so little, because the veranada should be closer in order to keep the animals, to bring them over there by foot, they will never arrvie and arrive tired out. The problema seems to be that the grounds are awaiting a verdict and the man who lived there, if he wins the trial, we will have nothing, we will lose out anyway. ENDESA should resolve it because it is commitment they have with us. Nobody has told us clearly what is happening with the grounds, a while ago a man from ENDESA said that we should agree amongst ourselves and take the grounds and sell it, that is why we want to sell it, and there was a buyer a while ago, but some people did not want to go for it.



Photos: one of the few families in El Barco who still have oxen.

Disappointments and Disillusions
“¡ENDESA prometió, pero no cumplió!”53 This was a common statement uttered by the relocated Pewenche during our investigation. In contrast to what they were promised for the relocations, they had to spend money to furnish their new homes, and for the first three years they were without electricity. Additionally, they were expecting the lands to be fenced and cultivated, as ENDESA has promised, but they were not. “As a result, many families did not begin to plant because they were waiting for ENDESA to clear the land. This type of situation occurred repeatedly with other activities such as canal cleaning, water reparation, etc." (Gonzalez-Parra and Simon 2003: 7). The people of the comunidades Ayin Mapu and El Barco are still awaiting the medical centres, the schools, water for their agricultural irrigation, and access to the cemetery and veranada in Ayin Mapu, as stated in the relocation plan. The construction of the medical centres and schools were apparently not authorized by the Chilean government because the number of families in the comunidades is insufficient. Instead, ENDESA paid for improvements in the already existing medical centres and schools in the neighbouring communities (Gonzalez-Parra and Simon 2003). In the original locations, the families had direct access to the medical centre and school in Chenqueco. Both Ayin Mapu and El Barco are located very far from the facilities to which they are now designated to use. They do not have sufficient transportation to get there and back directly. In Ayin Mapu, the medical centre in Los Junquillos has certain hours of attendance, and when the people have to wait their turn, they do not make it back in time to take the bus that goes to the comunidad. They complain that they want to be helped first, but this causes tensions between them and their Chilean neighbours who also make use of these medical services. In El Barco, the main problems are the severe winters, the resulting isolation, the lack of a school and medical centre not aiding anything. The children end up in the internado school in Chenqueco, and do not return home for six months of the year due to the snowfall blocking the main roads.54 The Chilean school system is then largely left to raise the children. The lack of medical centre in El Barco is a big problem:
La primera vez ellos ofrecieron que iba ser posta aquí, escuela ofrecieron…ENDESA les prometió todo…Tenemos que ir al médico a Chenqueco…queda lejos, a caballo como tres horas, algunos tienen vehículo pero cobran” …“ si uno lleva una enfermedad grave un momento no va llegar uno allá… no hay como hacerlo ahí… cuando hay nieve”…“imagínese que aquí no tenemos bus para el día de la ronda medica, los puentes ahí están botados, no resiste para que pase el bus… de aquí para ir a tomar el bus se echa como hora y media. Quedamos aislados aquí, pal invierno no hallábamos para donde salir, menos mal que la maquina limpio el camino….Era que nos iban a dejar mejor y en fin han dejado mas mal la gente…caí menos nieve allá en Lepoy, teníamos locomoción cerquita del camino…para ir al pueblo, aquí nosotros pasan meses y meses que no vamos a la ciudad, cuando hay que hacer algún trámite se va no mas al pueblo….Pero ahora para el invierno cuando está malo el camino no llega vehículo para acá”…“yo le exigí arto a la ENDESA que tuvieran bien habilitados los caminos, pero nunca lo han hecho, desde que yo estoy aquí no he visto un trabajo bueno de ENDESA (Informal Conversation 17; Interview 6, dirigente; Informal Conversations 18 and 7, El Barco). 55
53 54

“ENDESA promised, but did not fulfill!” Internados are rural boarding schools, where the students stay all year; they only go home in the weekends if the distance is not too great, and if the climate allows it, and for the summer holidays. 55 Translation: The first time they offered a medical centre and a school…ENDESA promised everything…We have to go to the doctor in Chenqueco…it is very far, by horse it is about three hours, some people have vehicles, but they charge


The distance to the medical centre in Chenqueco is compounded by the heavy snowfalls in winter and the bad road conditions, which also prevents the physician who normally comes around once a month to El Barco, and in a case of emergency, medical attention is very difficult to obtain. There are no telephones, very few people own vehicles, and the families living far from the main roads do not have a way out. The people complain that the roads and bridges are bad but that ENDESA is not making the necessary repairs as promised. Perhaps the only feasible alternative for the families in El Barco for the future is to return to their saldo de terrenos in Quepuca Ralco and Ralco Lepoy, with or without papers, where they lived previously, at least for the winter months, when survival is very difficult in El Barco. This would require extensive community (re)organisation, but it would also reinforce their invernada-veranada system, keep their animals alive, keep the family united as the children could return home after school, and avoid their desolate isolation.

Photo 1: Internado school in Chenqueco;

Photo 2: Chenqueco with a view of Reservoir Ralco

In Ayin Mapu, the problems are distinct from those being experienced in El Barco. In Ayin Mapu, they are awaiting the clearance of the department of health for them to occupy their new cemetery. The people do not have the possibility to even go visit nor bury their dead there. They have to bury their dead in the winka cemetery in Santa Barbara, for which they have to pay. According to the dirigentes and ex-dirigentes, they have repeatedly been given the run-around for years by ENDESA, CONADI, the municipality of Santa Barbara, and the department of health, for various internal and bureaucratic obstacles. A dirigente, age 45, of Ayin Mapu and a dirigente, age 47 of El Barco explained:
Lo que pasa es que la ENDESA no ha cumplido lo que tenía que cumplir… por ejemplo el cementerio no se ha cumplido…tampoco hay documento que diga el fundo Santa Laura son tantas hectáreas…que acredite que es de la comunidad de Ayin Mapu, según ENDESA dicen que está en trámite los documentos, vamos a ver si es verdad…yo tengo que tener un documento, sino no tengo ningún respaldo… la CONADI y ENDESA se pasan la pelota uno a otro… ENDESA lo único que quiere es engañar, engañar y engañar a la gente y que se cumplan los 10 años y chao”…“fue a palabra no mas, por eso decía que la palabra, pasó el viento y se la llevó, por eso yo fui a solicitar esos documentos y me dijeron que no hay ningún documento que ellos sepan, usted puede recorrer la oficina de Pangue y no va a encontrar ningún documento (Informal Conversation 5, Informal Conversation 7). 56
us”… “if one is gravely ill, one will not make it there…there is no way to do it over there…when there is snow”… “imagine, here we do not have a bus on the day that the doctor makes his rounds, the bridges are all broken up, they are not strong enough to hold the bus…from here to get to the place where you can catch the bus takes about an hour and a half. We are isolated here, in the winter we have no way to get out, especially since the machine does not clear the roads… …They were going to improve our lives they said but instead we are worse off than before…there was less snow there in Lepoy, we had buses near the road… to get to the village…But now in the winter when the road is bad, no vehicle makes it here”… “I have demanded many times that ENDESA should fix the roads, but they have never done it, since I have been here I have not seen a job well done by ENDESA. 56 Translation: What happens is that ENDESA has not fulfilled what it was supposed to….for example the cemetery was not fulfilled …there are also no documents which say that the fundo Santa Laura has so many hectares…that it belongs to the comunidad of Ayin Mapu, according to ENDESA the documents are being processed, we shall see if that is true…I have to have a document, without it I have nothing to fall back on… CONADI and ENDESA are passing each other the ball…ENDESA only wants to deceive, deceive, deceive the people and then fulfill the ten years, and ciao….it was a verbal agreement, and that’s why I say, the wind came and blew away the words, that’s why I went to request the documents and


Many people have not even seen the relocation plan or contract. They remember the verbal promises made to them at the time of the negotiation. When asked if he had seen the contracts, a dirigente in El Barco, age 47, responded that he was told that the documents do not exist (Informal Conversation 7). Every time they try to arrange something or ask for help in either a legal matter or a practical matter, or to claim what is rightfully theirs according to the relocation plan, ENDESA sends them to CONADI, CONADI sends them to the municipality, and the municipality sends them to ENDESA. Legal papers to land titles, relocation contracts, water rights, cemeteries and the veranada are either not present, not complete, not in order, not up to date, or in the hands of CONADI or ENDESA. Up until the time that this study was performed, none of the above problems was solved, and is seen by all parties, including the other institutions, as a non-fulfilment of the relocation contracts that the people signed with ENDESA. However, the institutions all seem to have a “hands off” attitude, saying that it is ENDESA`s responsibility for the ten-year period, yet ENDESA blames the institutions, saying that they are caught up in bureaucratic red tape. The institutions then seem to give the dirigentes a panacea by saying that it will be ready in two weeks or next month, and two years later, nothing has happened, so they try it again. They are thus effectively being “led around the garden” without actually being given an explanation for the problem. Additionally, many of the things that ENDESA had initially promised verbally in the negotiations leading up to the relocation are not written down anywhere, and even if they are included in the relocation plan, this does not mean that they have been fulfilled:
…preguntábamos si estaba en el papel, pero no salió eso,… y no sacamos nada con reclamarle si ya la cuestión pasó el tiempo…lindas cosas nos prometieron… pero no estamos en buenas condiciones” … “de los siete años que llevamos acá, nos ayudaron solo tres años y después no los dieron…ahora estamos sumamente botados acá… no salgo ganando, en vez de ganar salgo perdiendo eso es lo que pasa”… “si ellos se comprometieron diez años con la asesoría como dijeron tienen que cumplir (Interview 27, El Barco; Informal Conversation 11, Ayin Mapu; Informal Conversation 16, dirigente Ayin Mapu). 57

The people say that ENDESA has not fulfilled the ten years of assistance which they had promised in the relocation plan. Every time ENDESA officials promised them something which they did not fulfill, the people felt that they have been deceived, and continuously lied to. A man, age 47, in El Barco expressed it this way: “ENDESA prometió cuanta cosa, pero después que llegamos aquí ya no nos tomo en cuenta. No cumplió nada ENDESA puras mentiras no más” (Informal Conversation 7). So many people we spoke with repeated this phrase, so that it was hard not to accede to their anger towards ENDESA. This understandably generates an incredible amount of distrust and cynicism. They feel that ENDESA took full advantage of their “ignorance” to do what they like, without taking any responsibility for the people after the relocation was completed. Regretting the negotiation and relocation is one effect; another is a deep distrust of any individual or organisation that tries to aid the comunidades.
Hartas cosas había prometido ENDESA que no se las ha hecho a los peñis”… “nos anduvieron como engañando, porque nosotros no sabemos leer, al menos yo no sé leer y cuando uno no sabe leer uno lo envuelven como envolver un papel, no sabía leer mi marido tampoco, ese hizo el negocio pero el negocio fue con engaño, porque todas las cosas que nos dijeron a nosotros no nos cumplieron…nosotros hicimos un negocio malo”…“engañado nos sentimos con toda la comunidad”… “ellos le presentan a cualquier autoridad del gobierno, al intendente, al gobernador: mire, esto estamos haciendo con los relocalizados… y la gente cree (Informal Conversation 18, El Barco; Informal Conversation 2,58 and Interview 5, Ayin Mapu).59
they said that there are no documents that they know of, you can go through the office here in Pangue and you won’t find any document. (ENDESA’s local office in the Alto Bío Bío is located at the Pangue dam, next to the office of the Fundación Pehuén). 57 Translation: “we asked what was written on paper, but it was not what we were promised…and we do not achieve anything by complaining as time goes on…they promised us beautiful things…but we are not in good conditions”… “of the seven years that we are here, they have helped us for only three years and after they did not give us anything…now we are left here alone…I am not gaining anything, instead of gaining I am losing, that is what is happening”… “if they made a commitment to aid us for ten years as they said, they have to fulfill that”. 58 Translation: ENDESA has not made good on their promises because they were deceiving us, because we do not know how to read, at least I do not know how to read and when one does not know how to read, they can wrap you up like a piece of paper, my husband did not know how to read either, he negotiated but the negotiation was a deception, because all the things they promised us they have not fulfilled, they offered us cattle, a horse, a tractor and where did these things appear?


They feel that their illiteracy was the source of their disadvantage during the negotiations. They say that ENDESA is telling the government that they are doing well since the relocations, but that this is not the case. One man, age 53, in Ayin Mapu said that he had felt “used” by ENDESA, as he did not receive the things that were promised to him when they were convincing him to negotiate the relocation, and that ENDESA is now pretending that the agreement never existed:
Aquí la negociación que hicieron con nosotros siento que nos usaron a nosotros…a mi me ofertó cincuenta hectáreas…yo no sé qué pasó que no me las quieren entregar… varias cositas faltaron…yo creo que ellos empezaron a borrar la película, pero no es así porque nosotros lo tenemos grabado aquí en la cabeza, aquí le faltan muchas cosas que prometieron…si ellos hicieron negociación es responsabilidad de ellos. Y la ayuda ENDESA se comprometió de ayudar por diez años, de darnos una bolsa de harina todos los meses, fuera de una canasta familiar, ahora no pasa nada, nosotros pedimos y nos dicen que no hay y no hay no mas, cuando llegamos el dos mil nos entregaron esas cosas una pura vez, cuando hicimos la permuta (Informal Conversation 8).60

He said that they offered him 50 hectares, but has not received them yet, he only has 8.5 hectares in Ayin Mapu. Since he is illiterate, there must be a discrepancy between what was initially promised verbally and what was written in the contract in the end. He said that ENDESA had promised to help them for ten years, but since 2000, when they signed the permuta, they have not been given any aid. The only positive aspect is seen as the amount of land that some have gained in El Barco in comparison with what they had in Quepuca Ralco. “Allá era poca tierra para vivir, yo estoy conforme porque harta tierra nos dieron” (Interview 27, El Barco).61

Failures of the Relocation Plan
Although land was indeed the major object of exchange in the negotiations, in the final relocation plan, the relocated comunidades were to be provided with housing, a kitchen, a shed, tools, animals, a community hall, football field, the installation of drinking water, irrigation, decent roads and access to the veranadas (Tecnagro 1999a: 4-19). Many of these things had not materialized at the time of our investigation. The plan also included an agricultural development programme for the preparation of the soils, seeds, sowing, fertilizing, pest control, harvesting and guaranteed yields of wheat, lupino dulce, oats, and fodder. The plan describes ENDESA as being responsible for supervising, assessing, evaluating and inspecting that everything was going according to plan (Tecnagro 1999a: 25; Tecnagro 1999b: 20). The technical assistance would be supplied six times in the first year and decreasing in subsequent years (Tecnagro 1999a: 26; Tecnagro 1999b: 21). The assistance was indeed phased out, although the people were not aware of this detail, and they have not learned how to perform the activities themselves to date, and therefore feel that the ten years have not been fulfilled. The misinformation that was present during the Ralco conflict and the negotiations evidently continues. For the relocation, the families were each offered one million eight hundred thousand pesos (approximately 2500 Euros) as compensation. The people were expecting all of the money to be theirs, yet the families have only received 800 thousand pesos in actual cash (approximately 1100 Euros), which, unbeknownst to most of the people (except for the dirigente who was able to read the relocation plan), was to be invested in the purchasing of animals. The dirigente apparently failed to
How many times they offered, each moment, we asked what was on paper, but none of it was, so we made a bad negotiation. 59 Translation: “ENDESA promised us many things that they have not done for the peñis”… “they were deceiving us, because we do not know how to read, at least I don’t know how to read and when one does not know how to read, they wrap one up like a piece of paper, I did not know how to read, nor did my husband, he was the one that negotiated but the negotiation was a deception, because all the things they said to us they have not fulfilled…we made a bad negotiation”… “we feel deceived in the comunidad”… “they say to all the governmental authorities, the regional governor, the provincial governor: look, what we are doing with the relocates…and the people believe it”. 60 Translation: Here the negotiation they made with us, I feel that they used us…they offered me fifty hectares…I don’t know what happened that they do not want to give them to me…many things are missing…I believe that they have already started to delete the picture, but it is not like that because we have it recorded here in the mind, here there are a lot of things missing that they promised…if they are the ones that negotiated it is their responsibility. And the aid ENDESA promised for ten years, to give us a sack of flour every month, aside from the family basket, now nothing is happening, we asked and they tell us that there isn’t any, in 2000 they gave us these things one time only, when we signed the permuta.. 61 Translation: Over there we had very little land to live on, I am satisfied with the amount of land they gave us.


communicate this to the rest of the people, so they spent it on other things such as furniture, and are still complaining that the animals that ENDESA promised them have not arrived: “Nos dieron…800 mil pesos…a cada permutador…para cubrir los animales que eran la yunta de bueyes, un caballo, unas vaquillas…para que cada uno comprara donde le pareciera mejor, pero empezaron a invertir la plata en cualquier otra cosa, usarla” (Interview 4, dirigente Ayin Mapu). 62 According to the relocation plan, unbeknownst to the people, one million from each family was entrusted in an agricultural fund, a specific type of loan that was destined for the cost of seeds, pesticides, fertilizers and the sowing and harvesting machinery, with INDAP and the Fundación Pehuén working as middlemen. One man in El Barco, age 49, explained that each time their crops are harvested, ENDESA takes half of the harvest, as they discount the costs of the sowing and harvesting from the yields.
Tuve que invertirlos aquí, en semillas, en cortar el pasto y enfardar, en eso me gasté la plata. ENDESA ponía y descontaba todo eso. Eso no podía ser una ayuda que ellos prometieron…hasta ahora, estamos en las mismas”… “si yo cosecho cien fardos, la mitad me lo llevan para fuera o bien que lo dejan por ahí ellos mismos la ENDESA…la mitad la pone INDAP y la mitad ENDESA…el millón quedó en poder de ellos, el plan productivo se va usando en las siembras que le hacen… ENDESA maneja eso…cada siembra todos los años van descontando, antes ENDESA ponía el 70% después iba bajando el 60, el 50 y ahora está en 30%... cuando lleguen los 10 años va a ser el 100%” …“imagínese…con esa misma plata le hacían todo el trabajo que le hicieron la gente… esa plata a la gente le hubiera servido, para cualquier cosa. Pero a la gente así los engañaron le hicieron eso, le ofrecieron esa plata a la gente pensando que le iban a dar efectivamente en sus manos y no fue así la cosa” …“ lo que pasa es que nunca supimos cuanto rendía esa plata en el banco, ellos depositaron en el banco… ellos nos dijeron que se podía sacar un giro para comprar cualquier cosa, pero eso nunca fue…esa plata quedó a nombre de la comunidad, yo creo, pero cada persona tenía lo suyo… ellos no dijeron, esta persona es el encargado y este va a ser el que le mueve los fondos, ellos lo eligieron, no nosotros, nosotros no sabíamos nada …entonces ahí quedamos perdidos porque uno no sabe de qué forma trabaja la plata en el banco (Informal Conversations 19; 10, and 18, dirigentes, El Barco; Informal Conversation 12, Ayin Mapu).63

They had to invest the money in the costs of seeds, harvesting and sowing. This is work that the people themselves normally would have done, and they feel they could have used the money for other things. They feel deceived, that they were offered money for the relocation that they thought they would receive in cash. Others are misinformed entirely, and believe that the money is still awaiting them in the bank, but that they do not personally have the right to access it. Once the one million was used up, they remained dependent on INDAP who has been doing all of the sowing and harvesting. They now discount the cultivation costs from the returns on the harvests. The problem with this form of dependency is not only the act of dependence itself, but also the fact that the people have not even learned to use the machinery themselves, which was supposedly introduced for efficiency and to maximize their agricultural production. Another problem is that they do not have any control over their own production or land.
A nosotros nos está haciendo el trabajo el INDAP…porque ya ENDESA no nos está ayudando, ya como dos años…porque ya se aburrió de ayudarnos, porque ya van a cumplir los diez años, por eso entró INDAP con nosotros”…“Ahora la gente está con la maquinaria con la Fundación y nos jode porque no tenemos corte, por la maquina nos descuentan toda la plata de la Fundación…la gente pide
Translation: “They gave us 800 thousand pesos to each permutador…to cover the costs of the animals which were a set of oxen, a horse, some cows, so that each person would buy where they saw fit, but they started investing the money in all kinds of things, they used it up”. 63 Translation: “I had to invest it here, in seeds, in the harvesting, that’s what I spent the money on. ENDESA made the payments and discounted the costs. This could not be the aid that they promised us…until now, we are still in the same conditions”… “If I harvest 100 bales, they take half, or maybe they keep it for ENDESA themselves, half is done by INDAP and half is done by ENDESA…the one milion remained in their hands, in the productive plan it is being used for the sowing that they do…ENDESA manages it…for every sowing, every year they subtract funds, before ENDESA put in 70 percent and afterwards it went down to 60,50, and now it is at 30 percent...when the ten years are up it will be 100 percent”… “imagine…with that same money they did all the work that the people used to do… the people could have used the money, for whatever else. But the people were deceived, the offered them that money, the people thinking that they would received it in cash in hand but it was not like that” … “what happens is that we never knew how much money was in the bank, they deposited it in the bank…they said that we could get an account to buy whatever we liked, but it was never like that….that money remained in the name of the comunidad, I believe, but each had his own…they said, this person is responsible and will be the one to manage the funds, they selected him, not us, we did not know anything…so there we lost out because one does not know how the money works in the bank”.


maquinaria y después cuando tienen la maquinaria dice que tenemos que pagarle a ellos para que nos vengan a cortar”... “la gente no está capacitada para eso…la gente cada año está con menos recursos y al final no va a tener plata para pagar la siembra” …“la plata se terminó, la del fondo…antes del año pasado…ahora no sé cómo va estar el rendimiento de cosecha este año, por los atrasos y uno vive de eso, uno hace su aporte, uno corta y tiene que entregar su parte como dos millones de pesos…el problema es si no hay rendimiento bueno y tenemos que pagar esa cantidad de plata. Es que es obligación de pagar eso porque si no se complica para el otro año con la siembra, porque si uno quiere sembrar cuatro o cinco hectáreas más, le van a decir que no, que usted debe aquí y no puede sembrar (Interview 27 and Informal Conversation 4, El Barco; Interview 4 and Informal Conversation 16, dirigentes Ayin Mapu).64

Each harvest is sold by INDAP to the market. The people are not seeing any or very little profit, as the money that was invested in the inputs is deducted from the sale. In Ayin Mapu, each year ENDESA and INDAP came to do all the work, however, the people complained that the sowing occurred too late, so that the harvests have not been reaped according to the agricultural development plan, as described by the people of Ayin Mapu:
Por la hectárea de terreno, dice en el libro, que salen 50 quintales de trigo… pero eso es mentira no sale eso… salen 30, 32 quintales por hectárea … porque no tengo agua, pero cómo ENDESA no te entregó la parcela con agua… así dice la escritura…pero cómo van a ser tan injustos los de ENDESA que dicen que todos están bien… aquí poroto nunca se ha cosechado, maíz tampoco, aquí lo que se cosecha es trigo, avena, un poco de verdura para el autoconsumo y nada más”…“ENDESA hizo compromisos de puras palabras. Ellos han fallado en los tiempos de siembra pero como uno no entiende bien los documentos…ellos lo arreglaron (Informal Conversations 5, dirigente, and 12, Ayin Mapu).65

The dirigente explained that the relocation plan promised much higher yields than what they are currently achieving. They blame this on the lack of irrigation, which was promised in the plan. The plan also included other products such as corn and beans, but INDAP is only providing wheat, oats and some vegetables for personal consumption. Another crop that was to be introduced in the relocated comunidades according to the relocation plan was the elusive lupino dulce, which we asked all of our informants, and as no one knew what it was, it became the running joke in our investigation. The final relocation plan ENDESA had presented in 1999 included plantations of lupino dulce, to be rotated with wheat and oats, for consumption and sale. Not once did we encounter the bean being grown in the field, nor did the people have the faintest idea what it was, they had never even heard of it in their lives. Finally, the local agronomic specialist at INDAP in Santa Barbara clarified the matter, as he said that the lupino is grown in coastal regions. In mountainous climates, the lupino will not grow. Cultivation expertise was apparently not a forte of the panel of experts drawing up the relocation plan. Similarly, as the anthropologists and Pewenche stated in their protests to the relocations (for example, Barchiesi and Contreras 1998: 114), cultivating in the veranada lands of El Barco is extremely difficult due to the long winter, drought in the summer, and much of the land is too rocky or too saline. “Claro que me dio el terreno cuando permutamos… pedí las dos parcelas y me dieron las dos parcelas, lo que pasa es que…en tiempo de invierno ese es el jodido… aquí tenía como dos
Translation: Translation: “INDAP is doing the work for us…because ENDESA is not helping us, since two years now…because they got bored of helping us, because they will have filled the ten years, that’s why they let INDAP take over”…“Now the people have the machinery of the Fundación and they are screwing us because they have not harvested, for the machinery they take all the money from the Fundación…the people request machinery and afterwards when they have the machinery they tell us we have to pay them for it so that they come to do the harvesting”… “the people are not prepared for that, because there are no resources here, each year the people have less resources and in the end they will not have money to pay for the sowing”… “the money in the fund has ended, the year before last…now I don’t know how the harvest yield will be this year, because of the delays and you have to live off that, you have to make a contribution, you harvest and you have to hand in a part, about two million pesos, for example we sowed five hectares and we have to hand in one to pay for the harvesting and the problem is if there is no yield, we have to pay anyway. It’s an obligation to pay because if you don’t it complicates things for the following year with the sowing, if you want to sow four or five hectares, they will say no, you owe us and we cannot do the sowing for you”. 65 Translation: “The book says that each hectare of land would yield 50 five kg bags of wheat…but that is lie, that is not what it yields…it yields 30, 32 per hectare…because I have no water, but how could ENDESA have given me a plot without water….that’s what it says in the books…but how can ENDESA be so injust that they say that we are doing well…here we have never cultivated beans, nor corn, here all we cultivate is wheat, oats, a bit of vegetables for consumption and nothing else”… “ENDESA made promises only in words. They have failed in the sowing but as one does not really understand the documents…they arranged it”.


metros de nieve…los animales se murieron”… “tengo una parcela de treinta hectáreas y puro cerro y pura arena” (Informal Conversations 7 and 18, El Barco).66 This is compounded by the fact that the seeds arrived too late, and that there is a lack of irrigation water, the latter two are problems in both El Barco and Ayin Mapu:
Todavía no nos dan las semillas, yo pedí de todas, pero no llegan… y con la cantidad de siembra de papa no alcanza porque aquí falta el agua para siembra, yo tengo que ocupar el agua que tomamos para regar”… “Casi se me murieron todos los animales…aquí no cosechamos ni un grano… los animales están flacos”… “el problema en la comunidad es el agua… no saco nada con hacer una pradera de trébol o de alfalfa si no llega el agua… todos los años tenemos el mismo problema, ENDESA no ha sido capaz de asumir la responsabilidad de mejorar eso… la gente de la comunidad tampoco debiera estar pagando el agua para riego …pero tiene que pagar igual, la ley es la ley”…“hay que pagarla, un derecho de riego a la muni, un derecho de agua … pero nosotros estamos viendo a futuro, una vez que se retiren, nosotros no estamos capacitados para seguir pagando el agua… llegan boletas de 60, 70 lucas … no nos dijeron que el agua iba a ser tan cara acá… nosotros teníamos un estero que regaba, cualquier agua… teníamos derecho de ocupar el agua… y aquí no es agua como en la cordillera que uno se acostumbró y la dejaba correr y no había problema”… “más encima…es botar la plata porque nadie la aprovecha porque no hay agua. ENDESA tiene que invertir plata para hacer un sistema de riego” (Informal Conversations 4 and 7, El Barco; Interviews 5 and 4, Ayin Mapu; Informal Conversation 9, El Barco; Informal Conversation 16 Ayin Mapu).67

They are thus left waiting, dependent on the irrigation system that ENDESA was supposed to provide for their crops, which never arrives. They now have to pay for the water rights to the irrigation association at the municipality, which they cannot afford. They did not have to pay this previously, as they used the streams and creeks that run through the comunidades in abundance in the invernada lands. In Ayin Mapu, consecutive dirigentes have tried to resolve the problem, and identified it as the major problem that they are encountering since the relocation. Some feel that ENDESA should take responsibility and invest in a drinking water and irrigation system. Many people in both Ayin Mapu and El Barco do not have (sufficient) water for irrigation of the crops. According to our survey, in Ayin Mapu, 57 percent of the respondents have insufficient irrigation. The largest amount of irrigated surface area of the parcelas is 30 hectares, the smallest is one hectare. This makes subsistence extremely difficult, especially considering the drought they have seen in the past years. The people feel that the agricultural plan was a deception, a scam, promising money, when they actually were not able to use it as they pleased. Instead, the money was loaned to them to pay for the agricultural services that ENDESA provided, and now that the loan is used up, they are actually charging the people for the services, discounting it from their harvests. When the sowing is done late, compounded with a lack of water, not only do the people and the animals not have enough to eat in winter, they are also indebted to ENDESA for the costs of the inputs, so that in the next season they are forced to continue with ENDESA’s services. The only ones profiting from this scheme are those involved with the sale of the inputs, hence the scam. The agricultural inputs are apparently the only services that have continued. One man, age 49, in El Barco said that they were promised food for their animals, but after they signed the contracts they did not receive anything. “…hicimos un documento para que le dieran forraje a esa pobre gente en este invierno tan duro, completamente se negaron, no reconocieron nada…no hacen nada” (Informal Conversation 16, Ayin Mapu).68 ENDESA was helping the families in the first four
Translation: Of course they gave me land when we signed the permuta…I requested two plots and they gave me two plots, what happens is…in winter we are screwed…there are about two meters of snow here…the animals die”… “I have a plot of 30 hectares and it’s all rock and sand. 67 Translation: They still haven’t given us the seeds, I have requested them, but they have not arrived…and the amount potatoes sowed is not sufficient because there is a lack of water for the sowing, I have to use the drinking water for irrigation”… “Almost all of my animals have died…here we do not harvest anything…the animals are skinny”… “the problema in the comunidad is water…I do not gain anything cultivating clover or alfalfa if there is no water…every year we have the same problem, ENDESA has not been capable of taking the responsibility to improve that…the people of the comunidad should also not be paying for the irrigation…but you have to pay, the law is the law”… “you have to pay, a right to irrigation at the municipality, a right to water…here there is an irrigation association, and…you have to pay them anyway…but we are looking to the future, once they leave, we canot keep paying for the water…we receive bills for 60, 70 thousand pesos…they didn’t tell us that the water would be so expensive here…we used to have an estuary for irrigation, with plenty of water…we had the right to use it…and this water here is not like the water we used to hagve in the mountains that one was used to and we let it run and there was no problem”… “and also…it’s a waste of money because nobody can use it because there is no water. ENDESA has to invest in an irrigation system”. 68 Translation: “we made a document so that they would give us fodder to these poor people in this harsh winter, they completely ignored it, they did not acknowledge anything…they do not do anything”


years of the relocations, until 2003. In 2004 the Ralco dam began operation and the conflict had ended, the families had been relocated. ENDESA had no reason left to appease the people. Since that date, while waiting for the aid and technical support which was promised but never arrived, the people resorted to selling their animals in order to alleviate their financial situation and be able to buy products for their survival. Though, in El Barco a man explained that they do not receive much money from outside vendors: “Estamos vendiendo los animalitos… a los vendedores que vienen de afuera, pagan no muy buen…como a uno no le alcanza con lo que cultiva…hay que vender por el invierno sus vacas… para comprar harina… pan, mate, azúcar” (Interview 27, El Barco).69 They simply could not afford to keep them any longer. Especially the horses were the first to go, and then the cattle, as they consume the most fodder. Animal husbandry was traditionally the most important economic activity for the Pewenche (Barchiesi and Contreras 1998: 120). The results of our survey show that 72 percent of the respondents now have fewer animals in Ayin Mapu than they did in Ralco Lepoy and Quepuca Ralco. The average loss per family is 41 percent less animals. This not only implies a loss of income, but a change in consumption. They now no longer consume pigs and sheep, mainly only chickens. Many respondents commented that many animals died in the new location. For example, the goats that lived in the mountains did not survive in Ayin Mapu. Some respondents said they had sold all their animals, as the space they have in Ayin Mapu is not sufficient for them. They would like to have cows, sheep and horses if they had the space. According to our survey, before the relocation, 72 percent of the families had an average of 2 horses per family. It is significant that they now hardly have any horses at all. The horses were sold because they cost too much to maintain and they needed the money from the sale. This signals the economic downfall in the comunidades. Additionally, horses were always important for transportation. Now they are destined to pay the 900 pesos (1,30 Euros) for the bus or rely on ENDESA for rides. This loss is especially significant when they want to reach the veranada in Santa Laura, which is only accessible by horse or on foot. It is six hours by horse, so without horses, they simply do not go there. The dirigentes almost all have trucks, but they charge their neighbours for rides (Informal Conversation 17, El Barco). Housing is another issue. They were promised “better” houses, yet the houses they ended up in were previously built for ENDESA’s labourers in El Barco during the construction of the dams. They are small, cold, drafty and leaky in winter, and in dire need of repairs. “Doce personas para tres piezas es poco, hijos casados y todo”…“esta casa es igual a un chiquero de chancho…la casa mala que nos dieron…puros vidrios quebrados, botellas de vino pisco… aquí alojaban la gente de ENDESA, los mismos chilenos”… “Nosotros le reclamamos que aquí las casas están malas, sobre todo ahí donde se entra el agua para el invierno…para abajo no estábamos así nosotros, como estamos aquí, y cuando cae helada nos refalamos… Igual el baño no lo podemos usar…y agua potable no tenemos aquí adentro” (Informal Conversations 13 and 18, and Interview 27, El Barco).70 All of the houses that were built by ENDESA are identical, two-bedroom constructions, meaning crowded living conditions for larger families. The houses and sheds in Ayin Mapu and El Barco are all nearly identical. The walls of the houses are made of a thin layer of wood. Staying in one of the houses near El Barco during fieldwork in summer proved to be a very cold experience. With two meters of snow and leakage, one can only imagine what the conditions must be like in winter. Some hold ENDESA responsible for the reparation of their houses and irrigation, which has not yet occurred. “…lo que falta que la ENDESA cumpla con todo lo que prometió, hacer una reparación de las casas… una reparación del sistema de riego…hace un tiempo que estamos peleando eso y no sale” (Informal conversation 12, Ayin Mapu).71 They think that these discrepancies between the promises and the reality have to do with the fact that they do not understand the documents.

Translation: “We are selling the animals…to the buyers that come from outside, they don’t pay very well…what one can cultívate is not enough…for the winter the cows have to be sold…to buy flour…bread, mate, sugar”. 70 Translation: “Twelve people for three rooms is very little, the children are married and everything”… “this house is just like a pigsty…the bad house they gave us…the windows were all broken, bottles of wine and pisco everywhere…the ENDESA people stayed here, those chilenos”… “We complain that things are bad here, especially when water comes in during winter…we told her but she won’t help us in anything, when we lived down there, we were not like this as we are here, and when the frost comes we leave. We can’t even use the bathroom here…and we do not have drinking water inside” 71 Translation: …what is lacking is that ENDESA fulfills all that they promised, repair the houses…repair the irrigation system…we have been fighting for it for a while now, but we have not achieved anything



Photo 1: Kitchen in Ayin Mapu

Photo 2: House in El Barco

Another discrepancy contrary to the promises made, is that they have to pay for the electricity, for which some people are already accumulating debts, to the Chilean energy provider, which incidentally is also ENDESA.
La luz no la deberíamos estar pagando… que dijeron que no iban a pagar ninguna cosa y hoy en día tienen que estar pagando”… “me cortaron la luz desde el año pasado todo el invierno a pura vela y me dijeron que tengo que ir a Ralco pero tengo poquita plata y voy a la muni y puro calmante y si tiene plata uno puede comprar velas pero si no tiene no compra no mas lamien”…“Uno tiene que endeudarse para poder recuperar la vida (Interview 5, and Informal Conversation 16 and 8, Ayin Mapu). 72

Ironically, it is the same electricity for which they are now indebted to ENDESA to pay as for which they had to relocate. Many households showed signs of indebtedness, especially for high costs such as gas for the kitchen stove, electricity, and cell phones. These are all utilities that did not exist before the arrival of ENDESA. In El Barco, 18 percent of the respondents already have debts mounting for the purchase of fodder and other products, at the bank, with INDAP and with their neighbours. In Ayin Mapu, 30 percent of our respondents signalled debts, on average of 47500 pesos (68 Euros), for electricity, or store credits when they do not have sufficient funds to buy basic supplies. 73 This is a new phenomenon signaling the economic depreciation of the comunidades, and could potentially be the beginning of quick downward spiral. This is a reality which was completely foreign to them previously. According to our survey in Ayin Mapu, the introduction of electricity in 90 percent of the homes, which they did not have previously in Ralco Lepoy and Quepuca Ralco, results in an additional average monthly cost of 13000 pesos per household (approximately 18 Euros).74 The majority of the families have a monthly income no greater than 120 000 pesos (171 Euros). The introduction of electricity also implies the introduction of the television in 82 percent of the homes, the refrigerator in 82 percent of the homes, the DVD player in thirteen percent, the computer in 4.5 percent and the washing machine in 9 percent. Since there is no telephone service available in the comunidad, but there is cellular coverage in Ayin Mapu, 64 percent of our respondents had acquired a cell phone, implying an additional monthly cost of on average 4500 pesos (6.50 Euros) for prepaid credit. In 14 percent of the homes, the gas-cooking stove is also a new element, resulting in an additional average monthly cost of 6000 pesos (8.60 Euros). In El Barco, although electricity was introduced in 91 percent of the homes, the introduction of the television only occurred in 36 percent of the homes, the refrigerator in 9 percent, the DVD in 36 percent, and the washing machine in 9
Translation: We should not have to be paying for the electricity…they said that we would not have to pay for anything and today we have to pay for it”… “they cut off my electricity a year ago, we passed the whole winter with only candles and they said that I can go to Ralco but I have very little Money and I go to the municipality and they give me a panacea, if you have money you can buy candles but if you don’t have it, you just cannot buy it, Lamien”…. One has to become indebted to be able to recuperate one’s life. 73 In Chile it is now common for stores to offer credit schemes, either by offering credit cards or allowing people to pay their bills in monthly increments, racking up interest for the stores and credit companies. 74 To get an idea of how the costs of living are offset by incomes, the national minimum monthly salary in Chile is set at 159,000 pesos (approximately 227 Euros). Most manual labour jobs such as construction and fruit picking, offer this salary.


percent. Their electricity bills are accordingly lower than in Ayin Mapu, at an average monthly cost of 5600 pesos (8 Euros). The gas stove was introduced in 18 percent of the homes, resulting in an additional average monthly cost of 4050 pesos (5.80 Euros). Although there is no telephone service or cellular coverage in El Barco, although 27 percent of the respondents had acquired a cell phone, at a monthly cost of 5000 pesos (7.15 Euros). The lack of phone service further complicates their isolation, in cases of emergency, especially in winter.
La mayor disponibilidad de electrodomésticos que hoy tienen los pobres está relacionado al mayor acceso al crédito de las casas comerciales (el dinero plástico), lo que significa un endeudamiento permanente y criminalmente elevado. Cifras recientes nos informan que, en promedio, los chilenos deben casi el 60% de su ingreso anual. Esto aumenta el malestar psíquico de los más pobres, incrementando las depresiones y angustias, reduciendo la disponibilidad para acceder a los bienes de primera necesidad (Claude 2006: 156).75

In terms of consumption, 28 percent of the respondents in Ayin Mapu said to purchase more than previous to the relocation, 5 percent a lot more, 28 percent the same, and 36 percent purchase less. The reasons the respondents gave us for the change to buying more is because they live closer to the city, and because they now have to buy piñones (as they used to gather these in the veranadas) and more vegetables, as their gardens are not producing sufficient quantities due to the lack of water, and sometimes seeds, when INDAP fails to distribute them. The ones that said to purchase less than before said it is because they simply do not have the money to buy the things they need. In El Barco, 55 percent of the respondents said to purchase more, while 45 percent purchase the same. The difference lies in their gardens, those that do not have access to water cannot cultivate enough. Also the harsh winter plays a role, as they have to buy almost all their fruits, vegetables, fodder, wheat and oats for the winter. In total, average monthly household costs have increased by 23500 pesos (33.60 Euros) since the relocation to Ayin Mapu, and 14650 pesos in El Barco (21 Euros). At the same time, sources of income such as animal husbandry and the sale of piñones has decreased. This trend is contrary to the promises of increased agricultural productivity from the agricultural assistance plan, from which they could increase their incomes. This has evidently not occurred and the youth have migrated to the cities in search for wage labour, while the elderly residents remain behind, selling their animals, becoming increasingly indebted and dependent on handouts in the winter in order to survive. Dirigentes in Ayin Mapu explained:
Aquí las fuentes de trabajo son malas…pegas temporeras que de repente ni les pagan a los que han ido a trabajar, entonces uno depende de la agricultura y de la ganadería y si no tiene eso deja su parcela abandonada y se va para afuera no más…la juventud casi toda”…“los hijos son dos los que andan trabajando afuera, fueron para el lado de Curicó a trabajar, el esposo de esta señora, es mi nuera, y otro hijo mas, se fueren en octubre y vuelven a fines de abril y con eso para vivir (Interview 476 and Informal Conversation 2, Ayin Mapu).77

A lack of stable employment in the area instigates especially the youth to leave behind the life of farming and animal husbandry to seek employment in other regions. Often they do not have the skills necessary to work in the city and end up having to go even farther away, to the central valley, to work as fruit pickers and at the vineyards. This is only seasonal labour, which separates them from their families for part of the year but hardly earns enough to support the whole family throughout the year. Furthermore, their complaints to ENDESA and the government seem to go unheeded. The people explained how this seeming aid from ENDESA is given in practice:

Translation: The greater availability of domestic appliances to the poor today has to do with the greater access to credit of the commercial warehouses (plastic money), which means a permanently and criminally elevated endebtedness. Recent numbers show us that, on average, Chileans owe almost 60 percent of their annual salary. This elevates the psychological malaise of the por, increasing depressions and anxieties, reducing the availibity of accessing the basic needs goods. 76 Translation: “Here the sources of employment are bad…temporary jobs that sometimes don’t pay those that went to work so you depend on agriculture and animal husbandry and if you don’t have that you abandon your land and you go outside…almost all the youth do that”… “I have two children that work outside, they went to Curico to work, my son-inlaw and my son went in October and will return at the end of April, that is how they survive”. 77 Translation: Here the sources of employment are bad…temporary jobs that sometimes don’t pay those that went to work so you depend on agriculture and animal husbandry and if you don’t have that you abandon your land and you go outside…almost all the youth do that”… “I have two children that work outside, they went to Curico to work, my son-inlaw and my son went in October and will return at the end of April, that is how they survive”.


Para ver a ENDESA nosotros tenemos que campearlos, mi hija estaba enferma el otro día y en el potrero ví la camioneta de ENDESA que venía…corrí para allá y los pide y le dije…que necesitaba llevar a mi hija al médico y me dijo que él no podía ayudarme, ‘pero el compromiso era una camioneta para trasladarnos en caso de urgencia’ le dije yo y, ‘van dos años y no llega, voy a llamar la asistenta social porque tiene que cumplir los cumplimientos’ le dije y me dijo ‘ya pero súbete al tiro a la camioneta’, pero si no lo amenazo con eso no me ayuda (Informal Conversation 1, Ayin Mapu).78

The woman in Ayin Mapu quoted above had to threaten ENDESA workers in order to give her a ride to the doctor, even though they had been promised a truck for the community in case of emergency. ENDESA sends a social worker around to visit all the families, but people seemed to be very upset with her. She does not visit each family, and the visits are not consistent or regular, nor does she actually seem to aid the people in solving their problems:
Aquí nadie viene ayudarnos, hay veces que viene la asistente social de ENDESA, pero ya no, yo no sé lo que pasa que ya no quieren ayudar”…“Aquí nunca han venido, ninguno de los viejos que trabaja, ni la señorita, todo el invierno hasta ahora no han venido…como estamos pasando el invierno, el invierno hasta el cuello con nieve”… “yo ya estoy medio cabreado de hacerle consultas porque todas las veces lo hacemos y la misma no más y los meses y los años están pasando y estamos igual no más”…“esa es mas sin vergüenza, a esa le pagan por mentir. Por engañar ganan más plata… Van con la mentira grande (Informal Conversations 11, Ayin Mapu; Informal Conversation 17, El Barco; Informal Conversation 20, Ayin Mapu; Informal Conversation 20, Ayin Mapu). 79

The social worker must have heard their complaints hundreds of times, but still nothing happens, they said. They hold her personally responsible when they tell her that they have no water, that the sewage system broke, that the sowing is late, or that the roads and bridges need repairs. She says someone will be sent to come and fix it, but nobody ever comes. They either say that she is ignoring them or that she is deluding them. She does after all, get paid her salary by ENDESA either way. Just having her on the payroll allows ENDESA to pretend to be taking care of the people. The social workers are supposed to make bi-monthly visits, to organize discussion groups, and other activities, but many people say that she have not been around to visit them in years. Other than the social worker, they do not know where to make their complaints heard. They hope that the municipality will help them.

Photos: The Ralco Reservoir in summer of 2008, the effects of the drought.
“To see how we have to urge ENDESA to help us, my daughter was sick the other day and at the gate I saw an ENDESA truck coming…I ran over there and asked them and said…that I needed to bring my daughter to the doctor and he said that he could not help me, but I said to him that they had committed to to giving us a truck to transport us in case of an emergency, but two years have passed since then and it hasn’t arrived yet, I said I will call the social worker becasuee you have to fulfill the promises and he said “ok, but get into the truck quick”, but if I don’t threaten them like that they do not help me …“ 79 Translation: Here nobody comes to help us, sometimes ENDESA’s social worker comes, but not anymore, I don’t know what happened that they no longer want to help”…“They have never come here, none of the guys that work, not even the girl, all winter until now they have not come…to see how we are enduring the winter, when we are up to our necks in snow”…“I am about fed up with requesting things because every time we have, it’s the same and the months and years are passing by and we are still in the same conditions”…“ ENDESA’s social assistant…she has no shame, they pay her to lie. To deceive they earn more money… And they leave with the big lie”.


Photos: Inundated native forests in the Ralco Reservoir.

Municipal Challenges
As ENDESA has failed to provide what they had promised, the people feel it is up to the State to solve the problems. However, as ENDESA’s ten years are not up yet, the State has not undertaken any action. Especially the municipality is the one designated to help them. “Ojala que nos ayude el municipio, porque ya ENDESA nos está olvidando” (Informal Conversations 11, Ayin Mapu). 80 People complain that they have been left to their own devices. “Aquí no hay nada, nadie nos ayuda, la municipalidad aquí se olvidó de nosotros, aquí nosotros hacemos el esfuerzo solos” (Informal Conversation 8).81 Generally, the people think that the government should step in, and in its concrete form, it is the local municipality that will be held responsible in the future, especially concerning such things as infrastructure, education and health care. This is why the Küme project emphasized a need to talk to all public institutions, in order to know how to coordinate with them in the future for specific projects. The municipality will be the one around for the next ten, twenty, thirty years, perhaps endlessly, while all the other NGOs, private companies and other institutions, which are not bound to the locality, may leave on their own prerogative. On July 21st, 2004, the municipality of Santa Barbara was divided into two municipalities, creating the new municipality of the Alto Bío Bío further to the east in the Andean range, incorporating all the comunidades, relocated or not, except Ayin Mapu. Its population is 90 percent Pewenche (Interview 23). “El alto Bío Bío es una de las comunas más pobres de la región y del país con un 37 o 39 por ciento creo que era, altísimo…el Alto Bío Bío es un territorio súper intervenido” (Interview 22).82 DIDECO of the Municipality of the Alto Bío Bío, is concerned with community development. 83 Our informant, a sociologist, said that many people had hoped that the creation of the new municipality would generate employment, but unfortunately, it is mostly the companies (such as ENDESA, timber, and construction companies), that offer jobs, which he named clientelism. The difference between this municipality and others, he noted, is that there is a coming together of the municipal constitution and the Indigenous Law, making it risky to allow the companies to take control. They do, however try to communicate their desire for the generation of local employment: “lo que se exige aunque no podemos exigirlo directamente pero parte del convenio y la conversación con la empresa es que la mano de obra sea preferentemente local” (Interview 23).84 Two other factors he named for the lack of job creation is their geographic isolation and population dispersion, and because the municipality only exists since three years ago, after the arrival of ENDESA.

Translation: Hopefully the municipality will help us, because ENDESA is already forgetting about us. Translation: Here there is nothing, nobody helps us, the municipality here has forgotton us, here we have to do everything on our own. 82 Translation: The Alto Bío Bío is one of the poorest municipalities of the región and the country, with 37 or 39 percent poverty, I believe, very high…the terrority of the Alto Bío Bío has been completely intervened. 83 Community Development Director 84 Translation: what is being demanded, although we cannot demand it directly, but part of the agreement and conversation with the company is that the labourers preferrably be locals



The PRODESAL of the municipality has a special development programme for poor sectors of the population, consisting of technical support, executed together with INDAP. 85 The municipality basically informs the comunidades of the services that INDAP has to offer them. These services include the application of industrialization techniques such as machinery, fertilizers, pesticides, seeds, irrigation and fencing, and selling the harvests to the market, as well as providing micro credits, of up to one hundred thousand pesos (143 Euros), which need to be repaid within a year. The credits have been increasing in recent years, although “hay mucha gente que le tiene miedo al crédito de INDAP” (Interview 26).86 However, only between 10 and 20 people in each comunidad actually qualify to receive aid from PRODESAL. These are selected according to the poverty indicators as defined by the CAS. With ENDESA they create the management plans (Interview 26). Our informant explained the process:
…ahora el tema del riego es muy complejo en el caso nuestro porque necesitamos que las aguas estén inscritas, que existan derechos de aguas instituidos, lamentablemente son de ENDESA, entonces el único que podría hacerle proyecto a esa familia es la ENDESA…un caso con una señora que no tiene agua, no tiene riego y no tiene producción, implica ir sumiéndose más en la pobreza y no poder salir… frente a estos criterios quedan un poco afuera de los márgenes de PRODESAL. No es posible hacer algún tipo de excepción frente a esto…para poder considerar usuario a una persona, requiere que sus ingresos provengan de la actividad agrícola, si no…no pueden ser usuarios de INDAP…sin riego no tiene cultivo y sin cultivo no vive… es una reacción en cadena…generalmente le buscamos para que sus ingresos provengan de la actividad, aunque a veces los subsidios sobrepasan los ingresos de las familias, la gente vive del subsidio prácticamente, entonces viviendo del subsidio no debiera ser usuario de INDAP, no puede ser…si yo presento un proyecto inmediatamente me lo van a rechazar porque económicamente no es viable (Interview 26). 87

If a family were in need of help with irrigation or drinking water, they need to have their main source of income to come from agriculture in order to be eligible for INDAP’s credit programme. Another problem complicating the matter is that ENDESA owns all the rights to water, so that the municipality cannot legally grant them to anyone in the comunidades. When we asked at the CONADI office in Villa Ralco if they could resolve the water issue in El Barco, the response was as follows:
…en El Barco…ellos escasea el vital elemento que es el agua… de hecho la CONADI le financió a cinco familias para poder…ser beneficiadas…porque no tienen riego y para el consumo…eso principalmente…en la medida que las personas se acercan a la CONADI, se les presta una asesoría jurídica, abogada de la programa de defensa jurídica para poder presionar a ENDESA para el cumplimiento de los compromisos, pero tampoco la CONADI no hace un seguimiento de los compromisos que se tomaron en su momento (Interview 33). 88

He said that CONADI has financed irrigation and drinking water for five families in El Barco. The Indigenous Law states that one of CONADI’s fundamental roles is to resolve any problems that indigenous comunidades have with external interventions, especially concerning their land and resources. In practice, it is centered on legal assistance. However, our informant admitted that the CONADI has acted inadequately to resolve the issue of ENDESA’s unfulfilled promises to the relocated families.

Programa de Desarrollo Local (Local Development Programe) Translation: there are a lot of people that are scared of taking credits from INDAP. 87 Translation: Now the irrigation issue is very complex and in our case because we need the waters that are registered, as the rights to water are institutionalized, unfortunately they belong to ENDESA, so the only one who could make a project for a family in need is ENDESA…there was a case that a woman had no water, had no irrigation, no production, implying that her poverty was increasing and would not be able to get out, the idea of this work…due to the criteria are outside of PRODESAL’s margins. It is not posible to make any kind of exception…in order to consider someone a user, requires that their income come from agricultura, if their income does not come from agricultura, they cannot be users of INDAP…without irrigation there is no cultivation and without cultivation one cannot live…it is a chain reaction…generally we look for a way that their income comes from the activity, although sometimes the subsidies are higher than the income of the families, the people practically live off of subsidies, so living off of subsidies you shouldn’t be a user of INDAP, you can’t be…if I present a project immediately they will reject it because economically it is not viable. 88 Translation: …in El Barco…they lack water, a vital element…in fact CONADI financed five families so that they could…receive water because they have no irrigation and for drinking…that in principle…on average the people come to the CONADI, and they are offered legal aid, a lawyer from the legal defence programme in order to pressure ENDESA for the fulfillments of the promises, but CONADI does not do a follow-up of the promises made at the time, either.



Therefore, many of the relocatees feel forgotten by the municipality, and some feel discriminated in comparison with the other comunidades in the Alto Bío Bío. The people in El Barco expressed their frustrations:
…también nos ha cerrado la puerta el municipio, por una empresa nos están cerrando la puerta a todos…el municipio también tiene que tomar el estudio a los jóvenes, cosa que la juventud que está recién formando su familia” …“siempre el alcalde nos dice ‘no po, si ustedes están beneficiados por ENDESA, ustedes tienen mejores casas, buenos caminos… es un negocio particular, no debería meternos’… nosotros también somos socios de la comuna, entonces porque deberíamos ser discriminados”…“si el gobierno no nos va ayudar entonces a dónde vamos a llegar si nosotros también somos chilenos (Interview 6, Informal Conversation 15 and 7, El Barco).89

The people of El Barco are being given the bureaucratic runaround for the school and the medical centre, although these were two explicit items in the relocation plan. Lacking these two things is causing them many difficulties. In an interview with a representative of DIDECO of the municipality of the Alto Bío Bío, it is evident that the problem has not been solved by the public institution due to bureaucratic regulations:
… el tema de la posta…se ha generado toda una discusión de donde hacerla, cuando tu presentas ciertos proyectos de infraestructura social…se dice para qué van a construir otra si hay una en Chenqueco, entonces hay que justificar que hay una cantidad X de personas, considerar todos esos sectores… ahora se presta servicio de ronda…pero ahora es bastante rudimentario, no están los servicios adecuados, se adaptó un lugar pero no es lo óptimo (Interview 23).90

When asked about the medical centre, he said that the resources could not be justified for such a limited number of people. Although he admitted that the paramedic centre in Chenqueco is inadequate. Our informant claims that the fact that ENDESA is there, is complicating their ability to implement projects. He also emphasized the most visible, material benefits that ENDESA has produced, such as the buses and trucks and minivans and broadband internet for the municipality of the Alto Bío Bío:
… si está ENDESA ahí, no es nada fácil…estos dos buses fueron comprados con platas de ENDESA, la camioneta en que me desplazo yo esa también ha sido comprada con plata de ENDESA… un furgón que hay Ralco Lepoy también es con platas de ENDESA, un jardín que se va a inaugurar…justamente en El barco…también es por ENDESA…implementar banda ancha para el liceo y la municipalidad, todo eso con aporte de ENDESA (Interview 23). 91

ENDESA has indeed benefited Villa Ralco, where the municipality resides. This is visible in the roads, the high school, and the local museum. (See photo below).

Translation: the municipality has closed the door to us here, because of a company they are closing the door to us…the municipality also has to concern itself with the studies of the youth, they are now forming their families”… “the mayor always says no to us because “you are receiving benefits from ENDEDA, you have better housing, better roads…it is a private negotiation, we cannot get involved” but wer are part of the municipality, so why should we be discriminated”… “if the government does not want to help us where are we to go, as we are also Chilenos. 90 Translation: …the issue of the medical centre…has created quite a discussion where to build it, when you present certain projects for social infrastructure…they say why are you going to build another if there is one in Chenqueco, so an X amount of people in all the sectors considered have to be justified…now there is a medical rounds…which is pretty rudimentary, there are no adequate services, they have adapted a space but it is not optimal. 91 Translation: …if ENDESA is there, nothing is easy…those two buses were bought with ENDESA’s Money, the truck in which I move about was also bought with ENDESA’s Money…a minivan in Ralco Lepoy is also from ENDESA’s Money, a daycare which will soon be inaugurated because there was a problem in El Barco, of the paperwork of the grounds, is also because of ENDESA…implementing broadband for the high school and the municipality, that is all ENDESA’s contribution



Photo: View of the plaza in Villa Ralco, from the lookout next to the Museum, with the high school in the far centre, all thanks to ENDESA

The power of the municipality leaves a lot to be desired. Although the municipality in the Alto Bío Bío is very new and cannot expect to be flawless yet, the same kind of powerlessness can be observed in the municipality of Santa Barbara. Santa Barbara is one of the top ten poorest municipalities in Chile. According to the MIDEPLAN definition, 29,3 percent of the inhabitants of Santa Barbara live at the level of extreme poverty, meaning that their incomes do not cover the costs of basic needs such as food and shelter, while another 13,92 percent live in poverty, meaning that all of their income is used to cover the costs of basic needs such as food and shelter.92 That means only 56,78 percent of the population lives above the poverty line. The unemployment rate is at 18,2 percent. About 50 percent perform exclusively subsistence-based economic activities in the rural areas.93 According to our informants, the department of public works and the department of social planning in the municipality of Santa Barbara do not have any programmes for Ayin Mapu because “ENDESA is there”. Leaving all social programming and public services up to the responsibility of ENDESA is similar to the “hands off” attitude that Fundación Pehuén has with respect to the relocated comunidades, saying that agricultural machinery was all that the people needed and wanted, and because ENDESA is supposedly responsible for the comunidad until 2010 (Interview 24, Fundación Pehuén, Pangue). Meanwhile, we know that they want and need a medical centre and transportation for their children to go to school. However, ENDESA has apparently left it up to other actors and institutions to jump in and do the work. The fact that the municipality has limited resources is often given as an argument for not providing the necessary social services.
Photo: promotional road sign in Villa Ralco, by the regional government. ‘Progress’ is measured by the state of the rural roads, which have not been repaired in El Barco because “ENDESA is there”
Ministerio de Planificacion (Ministry of Planning) Data from: PLADECO 2007-2010. La Comuna que Todos Queremos. Ilustre Municipalidad de Santa Barbara. VII Region de Chile.
93 92


The Loss of Traditions
Although I have not specifically focused on the cultural impacts of the relocation in this thesis, there are indeed some changes that deserve attention, as the relocation is not simply a question of economic loss, but also the loss of specific places that have religious, social, and cultural significance generated by the communities over time (Haughney 2006: 112). Anthropologist Veronica Tagle predicted in the sections of her EIA report that ENDESA omitted, that the relocations would have a negative impact on the cultural dimensions of the Pewenche. She argued that the geographic displacement and division of the comunidades would not allow them to reproduce the symbols, oral history, legends and rituals that were integrated in their social and cultural processes as a people. She stated that these impacts could not be mitigated (Moraga 2001: 111). Furthermore, she warned that there would be negative impacts on the rapid socioeconomic changes in terms of consumption patterns and way of life of the Pewenche and that as a consequence of the divisions of the comunidades, they would no longer be able to continue their ceremonial rituals, marking severe effects for the continuation of their culture (Moraga 2001: 112). The FIDH report even formulated their loss of cultural capital in terms of ‘ethnocide’ (Palacio and Du Roy 2003: 35). One of the arguments used to oppose the dam was the fact that the site of the Guillatún ritual would be inundated. It is the most important Pewenche community ritual. It is an elaborate two to three day land fertility ceremony which marks the invernada-veranada transhumance, representing the communication between the human world with the sacred world, ‘through which the Pehuenche believe they maintain the order of the universe’ (Gonzalez and Simon 2003: 3; Nordbø 2001: 7; Nesti 2002: 3). The locations in which these ceremonies were held were considered sacred sites. “The compensation plan blandly proposed a program of ‘resemantization’ (change of meaning or significance) of relocation areas to create new sacred sites, ignoring the fact that the meaning of such sites has been created by the historical, collective use of specific, geographic locations, and cannot be transferred ‘automatically’ to a new area” (Haughney 2006: 113). Therefore, argued the activists, the Pewenche would be losing one of their most pertinent cultural goods. This in turn, was used by ENDESA as a counterargument, saying that in Ayin Mapu they would create the most spectacular Guillatún site ever for the families relocated there, and that the Guillatún sites in El Barco would serve the others just fine, as they always had. An important symbolic ritual and its historically significant location were thus neatly reduced to a physical space by both parties. This negates the totality of ideas, interpretations, representations, knowledge, symbolism, spiritual significance, social significance and ritual meaning and behavior that the Guillatún encompasses, being the most relevant marker of the Pewenche culture and identity. In a study conducted by scholars from the University of Concepción in Ayin Mapu from 2000 to 2003, the absence of the Guillatún was also noted as a loss of both social and cultural capital, as it is a form of community organisation that normally would have united the fragmented, displaced comunidades:
The importance of Nguillatún is most noted when it is not performed because according to Pehuenche beliefs, if the Pehuenche do not perform Ngillatun, the community will have bad harvests and bad luck in general because they have become disconnected from God, a connection that can only be restored with the traditional Ngillatún ceremony. Additionally, Ngillatún plays an important role in restoring the community’s equilibrium…According toPehuenche beliefs, a lack of equilibrium will produce sickness, and the restoration of equilibrium requires collective action. Ngillatún remains an…activity that could play a…role in reuniting the community and rearticulating it with the other Pehuenche communities because a…part of the Ngillatún is the visits received from other communities (González-Parra and Simon 2003: 10).

The Guillatún can be seen as a community event, which requires organisation and brings people together in one place, where they can socialize. The lack of such an event reinforces the disintegration and individual practices of the comunidad. Another factor in the loss of the Guillatún is the advent of the evangelical church in the comunidades. According to our survey, half of the respondents in El Barco attend the evangelical church, while before the relocation this number was significantly less. There, 80% attended the Guillatún ritual and practiced the Mapuche religion. “En la iglesia no se acuerdan del Guillatún, dios quiere un hombre o una mujer temeroso a dios” (Interview 12, El Barco).94 The pastor of one of the evangelical churches in El Barco explained that it is forbidden for its members to participate in

Translation: In the church they do not remember the Guillatún, God wants a man or a woman to be afraid of God.


the Guillatún, because the people who participate in the Guillatún are bad people, who have bad thoughts, and behave badly, whereby the members of the church can be “contaminated” by these bad thoughts. That is why he no longer goes to the Guillatún, nor does he drink or smoke, and lives according to good thoughts and messages of the good Lord. If he were to go to the Guillatún, he would be cursed by the Lord (Interview 16). In Ayin Mapu, the Guillatún has not continued to be performed, although 95 percent of our survey respondents said to have participated in the Guillatún before the relocations. “Después, no hicieron más guillatún, se le olvidaron…hace tiempo que no hacen guillatún” (Informal Conversation 21, Ayin Mapu).95 It is not only because they have lost their traditional site, the absence of horses, and the prohibition on the part of the evangelical church, it is also because the old Guillatún lonko died in August of 2002 and has not been replaced to date. One could argue that the lack of the Guillatún is a consequence of the relocation, and results in the loss of Pewenche cultural capital, as it is a central element of their cultural identity. Many respondents in our survey even responded “Guillatún” when we asked them what religion they practice, which symbolizes its importance to their cosmovisión. The lack of communication and cooperation between the community members most likely contributes to this lack of enthusiasm to continue cultural traditions (as will be described in the next chapter). “…la gente estaba unida, tal como que había un Guillatún… la gente se unían todos, llegaban todos a esa parte, ahora ya no hacen Guillatún y no se junta gente…la gente ya no son unidos, ya están perdiendo la cultura, ya no entran, no participan” (Informal Conversation 24, Ayin Mapu).96 The wetripantu,97 however, has been introduced by ENDESA in the year 2000 as a cultural mitigation, but before this date this was never a tradition in the Pewenche communities. Some call it a winka celebration, and others associate it with ENDESA. Others recall that the solstice was previously celebrated in September, and not in June. In any case, it is a new celebration that was not practiced previously, and it is ENDESA which is facilitating it in the relocated comunidades. A poster in the CONADI office in Villa Ralco advertised the Wetripantu and Inti Rayni as the “Día Nacional de los Pueblos Indígenas”.98 This was introduced by the Chilean government, inaugurated by President Frei in 1998, at the height of the Ralco conflict (Namuncura 1999: 19). Critics argue that this homogenizes the indigenous, folklorizing their cultures in a cooptation into the nationalist discourse. Complaints about this “new tradition” and about the Guillatún and other rogativas still performed in El Barco are that the old ways in which the rituals were performed are no longer being practiced. Now they are compared to an ordinary “asado”, where people go to eat and drink, whereas previously the rituals were much more ceremonious and the people shared with each other, coordinating the food and drink together. People say it is now like any other party, each to his own (Interview 19, Ayin Mapu). Since the beginning of the Ralco conflict, the protest against the dam was not only argued due to the loss of the Guillatún, but also the inundation of the fourteen ancestral cemeteries in Quepuca Ralco and Ralco Lepoy. This was a crux of the claims of the Pewenche, anthropologists, archaeologists, and indigenous rights activists. The first EIA report that was submitted to the CONAMA for approval was rejected due to critiques of the report made by the Pewenche and civil society; because it did not include a relocation plan, nor did it mention the cemeteries and sacred Guillatún sites that were to be inundated. Therefore, ENDESA wrote an addendum to the report, to include a relocation plan for the people as well as their cemeteries. Ten years later, the relocated cemeteries in El Barco and Ayin Mapu still do not provide a satisfactory solution. In El Barco, the cemetery is very far from the comunidad, it is shut in by an enormous, unsightly, orange, metal fence. This is completely inappropriate as a Pewenche cemetery, as the ancestral cemeteries were traditionally open spaces, in large fields, highlighted by natural and produced ritual objects, or else large wooden crosses, to direct the alwe (the soul) towards the river of tears, so that it does not stay with the body and taken by the wekufe (evil spirits) and turned into a witranalwe (a spirit who visits the living). The mounds consist of large complexes overlooking expansive marshes, and are associated with extensive domestic sites, agricultural systems, and occasionally hilltop defenses. The
Translation: After, they never had another guillatún, they forgot about it…it’s been a while since they have had a guillatún. 96 Translation: …the people were united, as they had the Guillatún, they all got together, they came from all over, now they no longer have the Guillatún and the people don’t get together…the people are no longer united, they are already losing their cultura, they don’t go, they don’t participate. 97 Wetripantu is the Mapuche New Year’s celebration, or winter solstice, held on June 24th. 98 National Day of Indigenous Peoples.


ritual burial ceremony lasts three to four days (Faron 1963). The new cemeteries furnished by ENDESA do not offer the space or the natural qualities that traditionally accommodated such elaborate ceremonies. Furthermore, relocating a cemetery blatantly negates the symbolic value of land and ancestors for the Pewenche. Ancestors represent the constant dialogue between life and death in the Pewenche cosmovisión. However, not all of the cemeteries were relocated before the inundation, only those who signed contracts with ENDESA were able to have their forefathers relocated with them. Today, Pewenche who remained in Quepuca Ralco are still trying to solve the problem of the cemeteries they lost due to the inundation. They have not received an acceptable solution to date and have repeatedly refused any form of monetary compensation:
…se hizo una vez más referencia a los avances de cumplimiento de las llamadas “medidas compensatorias”, que hemos rechazado tajantemente desde el inicio de las negociaciones. Para nosotros, no se trata de compensación sino que de reparar un daño moral, una violación a nuestros antepasados, a nuestras familias y a nuestros derechos como pueblo mapuche (Curriao and Vergara 2008).99

Besides the Guillatún and the cemeteries, various authors have signalled the socio-cultural and economic importance of the veranada-invernada system, which for centuries allowed the reproduction of animal husbandy, the recollection of piñones and agriculture, allowing for social, economic, and political reproduction (Huenchulaf 1996: 7-8; Molina and Correa 1996: 9, and Molina 1998: 92). It was not only seen as an expression of productive processes, but also a space to form alliances between the different aspects of the Pewenche form of life. This space allowed for the fomenting of family and community relations, the performance of religious activities such as the Guillatún, and the political expressions such as the authority of the lonko, who dictated community organisation and inaugurated the ascent and descent to and from the veranadas. (Morales 1998a: 138). El Barco was traditionally veranada land, where it was known that the soil has a low natural fertility, and the long winters see heavy snowfalls and low temperatures, decreasing the possibility of cultivation, and making it uninhabitable in winter, which is why the Pewenche traditionally had their permanent settlements in the invernada (Barchiesi and Contreras 1998: 112-115). Not only locals but also agronomists attested to poor soil quality, which would necessitate the extensive use of fertilizers for cultivation (Barchiesi and Contreras 1998: 114). It was already signaled before the relocation that water for irrigation would be a problem in the veranada (Barchiesi and Contreras 1998: 115). For the comunidad of Ayin Mapu, the relocation meant the loss of the ability to practice the invernada-veranada system. The veranada area they were allotted in the fundo Santa Laura is not used by the people of the comunidad of Ayin Mapu. They said it is too far, inaccessible and that they are not permitted to take firewood there, due to regulations made by CONAF. Therefore, they stay in Ayin Mapu yearround, which not only changes their lifestyle culturally, but also socially, as the veranada is a communal area where all members of the comunidad have the same rights and have to share the space. This offers the possibility of social interaction and cooperation, which has not occurred in Ayin Mapu.

Translation: …there was again another reference made to the fulfillments and the “compensational measures” that we have outright rejected since the beginning of the negotiations. For us, it is not about compensations, it is about moral dammage, a violation of our ancestors, of our families and of rights as Mapuche people.


The social interaction and a change of scenery which the veranada used to offer is a space where social networks can be made or reinforced, and where economic activities such as trade can be performed or discussed, thus contributing to the social and economic capitals. Due to the relocations, the people of Ayin Mapu have lost 78 percent of surface area covered in native forest in their lands. Especially the Pewen, or Araucaria, the sacred tree in the Pewenche cosmology is inaccessible to them. 100 percent of our respondents told us that they used to gather and sell piñones when they lived in Ralco Lepoy and Quepuca Ralco, which is no longer possible for those in Ayin Mapu, as they do not go to the veranada to gather them, and in El Barco they are so isolated from other people, that selling very difficult. This indicates another loss of income source and an important sociocultural activity. Piñones were traditionally an important aspect of daily life, a staple in their sustenance, as they used it make flour, muday (similar to chicha) and still holds a cultural, symbolic and ritual importance for their identities as Pewenche, the people of the Pewen, from which the piñones are gathered. Furthermore, the location of Ayin Mapu, removed from the rest of the Alto Bío Bío, and the families they left behind in Ralco Lepoy or Quepuca Ralco or moved to El Barco, and planting them squarely in the jurisdiction of the municipality of Santa Barbara increases their alienation to the rest of the Pewenche.

The Discourse and Practice of Relocation Plans
Conversely, ENDESA’s final EIA report states that the relocation to what is now the comunidad of Ayin Mapu would be “an opportunity for cultural autonomy and development” (Moraga 2001: 40). However, the relocated comunidad of Ayin Mapu proves to be the farthest thing from “cultural autonomy”. In an interview with anthropologist Daniel Quiroz,100 he himself admits that the relocation plan he helped devise was designed highly “intuitively”, that it was merely an “improvisation”, as no one working on the plan had previously been involved with anything of the sort. Their only information sources were reports of non-indigenous relocations in Costa Rica, Argentina, the U.S., and China. Meanwhile, there are various examples worldwide, case upon case study and literature exposing the negative effects of forced relocations on indigenous communities in the past 50 years (for example Cernea 1994; World Bank 1996; Cummings 1995; IWGIA 1999; Downing 1996; WCD 2000; and Fonseca 2003). Involuntary displacement and resettlement (IDR) specialists have presented an enormous quantity of empirical data, and have developed models and analytical frameworks for policy makers for the evaluation of socio-economic consequences of relocations. These studies have revealed that forced population displacement leads to forms of impoverishment such as the loss of physical and non-physical goods, including homes, access to common property, communities, productive land, food security, employment and income sources, subsistence, local cultural resources, social structures and networks, cultural identity, social and economic marginalization, an erosion of health status, and a loss of access to education (Cernea 1997 and Downing 1996).These effects may have been mitigated in the Ralco case if the literature had been studied and experts were consulted, especially as the World Commission on Dams from the World Bank was at that moment compiling its report on megadams, relocations and their impacts on a global scale (WCD 2000). Apparently, ENDESA did not intend to waste more money on such trivial details. Quiroz and his colleagues could hardly be called experts, being the first time they designed such a plan. Thus, the Pewenche had to relocate based on Quiroz and his colleagues’ “intuition”. ENDESA currently still considers the relocation successful, and has brought members of the comunidades from the Panguipulli area, where they are planning other dams, to Ralco in order to show that they are doing well there (Quiroz 2008). It all depends on who you talk to in Ayin Mapu and El Barco, what their loyalties are to ENDESA, how much they have received from ENDESA, to hear that they are doing well or not, as will be discussed later (as will be described in the next chapter). ENDESA is surely not demonstrating their failures. Quiroz admits he saw the problem of separating the people to the two new locations, that this would affect social networks, and that the impacts would be stronger for those living more isolated. Quiroz maintains that ENDESA had not followed all of his advice, but he did not make an effort to protest this, as Veronica Tagle had, and she was subsequently blacklisted, while he maintained his employer. However, Quiroz still maintains his justification that the participation of an anthropologist is better than no anthropologist at all, much like Veronica Tagle’s thinking had been (Moraga 2001: 36). Furthermore, he has not taken any

Interview with Daniel Quiroz, Santiago, June 20, 2008.


responsibility for how his relocation was executed by ENDESA has affected the lives of the 600 Pewenche it concerns. There is no follow-up, no commitment to the people, only to the company.

In summary, the CONADI has evidently not taken sufficient or efficient actions to process the land title registry for the people, neither administratively nor in the informative communication of their status to the Pewenche concerned. A thorough assessment is necessary to verify and compare the land actually inundated, exchanged, and granted with what is written in the permutas drawn up by ENDESA. This is an obligation of the CONADI under the Indigenous Law. The lack of fulfillment of this obligation means for the Pewenche that the Indigenous Law remains a discourse on paper and not a practice relevant to the comunidades on the ground. ENDESA so swiftly had the permutas notarized to seal the relocation deal, yet many people do not have the land title documents, leaving them feeling insecure, and they remain mal informed, as they were throughout the process of negotiation. The people are rightful owners of their individual parcelas in the relocated comunidades, yet they are confined to Indigenous Law, as they are now considered indigenous land. ENDESA now owns the land that is underwater, and the saldos de terreno are in the public domain. The veranada lands as designated by the relocation plan are under collective indigenous title, to be registered with the CONADI. The delays in the paperwork are thus the fault of the CONADI, except for Santa Laura, whose debts are the responsibility of ENDESA. Furthermore, the reality of the Pewenche greatly differs from that of the Chilean legal system. They have a lack of human capital to navigate it, which is something in which the CONADI should be assisting them. Although the Indigenous Law was in effect, and this law necessitates the approval of the CONADI, ENDESA very cunningly negotiated and had the permutas signed without informing the CONADI. Although this is not illegal, it is telling of the level of business ethics and embodiment of CSR principles with which ENDESA operates. It is also telling that the political will was there to back up ENDESA in getting the permutas approved, instead of backing up the Indigenous Law and the CONADI. The latter two thus seem to merely create the appearance of the importance of the original peoples to the Chilean State. Yet, in practice, the interests of the politicians at any given moment seem to supersede the social and environmental issues of the nation’s (original) peoples. Therefore, the arbitrary relationship between the Indigenous Law and the Chilean constitution causes a wide judicial gap within which the Ralco case has fallen. In the arena of the Ralco conflict, ENDESA not only took advantage of this gap, but in offering the Pewenche benefits and compensation for the relocation was justified in their discourse of mitigation and externalities.
In 1992, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and ENDESA signed a secret investment agreement that specified the company’s financial and institutional obligations to the Pehuenche. The agreement included requirements that ENDESA share a fixed percentage of its net profits from the Pangue Dam’s hydroelectric power with the Pehuenche. Neither the Pehuenche nor the Chilean government were party to the negotiations or the agreement. The company negotiated to channel benefit-sharing payments through a company-controlled development foundation. The Pehuenche were unaware that the company’s ostensibly charitable assistance was actually interested, obligatory, and manipulative. It was used to improve public relations with Pehuenche living on land needed for ENDESA’s next dam, Ralco (Downing and Garcia-Downing 2001: 11).

To date, however, the Pewenche feel that neither the Fundación Pehuén, (which is referred to in the quote above) nor ENDESA has not lived up to their end of the bargain, reinforcing their experience of being in a position of limited power within the arena, as expressed by a dirigente, age 40, of Ayin Mapu: “Los señores de ENDESA como empresa privada, tienen su poder, ellos dicen que son muy justos para responder los compromisos pero en este minuto no ha sido tanto” (Interview 5).101 The Pewenche had very little knowledge of the actual contents of the relocation plan, mainly due to their illiteracy, a lack of possession of the documents involved, information and legal assistance in the negotiation process. The people only have the verbal promises made by ENDESA in their minds. However, the promises of more land, better land and the other benefits enticed the families to relocate to the new sites. One can wonder about the mechanism that was used to assess the value of

Translation: The ENDESA men, as a prívate company, have their power, they say that they are fair to respond to the commitments, pero right that hasn’t been much.


the land in the relocation sites, as the majority of the people do not have sufficient water there, so that the productivity of the land is actually considerably less than what they had previously in the invernada lands in Ralco Lepoy and Quepuca Ralco, where access to water was abundant. The discrepancies between the verbal promises, the written materials, and the actual execution of the plans to date, can be distilled from the Pewenche narrative in their complaints that ENDESA has not lived up to their promises; in their disappointment and regret of their negotiations with ENDESA, and in their anger towards all the institutions for not helping them solve these issues. They were promised a better future, but feel very isolated and forgotten. They feel that the world is laughing at them, at their misery. The fact that the public institutions, such as the municipality and the CONADI, have not effectively been able to mitigate the transition of the Pewenche displacements, are telling in the Ralco case as an effect of the tensions found between the public and private sectors in Chile. The powerlessness of the municipality is a typical result of the “let the government take a step back” deregulation and “the market forces take over” privatization schemes under shock neoliberalisation such as the policies implemented by Pinochet. This deal was further sealed by international treaties, such as the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) by the WTO, which transferred and concentrated the power of decisions and ownership over water from the public to the private (Shiva 2002: 6). This undemocratic process of privatisation and deregulation does not ensure any mechanism that controls if private institutions or NGOs actually take care of the people. They are thus left to fend for themselves, something that those same institutions have debilitated by creating dependence. The only people actually critical of this process, currently hold positions in the municipality of the Alto Bío Bío. Decentralisation is thus seen on the level of social services, which is the responsibility of the municipality, although they have the least amount of resources. However, the policies and market forces that lobby for policies at the level of the Nation State prove to maintain a centralized, authoritarian power, as there is no collaboration with the municipalities in the creation of policies. As a municipality, they must follow the laws decided by the State, unlike the corporations who lobby the State to create laws that favour their interests, such as the Código de Aguas of 2006, a new law under which the rights to water were liberalized, making them an object of trade on the “free” market. Meanwhile the companies can bypass the municipal level, they are not even obliged to consult the municipality, they only have to comply with the laws at the State level, and their regulation instruments such as the CONAMA (Interview 17). The words and actions of the municipal bureaucrats in general reveal that they see their position as inferior to the higher level of government or the international level. That it is above their heads and cannot be dealt with it at the municipal level, continuing the dominance of the larger centralized institutions, such as INDAP, and the private sector, such as ENDESA, in a patron-client relationship, implying that they are not able to contribute to national or international policy as ENDESA can. Contrary to the discourse of mitigation and progress by ENDESA, the relocations to El Barco and Ayin Mapu have altered the ability of the Pehuenche to subsist as they did previously. The relocations have affected the Pewenche in terms of their livelihoods, as their five forms of capital: natural, economic, cultural, social and human, were all affected due to the relocations, and have become five dimensions of poverty and dependence. Their natural capital coincided with their economic capital, as their lands provided them with sustenance. The lack of water, and in Ayin Mapu, the piñon (which can also be considered cultural capital), have decreased their income sources. They have lost the cultural capitals of the veranada-invernada transhumance, the Guillatún, and the ancestral cemeteries. Their social capital has been altered greatly due to the divisions and relocations, as will be described in more detail in the next chapter. The only capital that is left is thus their human capital – they can sell their labour, which is a dimension foreign to their previous way of life as small farmers. The work they can receive is most often minimum wage, manual labour, as they were not previously educated or trained in the formal Chilean society. Thus, the State’s motivation for supporting the dams - national development - is actually reversed for the Pewenche, as their situation has worsened in all the five dimensions of livelihood since the move. The Pewenche were seen as externalities of economic development, as “dysfunctional to the overall economic model because they control land resources that could be used more efficiently by capitalist producers” (Bebbington 1999: 2024). They were seen as obstructions for development, and the “nonviability argument is often closely linked to the idea that policy ought to help people leave the land, and move to urban areas” (Bebbington 1999: 2026). The aid that is provided by ENDESA and other institutions creates dependence, and lowers their autonomy and self-determination. Next year ENDESA will have completed their ten-year mitigation plan, but the people will already be integrated in a system

that they do not know how to navigate. Due to ENDESA’s paternalist interventions, especially in controlling agricultural production, the people remain expectant of ENDESA to provide necessities rather than generating it themselves. ENDESA implemented the relocation programme according to the paternalist clientelism found in Quiroz’ EIA addendum, that the Pewenche previously lived in conditions of poverty that would be improved by the relocation, by addressing their material deficiencies in providing housing, the industrialization of agriculture and the introduction of tourism as income sources (Moraga 2001: 40). However, the non-material aspects of the relocation were not addressed, such as the loss of social and cultural capital, and the loss of self-determination in community practices and the creation of dependence (González-Parra and Simon 2003). In summary, the Ralco case is a striking illustration of the contrast between discourse and practice. The discourse being one of beautiful utopias that would await the poor Pewenche if they were to relocate. The practice being that once the relocation was physically accomplished, the Pewenche were left to their own devices, and their new homes proved to be far from being the paradise they were promised. There is apparently a lot of confusion among the people as they are misinformed about rights and receive very little legal assistance. Although emphasizing the differences in people's access to information as having influence on their choice to protest or not is a valid structuralist argument based on the reality on the ground, it negates the agency of those actors actively voicing their protest as well as those opting for the immediate material benefits. In the long term, however, these benefits have not lasted, and have deepened inequalities in the area as will be shown in the next chapter. Even those that could read and negotiate well are disillusioned today. At first they say that everything is fine, that they are fine, but then they admit that they have no drinking water running in the house and no irrigation water for their crops. In any case, those that found ENDESA’s offers appealing have learned by now that they were merely empty words. Since most of the other promises have not been fulfilled, as detailed in the relocation plan, ENDESA has not held their end of the contract, which was the motivation for the people to relocate in the first place. Similar conclusions about the failures of relocation plans have been made about the Salto Grande Project in Argentina. The dam’s construction was finished in 1979, and resulted in the displacement of 20,000 people in both Argentina and Uruguay.
Social impacts were not limited to the resettlement period but continued to be felt many years after the completion of the project. Some of these impacts can be traced to a defective planning and implementation of the resettlement component…The Salto Grande Project illustrates what are the real priorities in large-scale development projects that include the production of energy as one of its objectives. When it was announced it was propagandized as a multi-purpose regional development endeavour, with energy production figuring in a third place among its main objectives. Throughout its implementation and particularly once the power plant started the production of energy, all other purported objectives faded in the background and finally vanished from the official discourse. From the point of view of this hidden but real agenda, the need to displace people and even whole towns were seen as obstacles to be overcome and not as tasks rightfully belonging to the project. Until the present the population of the region is claiming for the fulfillment of the promises made at the starting, “selling” stage of the project. Resettlement was limited to the construction and adjudication of houses and buildings, with little consideration paid to the mitigation of social and economic impacts (Bartolome and Danklmaier 1999: 4; 7).

A legal assessment of the permutas, the relocation plan and the testimonies of the verbal promises that had been made alongside the testimonies of ENDESA’s unfulfillment of both of these would provide enough evidence in a legal battle to ensure that ENDESA fulfills their end of the bargain. The next chapter will discuss how the Ralco communities were divided and fragmented during the course of the conflict, and how the relocation reinforced the divisions, as the families and comunidades were separated physically. This further affected their social capital, and their ability to organize as a community.


4. Megaprojects and their Social Impacts
As shown in the previous chapter, to negotiate the relocations, ENDESA contacted individuals, and there was no discussion about the project with the community as a whole. Social relations and family ties have been broken, changed, or altered since the relocation. Their social capital has thus been largely affected since the advent of the conflict, and the resulting relocations, as it has divided communities and in some cases even families. Undoubtedly there was disunion present in the comunidades before the arrival of ENDESA, as there is anywhere else, but ENDESA’s interventions contributed to the further disintegration of the comunidades.This chapter will describe the effects of ENDESA`s presence in the area, their forms of intervention, how this divided the people, and the social impacts up until now, such as the generation of inequality, a crisis of representation, a lack of community in the relocated comunidades, and a loss of social capital as defined previously. The sections of the EIA report prepared by anthropologist Veronica Tagle, which were omitted in ENDESA’s submission to the CONAMA, include details of the negative sociocultural impacts that the construction of the Ralco dam would have on the community. These included the generation of divisions and internal conflicts within the comunidades. This was based on observations made of the polemic positions taken on the Ralco dam and relocation issue, rupturing communal and family ties, which would significantly alter the kinship, social and cultural organisational structures. Tagle noted that the affected people were very aware of these divisions at the time of her investigation in 1995, and that this had led to a high level of psychological stress among the locals (Moraga 2001: 111; 113). In addition, she warned that the introduction of outsiders, such as construction labourers for the dam, would result in sudden changes in the demographic, which would compound the changes to the sociocultural system of the Pewenche, which earlier had evolved in relative isolation to the greater Chilean society, and especially in creating breaches according to age and gender. Tagle noted that this was considered undesirable for most of the Pewenche, especially in the competition it created for the sources of employment in the area (Moraga 2001: 113). As predicted in the EIA, another undesirable effect of the relocations was the physical separation of comunidades and kinship groups. The EIA recommended to not separate family members, although this is exactly what did occur as they were relocated separately, individually and to different locations. Social relations and family ties have indeed been broken, changed, or altered since the relocation. This affected the social, cultural, and territorial system which normally organized the comunidades (Morales 1998b: 168): ‘...un engranaje de parentesco complejo, al que Louis Faron llamó “grupo familiar residencial”…el plan de relocalización impedirá la reproducción de este sistema de parentesco propio de la zona…disminuirá la posibilidad de matrimonios’ (Moraga 2001: 17). 102 They are now not only divided in three: El Barco, Ayin Mapu and the original comunidades, but they are also divided within the relocated comunidades as opposed to remaining with those from their original comunidades.
…después cuando se fueron relocalizados la gente nunca tomaron la decisión de los que eran de Ralco Lepoy se quedaban con los de Ralco Lepoy y los de Quepuca con los de Quepuca…entonces esas relaciones ya eran medios separados de mucho tiempo atrás”…“mi hermano se fue allá a la Peña. Están todos allá, pero están todos bien”…“Mi hermanos están todos para arriba igual que mi papa, mi hermanas están aquí también”…“hace casi el año ya no veo mi familia…antes todos vivían por ahí cerquita…yo vivía en Quepuca, ellos vivían en Lepoy, no es tan lejos…ahora lo tenemos divididos”…“y yo tampoco voy a Lepoy, hace como un año que no voy para allá, porque no puedo dejar solo a los cabros acá (Interview 5, Ayin Mapu; Informal Conversation 18, El Barco; Informal Conversations 22, 14 and 21, Ayin Mapu). 103

Translation:…a mesh of complex kinship, what Louis Faron called a “family residencial group”…the relocation plan will impede the reproduction of the area’s own kinship system…it will diminish the marriage possibilities. 103 Translation: “…after when they were relocated the people never decided to stay together with those from the same comunidad…so those relations were already half separated from much time before”… “my brother went over there to La Peña. They are all there, but they are all fine”… “My brothers are all up there, as well as my dad, my sisters are here as well”… “since almost a year I haven’t seen my family…before they all lived nearby…I lived in Quepuca, they lived in Lepoy, that’s not very far…now we are divided”… “and I don’t go to Lepoy either, since a year ago I haven’t been there, because I can’t leave the boys alone here”.



The people did not organize themselves so that they could move together, to the same location. The divisions that were already present between them continued. Family members are now divided due to the relocations. The people in Ayin Mapu who have family in El Barco are removed from them by approximately 120 km (at least 4 hours travel time). They do not have the means to travel much, so most only see each other once a year at most, while they used to see each other regularly. They thus have many misconceptions about how the people in the other relocated comunidades are doing; both in El Barco and in Ayin Mapu said that the people in the other comunidad were better off. 28 percent of our respondents in El Barco do not have any relatives living within the comunidad, deepening their isolation. 54 percent have family members working outside the area, in the cities or other regions. Furthermore, the settlement pattern of the housing and plots was designed by ENDESA, meaning that people ended up living to a neighbor that they did not know, which contrasts with how they previously lived in Ralco Lepoy and Quepuca Ralco, where the different members of an extended family lived fairly close to each other (Gonzalez-Jarra and Simon 2003: 5). This implies a loss in social contact, support and aid which existed previously. The socio-economic exchange networks are now not being reproduced, not to mention socio-religious organisation. The oral history and practices normally passed down through the generations are equally affected.

Uneven and Unequal Development
As described above, the advent of the Ralco Conflict with ENDESA in the Alto Bío Bío and the resulting negotiations and relocations resulted in a loss of social capital as the comunidades were divided in the process. This has further resulted in inequality, distrust, and envy, as will be argued in this section. Currently, the dirigentes, employees of ENDESA and Fundación Pehuén, and some sectors of the comunidades have water and other basic services while others do not. ENDESA’s interventions further paved the way for yet more interventions by other institutions, reinforcing unequal and uneven development. There are approximately 30 institutions, public, private and NGOs alike, who are all concerning themselves with the “development” of the approximately 7000, mainly indigenous, inhabitants of the Alto Bío Bío. The diminution of State funds in the Alto Bío Bío occurred simultaneously as the increase of “social spending” in the area by ENDESA: “El Estado se retiró de la zona para favorecer a la iniciativa privada. ENDESA, entonces, se posicionó como la principal fuente externa proveedora de empleo y recursos para la población” (Moraga 2001: 96).104 This is typical of the liberalisation and decentralisation processes found throughout Latin America in the 1990s. The withdrawal of the State combined with the entrance of private companies, leaving the social responsibility to the latter and to NGOs, leaving the role of the State ambiguous at best (Tedesco 1999). ENDESA’s social responsibility took shape in the negotiation of the relocation contracts with the affected families individually, which generated conflicts within the comunidades, as the benefits offered were different for each family. The lands that were then given in exchange for the ones inundated were on individual title, and the people relocated at different times, according to their negotiation, and the circumstances of these relocations were thus different for all, as well as the amount of land finally received. Some have lost a significant amount of land to the lake, and others have a large quantity as saldo de terreno, only the quantity of affected land is considered and not all the land owned. Generally, the dirigentes were the first to negotiate and relocate. Many people in the relocated comunidades have the impression that community leaders received more land and other benefits than the families they represented.
Los dirigentes fueron los que negociaron por la comunidad…por un beneficio propio de los dirigentes en este tiempo. Y que todavía tienen beneficios… Sin previa consulta, fue lo que pasó en el Barco…eso es el conflicto que todavía no ha sido resuelto y que todavía no avanza nada…Porque están en tan pobres condiciones que es tan, pucha…este compadre me cagó, muchas familias lo han dicho…hay dirigentes en El Barco que tienen 200 hectáreas de terreno, po. Y hay otras familias que tienen 30 hectáreas de terreno. Entonces, no hay un equilibrio, no hay una equidad (Interview 1). 105

Translation: The State withdrew from the area to favor prívate iniciative. ENDESA, then positioned themselves as the main external source of employment and resources for the population. 105 The dirigentes were the ones to negotiate for the comunidad…for the own benefit of the dirigentes at the time. And they still have benefits… without consulting the rest beforehand, that’s what happened in El Barco…it’s a conflict which still hasn’t been resolved and is not advancing at all…Because they are in such poor conditions there….this guy screwed me, many families said.


The dirigentes appear to be the ones that received the most benefits from the negotiations, and are still reaping those benefits. A dirigente in El Barco refuted the idea that the dirigentes played a role in convincing the others. He said it was to each his own, but admits that he is well off, to this date, due to the negotiation:
Todo chile me dijeron que yo estaba vendiendo a la tierra, por eso yo no quiero meterme mas en errores con mucha gente, yo no obligue a la gente, un dirigente que sale no puede obligar a la gente porque cada cual tiene acceso, si hay negocio hay negocio si a ellos le conviene, yo no les voy a decir que hagan negocio. Yo no era dirigente así no mas, formamos directiva y yo salí, entonces que es lo que pasó, a nosotros nos llevaron al tiro, cuando hubo el paro aquí en El Barco, cuando estaban mensurando la tierra, todos los trabajadores como trescientos, todos Pewenches, porque el proyecto Ralco trajo beneficio, para la gente, pero la gente el que supo aprovechar la aprovechó, el que no supo no lo aprovechó y todavía me sacan en cara, me dicen que yo negocie con la gente y yo no negocie nada, cada cual tiene su escritura, todos tenían terreno que querían negociar…yo no era titular, ahora soy titular aquí en el barco…empecé a trabajar con la empresa, fui a trabajar cuatro años y en los cuatro años aproveché, ahorré mi platita y por eso tengo a mi familia bien ubicada (Interview 13, El Barco).106

He insisted that the Ralco dam brought the people benefits, but that the people did not know how take advantage of them, and that the negotiations were to each his own. He however, did know how to take advantage, as he now owns land though he previously did not, and has managed to save the money he earned working for the company for four years as well. However, the others often said that they are worse off than the dirigentes because of their embeddedness in ENDESA, which is cause for much bitterness and envy:
A los dirigentes los tapan los compran, por eso se quedan calladitos, porque ellos están bien colocados…ENDESA les paga y la gente, los demás están botados, nosotros aquí estamos botados porque ellos no responden por la gente, porque muchas veces hay dirigentes que han sido antiguos dirigentes, le están pagando hasta ahora, por eso los dirigentes no reclaman por la gente, no hablan con la gente…no sé cuanta plata pueden tener en el banco, porque ENDESA a todos los meses…le está pagando. A los dirigentes le está cumpliendo pero a la gente no…así van pasando los años…y se va a terminar todo, a lo mejor los dirigentes van a quedar con plata, pero nosotros no, ningún peso…ahora aquí los dirigentes que han habido cada uno con su camioneta y nosotros no tenemos ni una bicicleta buena siquiera…todos nos lamentamos pero no sacamos nada, si al presidente mientras está en la reunión está escuchando después no hace nada…si, él está bien (Interview 12, El Barco). 107

They see the dirigentes as well off, are envious of their vehicles and think that ENDESA has fulfilled only their promises to the dirigentes and not the rest of the people. When ENDESA leaves, they said the dirigentes will have money, and the rest will remain behind, with nothing. The main thing that ENDESA has fulfilled was also one of the main selling points for relocating: the promise of acquiring more cultivable land. Especially the people in Quepuca Ralco, who elected to relocate to El Barco, increased their land significantly, and this opportunity also
Translation: All of Chile was saying that I was selling the land, that is why I did not want to get involved anymore in making mistakes with many people, I did not oblige anyone, a dirigente that leaves cannot oblige the people because every one has access, if there is negotiation, there is negotiation if it conveniences them, I will not tell them to negotiate. I was not dirigente just like that, we formed an administration and I bécame dirigente, so that is what happened, they took us immediately, when we came here to El Barco, when they were assessing the land, all the workers, about three hundred, all Pewenche, because the Ralco project brought benefits, for the people, but the people that knew how to take advantage did so, those that did not did not and still they throw it in my face, they say that I negotiated with the people and I didn’t negotiate anything, each one had his own paperwork, they all had land they wanted to negotiate, that is why the people did not know how to think, they always criticize me now, but that does not get them anywhere, I was not a land title holder, now I am here in El Barco…I started working for the company, I went to work for four years and in those four years I took advantage, I saved my money and that is why my family is well off. 107 Translation: The dirigentes were bought out, that is why you do not hear anything from them, because they are well off…ENDESA pays them and the rest of the people have nothing, because the dirigentes do not come up for the people, because a lot of time there are dirigentes that were dirigentes previously, and they are still being paid out until now, that is why the dirigentes do not complain for the people, they don’t talk to the people…I don’t know how much money they have in the bank, because ENDESA is paying them each and every month. They are fulfilling their promises to the dirigentes, but not to the people…and so the years go by…and everything will end, the dirigentes will have money, but not us, not one peso…now the dirigentes here each have their truck and we don’t even have a bicycle…we all have regrets but that does not get us anywhere, if in the meantime the dirigente is at the meeting listening and afterwards he does not do anything, because he is doing all right.


represented the possibility of continuing their Pewenche traditions, as El Barco is historically veranada land. In Quepuca Ralco, the comunidad had previously outgrown their invernada lands, as the families kept reproducing and subdividing their lots. Even in Ralco Lepoy this was an issue, as explained to us by a dirigente, age 50, in Ayin Mapu:
…es que nosotros arriba teníamos poca tierra… ahí hubo un problema con los hermanos y se repartieron la tierra y el resto quedó en común que es el saldo de terreno que queda arriba y en eso el negocio en cuanto a tierra no fue malo… el tema del agua y los otros compromisos es lo que yo he estado desconforme porque uno sin agua no hace nada… en una reunión se ve cómo va estar el futuro, no vamos a tener el mismo futuro todos, algunas personas pueden nadar solas a lo mejor más adelante porque algunas personas…de su punto de vista están mal, personas sin recursos, han vendido sus animalitos (Interview 4, dirigente Ayin Mapu). 108

He is happy with having more land, but it is not worth much without water, he said. He was insightful that they will not all have the same future, that some people are left to their own devices, while others will prosper. One of the main reasons that the relocation seemed advantageous is that they were promised more cultivable land than they had previously. However, some ended up with large amounts of land while others only received very little land that they could actually cultivate. According to our survey, in which we asked each household how much land they had before and after the move, the terrain allotted in El Barco is six times the size of what they had before the relocation. However, nearly half of it is in the hands of one man, a former dirigente who used to work for ENDESA. The rest of the respondents have an average of 28 hectares per land titleholder. Twenty percent of the respondents have an average of 15 hectares less land. However, on average, only 8 percent of the surface area of each parcela in El Barco has sufficient irrigation, and only 9 percent is cultivated.
…los dirigentes tienen dos o tres parcelas…mas de doscientas hectáreas y los que tenemos 36 hectáreas, algunos 26…como estábamos aquí con la tierra pensamos que iban a cumplir, pero para algunos no mas cumplió a los puros dirigentes, aquí mas encima a veces se corta el agua”…“ pero con 20 hectáreas quién cría animal… aquí tengo 9 hectáreas, no puedo tener ni las chivas ni las ovejas…hay harta necesidad…no tenemos trabajo no hay comida…ese es el problema (Interviews 12109 and 6, El Barco).110

According to our survey, the people in El Barco have an average of 13 hectares. The dirigentes have twice or three times as much, up to 200 hectares. “Hay dirigentes en El Barco que tienen 200 hectáreas de terreno…Y hay otras familias que tienen 30 hectáreas de terreno…Entonces, no hay un equilibrio, no hay un equidad” (Interview 1).111 The dirigentes received about two to four times as much land as the rest of the people in the comunidad, own the latest trucks, but do not actually do anything for the people. The land in El Barco is not distributed evenly among the people, and the quality of the land varies greatly, as well as the availability of clean drinking water. In Ayin Mapu, the individual plot varies between 3 and 38 hectares. The land was supposed to be of a higher quality and larger surface area that the original lands. However, as indicated previously, this all depends on the amount of land that was inundated. If a family had 60 hectares, only 20 were inundated, and now have 30 hectares in Ayin Mapu, technically ENDESA has given more land in exchange, but they actually end up with less cultivable land in Ayin Mapu. Forty-seven percent of the respondents have
108 Translation: we had very little land up there, there was a problema with the siblings wherefore the land was subdivided and the rest remained communal, which is now the saldo de terreno, so in the negotiation in terms of quantity it wasn’t bad…the water issue, and the other promises is what I don’t agree with because without you water you can’t do anything, in the dry season the pastures do not grow…until now we haven’t received aid from ENDESA as far as drinking water is concerned but afterwards we are going to have to pay somebody for it…in a meeting we see how the future will be, we will not all have the same future, some will make it on their own, perhaps better off than others, some are not doing well at all, people without money, they have sold their animals. 109 Translation: Here they gave me thirty-six hectares, the dirigents have two or three parcelas…more than two-hundred hectares and we have thirty-six, some have twenty-six. I miss being over there because we had more work. We thought we would get land here, that they would have to fulfill their promises, but for some of us they did not, only to the dirigentes, here I even sometimes have no water. 110 Translation: Those that have larger plots are 40-50 hectares…others have 12,15,20 but with 20 hectares, who can raise animals…here I have 9 hectares, I can’t keep goats nor sheep…there are a lot of needs…we don’t have work or food….that’s the problem. 111 Translation: There are dirigentes in El Barco that have 200 hectares…And other families have 30 hectares…So, there is no balance, there is no equity.


less land than before the relocation, on average 45 hectares per land titleholder. However, their saldo de terreno remaining in Ralco Lepoy and Quepuca Ralco is on average 10 hectares. Not only is the inequality evident in the advantages the dirigentes have. Disadvantages are also very telling. Especially widows seem to be the most disadvantaged, as their husbands had negotiated with ENDESA. Even if a woman was the land title holder, ENDESA negotiated with the husband, negotiating with women only in the cases where the husband was dead or absent (GonzalezParra and Simon 2003: 4). This left widows whose husbands had negotiated with ENDESA without any official standing with ENDESA, yet all the responsibilities of the family. They cannot make ends meet. Especially in El Barco, where the winter is very cruel. To illustrate this situation, two isolated widows in El Barco will shortly be depicted here. One widow in El Barco has five children living at home, and two more living outside the comunidad. One of her children has epilepsy and another has a nervous condition. In the winter, her children stay in the internado, and she is left to fend for herself. She has flooding in the house, she has to keep the animals, such as chickens, goats and dogs, in the house with her otherwise they will not survive, although there is not enough space in the house. She had a leg injury for six months last winter. She almost went hungry, INDAP did no sowing, and she had to resort to buying flower, which has seen enormous inflation the last years in Chile. “Este año esta temporada pasada el quintal de harina…estaba a vente mil pesos y la temporada pasada estuvo a diez” (Interview 22).112 She does not receive a widow’s pension. She is illiterate, and her husband was the one that signed the permuta right before he died. “Cuando uno no sabe leer, se aprovechan” (Interview 27, El Barco). She has not been able to keep cattle since his death, and she sold all their sheep to buy school uniforms for her children. During her first two years in El Barco, she was visited by ENDESA employees, but now no one had come to see her in the three years before we arrived. ENDESA only offers the children transport to the school. Her biggest concern is having enough food to feed her children, especially fruit, which is hard to come by in El Barco and expensive to buy in Chenqueco, when she can make it there (Interview 27, El Barco). Another widow in El Barco who also lives in isolation has no running water in the house. The nearest source is a river one kilometer away. However, the river is most likely contaminated by volcanic matter and has caused them to be ill. Her grandchild became gravely ill when only a baby and had to be hospitalized in Santa Bárbara for one year. Since her husband’s death five years ago, no one from ENDESA has gone to see her. She does not receive a widow’s pension and does not have enough food to feed her six children. She has very little contact with the other people in the comunidad (Informal Conversation 17, El Barco). This unequal and uneven development has led to envy and bitterness between the people and the dirigentes of the comunidades. Some of the aid package that ENDESA had promised in the relocation scheme has been rationed out, to the dirigentes and other loyal labourers of ENDESA. This imbalance was an exacerbation of an inequality in human capital that existed previously. The logic of the negotiations allowed those that were adept at negotiating, due to their previously acquired skills and education, to gain considerably, while others lost out. The gain of land is a result of the negotiations made with ENDESA. The size of the resulting relocation plots are thus dissimilar, and depended on the quantity of land affected by the dam, the family’s individual negotiation, and the community leader’s power. The level of education and other skills, the human capital, may have affected their capacity to negotiate the permuta. According to our survey, in Ayin Mapu only 22 percent of the respondents are literate, and only 31 percent have basic education. Eighty percent of the literate respondents gained land in the process of negotiation, while 73 percent of the illiterate respondents lost land, and 75 percent of those that lost land were illiterate. For example, one former dirigente of Ayin Mapu has secondary education, is literate, participates in social organisations, and gained 92 percent more land in the negotiation of the relocation. Thus, as a result of the negotiations, those with greater human capital at the time now are better off. The dirigentes were apparently the ones with the human capital necessary to negotiate successfully. In order to have a legal leadership position in the comunidad, one must be literate. According to our survey, on average in both comunidades, 75 percent of the people are illiterate; resulting in the possibility to acquiring a leadership role within the comunidad is only available for a select few. The next generation, however, is being educated in the Chilean system, which means that their leadership opportunities will increase and become more equally distributed throughout the comunidad. Provided they do not all migrate in search of wage labour. The dirigentes are all literate, and generally have more education than the rest. Some of them had previously lived in Santiago, so

Translation: This year, this past season a 5kg bag of flour costs 20 thousand pesos and the season before it was ten.


that they had a broader experience with the Chilean system than those that lived in the Alto Bío Bío all their lives. This gave them a powerful advantage over the rest of the comunidad in their contact with ENDESA (Morales 1998c: 270). The people are very aware of this inequality, as the people of El Barco told us:
Yo no sé leer pero tengo claro que la gente recibieron muchos beneficios, esos beneficios yo no los recibí, solamente la parcela que me entregaron” …“otros les dio parcela, completa cerro y con casas...con la plata que le dieron compraron camioneta pero sacaron harta plata…plata nos falto a nosotros, eso yo le echo la culpa a los dirigentes, porque eso lo hicieron al tiro, bueno a ellos como dirigente le tirarían mas…todavía…creo que los están ayudando y a nosotros…¿como habíamos estado? muertos de hambre, porque es arto nevador aquí” …“ahí instituciones que benefician cierta persona, por ejemplo un proyecto de la Fundación Pehuén benefició a cinco personas y esas cinco persona son directores de la Fundación, entonces ellos tienen que ver cual le van a dar, a qué persona… ellos no lo apoyan sinceramente… ellos dicen que sí, que esto que otro pero nunca llega, la camioneta roja paca no ha pasado, pero es lo malo que tiene la gente que trabaja en la ENDESA, ellos dicen, de afuera dicen nosotros apoyamos, vamos al aporte y dicen que los jóvenes no quieren trabajar, no quieren estudiar, mentira porque ellos no quieren apoyar, yo mismo estuve golpeando puestas y ahora no me agarran, no me pescan (Interview 13, Informal Conversations 19 and 7, El Barco). 113

The institutions are also reinforcing these inequalities by charging the dirigentes with the distribution of resources, as this is evidently not happening equitably. True, it is nearly impossible to gain access to the comunidad without the cooperation of the leaders, as we experienced ourselves in our investigation, and within the socio-cultural context of the Mapuche comunidades, nothing is done without the authority of the leader. However, the main problem with institutions working directly with the dirigentes of the comunidades is that they are the only ones that receive the training and resources, which are evidently not distributed equitably among the communities (Interview 19). “Cuando muchas instituciones que dan mucho poder a dirigentes y muchos dirigentes que deciden por el resto del asamblea” (Interview 1).114 The dirigentes of the comunidades are also board members of the Fundacion Pehuén, giving them triple power positions. “The IFC and ENDESA were either unable or unwilling to decipher the Pehuenche’s political organisation…Rather than negotiating benefit-sharing arrangements consistentwith the group’s socio-political organisation, the company uni- laterally named three leaders to a company-controlled foundation board. Four other company-named, non Indian members of the board had veto power over Pehuenche board members” (Downing and Garcia-Downing 2001: 13-14). As explained by a man in Ayin Mapu:
…no sé porque tenemos el mismo presidente de comunidad está representando en la Fundación …ha sido un poco débil para pedir las cosas porque hay que pedirlas con un poco más de potencia como se dice, como una persona de carácter… y plata hay, porque a todas las comunidades les entregan una cierta cantidad de plata …también tiene culpa el que está a cargo de la Fundación porque nosotros somos un poquito débil, entonces qué es lo que pasa, el presidente de la comunidad no debiera ser el que va al directorio de la fundación, tiene que ser otra persona, para que luche, porque él va a la Fundación, va a ENDESA entonces le queda poco tiempo y tampoco se ha preocupado de la gente… así que nosotros estamos perdidos totalmente…ya deben ser dos o tres años que se perdió el contacto con los ejecutivos de la Fundación, antes venían a hacer reuniones con la gente, a informarles…pero ahora nada, se perdió… de repente el presidente va allá arriba pero él tampoco entrega la información que le dan allá a él (Interview 4 Ayin Mapu).115
113 Translation: I don’t know how to read but I do know that people received a lot of benefits, but I haven’t received those benefits yet, only this piece of land that they gave me”… “others were given a plot, complete with fences and houses…with the money they gave them they bought trucks, but they got a lot of money…we don’t have any money, I blame the dirigentes, because they bought the trucks right away, because they are dirigentes they received more…and still are receiving more…they think that they have been helping us…how have we been, starving to death, because there is a lot of snow here”… “The institutions only benefit certain people, for example one of Fundación Pehuen’s projects only benefitted five people and those five people are directors of the Fundación, so they will know what they will give them, to whom…they do not sincerely support us… the red truck hasn’t passed by here, but that’s what’s wrong with the people that work for ENDESA, they say to the rest of society that they support us, and then they say that the young people do not want to work, do not want to study, which is a lie because they don’t want to support us, I was personally knocking on doors and now they don’t even give me the time of day”. 114 When many institutions give a lot of power to the dirigentes and many dirigentes decide for the rest of the comunidad. 115 Translation: “…I don’t know why the dirigente of the comunidad is also represented in the Foundation…he was been weak to request the things because you have to request them with a bit more power, as they say, like a person with carácter…and there is money, because they give a certain amount of money to all of the comunidades…it is also the fault of the person who is responsable for the Foundation because we are a bit weak, so what happens is that the dirigente of the


Another problem signalled was the lack of coordination and agreement between the dirigentes, who are also working for Fundación Pehuén. “…hay dirigentes que van para un lado y otros que van para otro hay mucha diferencias entre gente del mismo territorio con sus visiones y también porque muchos están trabajando…en Fundación Pehuén como directores” (Interview 22).116 Thus, each new intervention working within the existing power structures reinforces the divisions and inequality generated during the processes of negotiation and relocation by ENDESA. The incredible amount of interventions in the comunidades has left many families in the relocated comunidades feeling vulnerable and unprotected, especially as they have not reproduced the social networks they had before the relocation.

The people in the relocated comunidades are in turn tired and cynical of all the interventions; their behaviour reflects the dependence produced by assitentialism; and envy and distrust are, ultimately, dividing friends, families, and communities as a result of the misdistribution or unequal distribution of resources. This phenomenon occurs when projects are constantly offered by institutions to the comunidades, and they are received with open hands, never developing anything themselves, but constantly seeking what they can gain. A dirigente of Ayin Mapu noted that each institution has their own way of working with the comunidades and their own assessment of what the comunidad needs (Interview 5, Ayin Mapu). The dirigentes are paid by institutions such as CONADI to participate in projects in order to cover their food and transportation costs. Most of the projects that are performed in the comunidades do not seem to get anything off the ground other than the generation of dependent, patron-client relations with the members of the comunidad. This generates a form of noncooperation, distrust and “what`s in it for me?” attitude in every interaction that the members of the comunidad have with anyone that comes and says they want to start a “project”, my colleagues and I included. “Ahora no tenemos más confianza a la gente, a los winka” (Interview 3, El Barco).117 Distrust was an evident obstacle to our access in the field. For example, when we approached the house of a man whom we had not yet spoken with, we called and called his name, but he did come outside, until a neighbour whom we had just visited went over to tell him that it was ok, he could talk to us, after which he appeared. Another example is that when someone did not want to cooperate with our survey because he was afraid that we would change the data, and that the comunidad would then blame him for having said something untrue. Repeatedly we encountered distrust among the members of the comunidades that were relocated by ENDESA for the Ralco dam, making it very difficult for us to receive their participation in our investigation. This effect is perfectly understandable, considering the incredible amount of investigators, students, reporters, and activists that came to the Alto Bío Bío during the length of the ten-year conflict with ENDESA and thereafter, despite all their good intentions. These interventions into the daily lives of the people did not, in the end, result in the halt of the construction of either of the dams. The families were relocated, their lands were inundated, and ENDESA continues to act unethically. “Why should we answer any more questions? No one really helped us to begin with and no one is helping us now. Why should we believe that your project is any different?” These are truly legitimate questions that the people have asked us. In the end, most did eventually cooperate after we thoroughly explained the full context of our project on several occasions, as distrust could only truly be remedied by showing repeated and concrete actions. Another example is the refusal to cooperate in various ways by some of the dirigentes and ex-dirigentes, by obstructing our activities with the comunidad by not appearing, not informing the people or by telling them that he does not trust nor approve of our presence. This affected the level of trust we had with other members of comunidad, as the dirigente is officially and sometimes
comunidad shouldn’t be the one to be on the board of the Foundation, it has to be another person, so that they will fight for us, because he goes to the Foundation and to ENDESA he has no time left to worry about the people…that is how we have lost completely…it has already been two or three years since we lost contact with the executives of the Foundation, before they used to have meetings with the people, to inform them…but now there is nothing, it is lost…sometimes the dirigente goes up there but he does not give us the information that he receives there”. 116 Translation: “…there are dirigentes that go one way and others go another way, there are many differences between the people in the same territory in their visions and also because many are working in the Fundación Pehuen as directors. 117 Translation: Now we no longer trust the people, the winkas.


effectively the gatekeeper, although the dirigentes’ refusal to cooperate may have had more to do with the fact that our project did not coincide with his interests. One dirigente said he did not have the time and resources to serve the people as well as talk to us. In conversation with us, he said that he was fed up with people that want to come and do studies without offering anything in return. He is clearly and understandably cynical about all the researchers that have already passed through but have not done anything to change their circumstances, and now ENDESA’s contract is nearly finished. Time and time again, we explained that Küme Rakiduam does not believe in assistentialism, but that in the long term it is the idea that the organisation will work together with the comunidades, and that this is why it is necessary to do a study first. The people are apparently so used to receiving material goods or other “projects” of economic value from the institutions that visit them, that after they leave, they are left needing and wanting more, but it does not come. This has created dependence and a shift in the society’s social, political, and cultural realities. Instead of being independent producers, they hold up their hands for what the institutions have to offer. Additionally, academics that worked for ENDESA in the EIA studies generated a general form of distrust of academics within the comunidades, which makes future research nearly impossible. Fears include that research reports will be sold to the companies and the government for further interventions or that the information may be manipulated to represent other points of view than are actually theirs, as well as the possibility of using the information for negative ends, which is what happened in the case of ENDESA and the Pewenche of the Alto Bío Bío. Information implies power, and in all cases it can be used for positive or negative ends. Academics therefore have the responsibility to consider the delicate nature of personal information when it comes to the way in which the data are presented, where it is published or even if it is to be made available at all, if it is not just to be left in the control of the people themselves. Future negative effects, however, can never be fully predicted with certainty, such as was the case of Rodrigo Valenzuela, whose 1970s student anthropology thesis on Pewenche communities in the Alto Bío Bío was plagiarized in Alejandro Colomés’ 1990 EIA report, commissioned by ENDESA, which approved the Pangue dam as having positive impacts on the Pewenche comunidades (Moraga 2001: 28). Writing an EIA report effectively legitimizes and acknowledges the project as having the possibility of being performed. Some anthropologists, such as Veronica Tagle, believed they might be able to influence the outcome of the study in favour of the people (Moraga 2001: 36). She was unfortunately surprised to have had her work censored (Moraga 2001: 37), which allowed ENDESA to present the project as being supported by an anthropologist, which legitimizes the social and cultural impacts as being positive or non-existent, so that the CONAMA could approve it. Furthermore, these anthropologists threaten the legitimacy and trust of anthropologists in the field, and in general in Chile. Time and time again, these types of studies as well as the EIA reports themselves, do not explicitly describe the methodology that was used to obtain the data, which can lead to the disqualification of that data. Another example is the disregard for the sensitivity of the data, in the explicit use of names and personal details, which appears to legitimize the data, but does nothing to protect the informants, if it was published at the height of the conflict. This kind of information leaves quoted informants vulnerable as it could be used by anyone with ulterior motives, or even generates the opposite effect that the document intended. In the end, this does not serve anyone, as it is yet another one of the many interventions in the communities made by academics, investigators, students, activists and other outsiders, and as the expectations it raises and thus the disappointments and distrust it generates retroactively can be seen as a negative impact. Such a negative impact may not be a direct result of the acts of ENDESA, but it is certainly an effect of the conflict. A prime example of this is how I came to know about the Ralco case, by watching a Spanish documentary about it at the Amsterdam International Documentary Film Festival in 2005. When I arrived in Ralco in late 2007, the film had just arrived in Chile. The people “starring” in it did not even know of its existence. The reason for this delay was not because the filmmaker did not want to share it with those in Chile, to the contrary, after a screening at the Universidad de Chile in Santiago in 2006, the production company who owned it took the filmmaker to court, preventing its screening anywhere else.118 This is not always the case concerning theses or research reports. They just do not make it into the hands of the people, which could be due to a lack of time, resources, or willingness on the part of the investigator. However, it appears to be common that Chile’s neo-liberal status quo in many instances has harboured money-driven academics and professionals that take the unethical position of choosing to work for the “dark side of the force” (as my colleagues and I refer to it), by

Personal conversation with close friend of Manel Mayol, who directed the film.


working for the company, institution or organisation that wants to implement industrial megaprojects. This has broken any kind of trust that the people may have had with anyone who wants to perform any kind of study in the communities.

The Crisis of Representation
The implementation of industrial megaprojects in indigenous territory has been complicated by the introduction of the Indigenous Law and the creation of the CONADI were intended to include indigenous groups in Chilean political processes. At the local level, this meant the ascription of the comunidad indígena and the asociación indígena. The law stipulated that a comunidad indígena is a formal association based on kinship, collective ownership of indigenous or ancestral land, or recognizing a traditional leader.119 The comunidad has a legal representative that is elected by at least a third of its adult constituents (CONADI 2007: 15).. These actors represent the interests of the comunidad in its relations with the State. The asociación indígena is a collective of indigenous people with a common goal in economic, educational, cultural or professional interests (Latta 2005: 178).The lonko is the traditional leader, but is not recognised by the Indigenous Law as the legal representative of the comunidad. The democratically elected dirigente is, but this system is foreign to the traditional structure of inheritance and lifelong commitment and wisdom, which the lonko holds. In the relocated comunidades, the dirigentes are now referred to as “malo” as they feel that they are not fighting for their needs:
…el dirigente no sabe qué me está faltando a mí, qué no me ha cumplido ENDESA que estaba dentro de la permuta, él tiene que conversar conmigo, en una reunión juntar toda la gente…y ahí tomar papel y lápiz y hacer cartas, pero eso no pasa…estamos muy mal parados en dirigentes… lo que deberían hacer es… salir a golpear puertas, ir a la CONADI, exigir… ir a la intendencia…decir ‘mire, señor intendente, esto está pasando’…nosotros queremos solución, necesitamos reunirnos dentro de la comunidad con el gerente de ENDESA, la subdirección de la CONADI, la gobernación y el alcalde, hacer una mesa de diálogo, y que la gente misma presente los problemas que tiene en la comunidad”…“el lonko tenía la autoridad, la gente escuchaba, y era eligido por toda la comunidad, pero si hay más que ún dirigente, se pelean, y no hay una buena organización (Informal Conversation 5, Ayin Mapu Group Discussion Men, Ayin Mapu). 120

The people complained that the dirigentes are not informing the State of their problems, that they are not doing anything to solve them. The lonkos of the past were seen as the true leaders and figures of authority. Now, when there is more than one leader, disagreements ensue. The pastor of the evangelical church in El Barco clearly had criticism about the local politics between the comunidad and ENDESA.
Para elegir lonko debería juntarse la comunidad…para que el lonko tenga fuerza para reclamar, tenga voto. No sé para qué sirve el lonko…el presidente es igual que el lonko…hacen lo mismo. Porque yo antes conocía al lonko, hacia guillatún y el lonko juntaba a la gente, conversaba con la gente, lo hacía ver, aconsejaba a la gente, cómo uno tenía que vivir, cómo uno tenía que trabajar…pero ahora decimos lonko y el lonko es mas desordenado que nosotros mismos, qué sacamos con decirle lonko, el lonko tiene que ser una persona ordenada y respetuosa…humilde, para tener un cargo…no tiene que ser enaltecido, porque en eso viene la enseñanza buena, un lonko no puede aconsejar a otra persona si es desordenado o es cochino para hablar… tiene que ser un hombre sabio, no es cualquiera…un hombre tiene que ser inteligente para ser lonko. Cuando hay problemas en la comunidad el lonko tiene que verlos, el lonko es como un juez, cualquier problema, pelea, la gente tiene que ir al lonko y el los aconseja. Antes cuando se elegía lonko se juntaba toda la comunidad, mujeres y hombres, y se elegía

Ancestral lands are those identified by the Pewenche and the CONADI as lands that they historically occupied, most often they correspond to the lof that was identified by the Título de Merced granted to the corresponding lonko. Indigenous lands are more generally lands which are registered as such by the CONADI under Indigenous Law. 120 Translation: …the dirigente does not know what I need, what ENDESA has not fulfilled that was written in the permuta, he has to talk to me, in a meeting, get all the people together…and then take a pen and paper and write letters, but that is not happening…we are doing badly in terms of dirigentes…what they should do is…go and knock on doors, go the CONADI, demand…go the provincial government…say “look, mister governor, this is what is happening”…we want a solution, we need to get together within the comunidad with the director of ENDESA, the subdirectory of the CONADI, the provincial government and the mayor, have a dialogue committee, and that the people present their problems, that the comunidad is experiencing”… “the lonko had the authority, the people listened, he was elected by the comunidad, but if there is more than one dirigente, they argue, and there is not a good organisation”.


el más anciano…tiene que saber leer, y aquí no nos juntamos porque estamos divididos nosotros (Interview 12, El Barco).121

He talked about the dirigentes that were imposed by ENDESA, and that these are not functioning well, because ENDESA is not living up to its promises. He told about the lonkos of the past, the true leaders that brought all the people together to discuss all the things communally, before making any decisions. ENDESA appointed lonkos, although most people did not recognize them as such as they do not fulfill the traditional role of leading the Guillatún. The difference between the lonko and the dirigente has caused quite some confusion, and a crisis of representation. It is yet another cause and effect of the divisions. Lonkos are traditionally elected by the entire comunidad, collectively. It was reminisced that the lonko was someone who commanded respect, and who advised the people, someone who led the rituals, a wise man that merited the title on the basis of his qualities and inheritance. Since ENDESA’s interventions, there does now not seem to be a difference between the lonko and the dirigente, the names are used interchangeably. Another factor is the creation of associations and committees within the comunidades, which are spurred on by projects generated by NGOs and public institutions. The “president” or “dirigente” of these organisations are thus the recipients of aid in the name of the entire comunidad, yet are not elected democratically. One of the directors of Küme Rakiduam explained the process:
Anteriormente no era así porque el único líder que eran buenos para las comunidades eran los lonkos. Siempre fue así en nuestra cultura. Los lonkos son los líderes. Y no hay otro líder. Pero lamentablemente, el mismo gobierno estaba encargado de dividir las comunidades con asociaciones, con organizaciones. Con la junta de vecinos, con el club deportivo, con los comités de bases. La misma CONADI era esta figura de la comunidad, de la directiva de la comunidad, donde tiene cero participación el lonko. Porque el lonko antes la comunidad, o antes la CONADI, o antes el gobierno no es validable, tiene cero peso. ¿Quién tiene peso antes de este gobierno? El presidente de la comunidad. Entonces cuando existe un proyecto, desde el municipio, desde instituciones X, siempre piden un comité o una asociación para poder ejecutar la actividad. Entonces, ¿qué es lo que hacen las comunidades? Yapo, creemos una asociación, po. Creemos una organización aparte. Porque el presidente de acá está trayendo todos los beneficios para él. Y resulte que para mi familia hay cero beneficios, hay cero aportes. Por lo tanto, porque no me organice, y busco más gente, y busco diez personas más y hago mi propia comisión, mi propia asociación. Y…como organización, postulo proyecto. Entonces, ¿cual es la voz de la comunidad? ¿Es el presidente de asociación esta, o presidente de esa asociación, o esa asociación?...Y tienen el lonko y el presidente. ¿Qué validez tienen el lonko y el presidente, si la asociación tanto dice que el lonko no nos representa?… no tiene validez, po. ¿Quien tiene validez? Son estos pequeños comités y estas pequeñas asociaciones de bases (Interview 1). 122

The lonko is seen as the true leader, but due to the advent of the Indigenous Law, the CONADI does not recognize the lonko as legally representing the comunidad. In one comunidad of the Alto Bío Bío
Tranlation: To elect a lonko, the comunidad should get together…so that the lonko has the power to make claims, has the votes. I don’t know what a lonko is good for…the dirigente is the same as the lonko…they do the same. Before I used to know the lonko, he performed the guillatún and the lonko got the people together, talked to the people, he went to see them, he councilled the people, how one should live, how one should work…but now we say lonko but the lonko is more disorganized than we are, what good does it do us to call him lonko, the lonko has to be someone organized and respected…humble, in order to have a charge…he should not be exalted, because that is how the good wisdow comes, a lonko cannot advise someone else if he is disorganized or uses filthy language…it has to be a wise man, it is not just any man…a man has to be intelligent to be the lonko. When there are problems in the comunidad the lonko has to see to them, the lonko is like the judge, whatever problem, disagreement, the people have to go to the lonko and he will council them. Before when the lonko was elected the whole comunidad got together, women and men, and the elected the oldest one…he has to know how to read, and here we do not get together because we are divided. Translation: Previously it was not like that because the only leader that is any good for the comunidad is the lonko. It was always that way in our culture. The lonkos are the leaders. And there is no other leader. But unfortunately, the government is charged with dividing the comunidades with associations, with organisations. With the neighbour’s union, the sports club, with the base committees. The CONADI was the one who implemented the administration in the comunidad, where the lonko has zero participation. Because for the government, for the CONADI, the lonko is not valid, he has zero weight. Who has weight in the government? The dirigente of the comunidad. So whenever there is a project, from the municipality, from institution X, they always request a committee or an association to be formed in order to execute the project. So, what do the comunidades do? Ok, let’s make an association, then. Let’s create a separate organisation. Because the dirigente here is getting all the benefits for himself. And the result is that my family gets zero benefits, zero contributions. Therefore, why don’t I get an organisation going? And look for other people, look for ten people and make my own commission, my own association. And I will apply for a project as an organisation. So, what is the voice of the comunidad? Is it the president of this association, or the president of that association, or that one?...And they have the lonko and the dirigente. What validity do the lonko and the dirigente have if association such and such says that the lonko does not represent them,? Unfortunately, he has no validity. Who has validity? It is those little committees and little associations.


there are some 30 associations, for 80 families (Interview 1; Interview 23). Each association in turn has a president, and each is able to acquire resources and projects based on that title. The voice of the comunidad gets lost. The organisation is dispersed. In an interview with DIDECO of the Alto Bío Bío, it was suggested that it is imperative that the comunidades revert to their traditional forms of representation, by the lonkos, in order to reactivate the organisational structure of the comunidades:
…que en una comunidad dos dirigentes dicen ser el lonko, o en algunas comunidades tienen presidente, lonko y además veinte asociaciones…a largo plazo tiene que ver con que es una manera más efectiva de conseguir recursos…hay una fuga, sabiendo cual asociación que va recibiendo más apoyo entonces me voy cambiando …es un crisis de representación, los dirigentes no representan los intereses de la comunidad… finalmente terminan tomando decisiones o consultando a gente que está representando sus intereses personales más que intereses colectivos… un tema de volver a potenciar la figura del lonko…que cada vez va perdiendo más poder, más atribuciones, por la formación de estas asociaciones, que son asociaciones ideológicas o con discurso si no que son básicamente se crean con un objetivo inmediato, la ley nos obliga a que si tú me dices, me quiero organizar, aunque a mí no me parece lo que tú estás haciendo tengo que hacerlo igual (Interview 23).123

The dirigentes are charged with the execution of any of the projects which they are offered or which they request from NGOs, ENDESA and public institutions. They are often employed by ENDESA and/or are members of the Fundación Pehuén. The CONADI is the “minister of faith” to register the elected dirigentes as the legal representative of the comunidad. There is also an elected vice-president and secretary, an accountant and a councilor. The dirigentes did not always cooperate with our investigation and the activities that the Küme wished to organize for the comunidades. One dirigente in El Barco repeatedly pleaded ignorance that he did not know who we were or what we were doing, so that he could not trust us, even though it had been repeatedly explained what our intentions were. This caused others in the comunidad to distrust us as well. The day we had organized a grupo de discusión with members of the comunidad, the dirigente was not present. He had the key to the sede, and we did not wish to proceed without his presence, and the vice president did not lend us his key nor gave us permission either. We then had to go back to all the families and advise them that the activity could not take place as promised. They did, however, join us in Ralco Lepoy for an encuentro that the Küme organized, as a form of reconciliation with their past. The people of Ayin Mapu were supposed to join us as well. Even though we had invited everyone verbally, and the dirigente had repeatedly agreed to cooperate, at the last minute he decided that they could not go because they were harvesting. We had even made signed letters in his name which he could distribute to the people, inviting them officially to join us, and he said he would do this, but in the end he never did. In Ralco Lepoy, the discussion group that never took place in El Barco, took place spontaneously at the encuentro. The people made their complaints about ENDESA and the dirigentes known. The dirigentes were confronted directly by the people, with all present, and were able to defend themselves and admit their errors. It became clear for all the need to organize themselves and have more meetings, more discussions, so that they can unify as a true comunidad and improve their situations for the future.

The Relocated Comunidad
This need arose out of the fact that the relocated comunidades are not actual communities. They are comunidades only in discourse, not in practice. As described in this thesis, the processes of the negotiations and relocations resulted in inequality, individualism, power struggles, economic dependence, distrust, and envy. This led to a lack of community values, unity, cooperation, and organisation in the relocated comunidades. Thus, the relocated Pewenche comunidades created by the
123 Translation: …when in one comunidad two people claim to be the lonko, or in some comunidades have a dirigente, a lonko and twenty associations as well…in the long run it has to do with what is the most effective way to acquire resources…there is a flight, knowing which association will receive the most aid so I will change associations…it’s a crisis of representation, the dirigentes do not represent the interests of the comunidades…finally they end up making decisions or consulting people that are representing their personal interests more than the collective interests…to be able to empower the lonko again…who is losing more power every time, losing more functions, due to the formation of these associations, which are ideological associations or with a discourse but are basically created with an immediate objective, the law obliges us that if you tell me “I want to make an organisation”, even if I don’t like what you are doing I have to do it anyway.


construction of the Ralco dam do not exist, as such. In the creation of these new comunidades, the concept of ‘comunidad’ itself is a discourse legitimizing ENDESA’s mitigation of the social impacts of the relocations. However, in practice, they are not truly Pewenche comunidades in the traditional sense. The Pewenche comunidades of Ralco Lepoy and Quepuca Ralco which were affected by the construction of the Ralco dam, once existed as actual communities. The main form of economy was small-scale agriculture, and a trade network existed among neighbours and family. Their social networks and intermarriage schemes as well as families were divided and dissolved by the relocation of some 77 families. “Allá siempre me gustaba tener un vecino cerca, uno en veces va a visitar uno a otro, conversar… uno si está solito en una parte no es nada muy bueno” (Interview 8, El Barco).124 Families were separated due to the relocation, social networks within and between comunidades ruptured, resulting in a loss of social capital and deterioration of the informal economy, which constituted the communities. There is little to no contact and collaboration between the families. As one man said: “cada uno se rasca con sus propias uñas”.125 They were relocated individually, therefore the new comunidades are a physical amalgamation of individuals: an artificially constructed comunidad. Ayin Mapu was formed by families from Quepuca Ralco and Ralco Lepoy, and people have no contact with each other between the different geographical sectors dividing the comunidad. One man we met hardly remembered his neighbour`s name.
Aquí la gente no son nada muy unidos”…“estamos débiles en tema de organización”…“No va nadie a las reuniones” (Interview 11, El Barco; Informal Conversation 5 Ayin Mapu; Interview 14, El Barco).126

This disunion resulted in a fragmentation produced by the arbitrary union of people who have not spontaneously formed a community. The reciprocity, kinship, and friendship ties they once knew are no longer felt. Now there is a lack of balance, equality, and consensus. They rarely help each other, there is no communal organisation. There is very little affinity with the dirigentes among its members. The people in Ayin Mapu and El Barco said that they do not participate in meetings of the comunidad because they were not advised, and because there are hardly ever any meetings held. They blame this on the lack of werkén and lonko. 127 The lack of community organisation is evident and has been recognized by most, and they also share the same critiques of the dirigentes. Many question their actions, and say that there is no unity in the comunidad. The different dirigentes do not work together. There is a lack of circulation of information.
Nosotros pensamos que no tenemos una directiva aquí en Ayin Mapu, porque nadie dice podemos hacer esto o qué opinan en la comunidad, que hay que tomar la decisión cada persona…ahí uno también tiene derecho de opinar algo sobre qué podemos hacer en la comunidad, pero el presidente jamás nos va a venir a conversar… cuando hay reunión se avisa a unas 3 o 4 personas y el presidente dice que no ha venido la gente… pero no avisa en todas partes”…“El presidente… lo está sabiendo todo él pero no lo comunica a los demás… incluso se debiera tener mínimo una reunión al mes”…“pero ahora el dirigente, va a llevar como seis meses que no nos hace reunión, por eso es que la gente esta enrabiado con él, están disconforme la gente con él” (Informal Conversation 23, Ayin Mapu; Interview 4 Ayin Mapu; Informal Conversation 11, Ayin Mapu). 128

The community organisation has been intervened by external agents, especially ENDESA. The company requires that one of their representatives is present for all community meetings. The dirigentes of the comunidades have strong ties to the Fundación Pehuén. To this date, no autonomous decisions have been made by the comunidades without the presence of these two institutions, or with other social organisations. Many people in the comunidades thus do not trust the dirigentes for their

Translation: Over there I always liked having a neighbour nearby, to visit each other now and then, to talk…when one is alone in a place it is not good. 125 This Chilean expression means approximately that each person does what is best for himself, and only takes care of himself. 126 Translation: “Here the people are not united”… “we are weak in organisation”… “nobody goes to the meetings”. 127 Werkén: The Mapuche word for messenger. In practice, the role of the werkén is traditionally to communicate messages from the lonko to the people and vice versa. It is also the spokesperson of the lof, or comunidad, to external actors. 128 Translation: We think that we do not have an administration here in Ayin Mapu, because nobody says we could do this or what it is the opinión of the comunidad, that each person has to make the decisión…each has the right to have an opinión about what we could do as a comunidad, but the dirigente will never come to see us to talk…when there are meetins he tells 3 or 4 people and the dirigente says that no one showed up…but he does not tell everyone”… “The dirigente knows, but he does not communicate it to the people…and there should be a meeting held once a month at least”… “but now the dirigente, it will be six months since he held a meeting, that is why the people are so upset with him, they are not happy with him”…


involvement with these two entities and the power this represents. Yet they are not organized to undertake action to revert this phenomenon. As mentioned in the previous sections, the crisis of representation between the roles of the traditional lonkos and the legal dirigentes as representatives, which were intervened by ENDESA in the processes of negotiation and relocation, has caused strong power struggles within the relocated comunidades. Additionally, new vocabulary such as machinery, sprinklers, pesticides, fertilizers, company, unfulfillment of promises, and relocation shape the new reality in a distinct language which influences the biography of the comunidad. In this sense there is a profound social barrier between those that lived in the time of the comunidad and those that live in the time of the relocated comunidad, found within the capacity of dialogue between the two, mediated by the capacity of determining a language which defines the reality. The differences between the two are found in the way in which the world is organized, meaning the way in which the social and natural reality is named and categorized. Within this organisation exists a tension between those that were able to negotiate according to their different forms of capital, even though they come from the same history and common memory and language. The tension thus does not lie in the taking on of the semantics of the new language, or its utilitarian character in relation to the economic and the political, but the assertion that this new language is the point of departure of organizing the new life. Wihout considering this process, the comunidades of El Barco and Ayin Mapu were created artificially due to the relocation. By the legal Chilean standard, they are defined as indigenous comunidades. “Somos una comunidad constituida, reconocida por la Ley Indígena” (Interview 5, Ayin Mapu).129 This definition has a historical premise, and several implications. Comunidades were formed by Chilean law, to indicate indigenous groups that correspond to the Títulos de Merced (Latta 2005: 177). Therefore, the comunidad is a recent, administrative creation of the Chilean State, negating the traditional Mapuche organisation unit of the lof. To speak of ‘comunidades’ is thus to apply an occidental concept to a reality with which it does not necessarily correspond (Latta 2005: 178).
La restricción de participar a través de las comunidades legalizadas impuso a las comunidades indígenas una forma de organización ajena a sus usos, costumbres y tradiciones, como requisito para ejercer el derecho de participación, en contravención con la disposición de la Ley Indígena que establece la obligación del Estado de respetar, proteger y promover las cultura, familias y comunidades indígenas. Esta disposición legal podría significar una restricción indebida (Alcamán 2007: 165). 130

However, within this organisational structure, the Mapuche have generally managed to maintain their social cohesion and collective structures in the face of the past hundred years of assimilation policies, such as the division of the comunidades into individual parcelas, with accompanying land titles, which facilitated their sale to non-indigenous people, often to then migrate to urban centres in search for wage labour (Latta 2005: 178). This occurred until the Indigenous Law introduced in 1993 prohibited the sale of indigenous land to non-indigenous people (Latta 2005: 178). The Indigenous Law is contradictory in mandating the legal organisation and representation of the comunidad, and simultaneously the right to maintain traditions and customs on the social organisational level. For example, the department of housing in the municipality of Santa Barbara has been trying to accomplish the building of a day-care and medical centre, but has been tired out by the non-results of the meetings with the comunidad. The fact that few people come to the meetings is, according to the members of the comunidad, because the dirigente does not inform them. The existing organisational problems of Ayin Mapu as a repercussion of the relocation are thus what the municipality now needs to deal with. The fact that Ayin Mapu was “dropped” on the doorstep of the municipality of Santa Barbara by ENDESA has not made things any easier. The Indigenous Law protects their collective rights to land and water, but prevents the municipality from taking concrete actions, for it will cost them a fortune to sign individual contracts with all of the members of the comunidad. They all have to give their consent, as a comunidad as a whole, otherwise the project cannot take place, yet they all have individual property titles. This is very ironic, because it is exactly this battle that ENDESA won. They managed to move the members of the comunidades individually,
Translation: We are an established comunidad, recognized by the Indigenous Law. Translation: The restriction of participating through the legalized comunidades imposed a form of organisation on the indigenous communities that is foreign to their practices, customs, and traditions, as a requirement to exercise the right of participation, in contradiction to the Indigenous Law that establishes the State’s obligation to respect, protect and promote the indigenous cultures, families and communities. This legal disposition could mean un undue restriction.
130 129


without consent of the comunidad as a whole. Now this artificial community with individual land titles is forced to act as comunidad as a whole. The director of housing has repeatedly asked Fundación Pehuén for funds to buy a plot of land to build the day-care and medical centre, but they have not yet responded (Interview 16). However, the dirigente had previously told us that there is a plot ready and waiting assigned for communal use within the community, which does not require the legal red tape of the Indigenous Law that the department of housing was referring to if they tried to accomplish it without the support of Fundacion Pehuén. The legal adscription of the term “comunidad” does not necessarily result in a comunidad which can be conceptualized as a “community”. Anthropological and historical studies in recent decades have exposed the egalitarian “close corporate peasant community” as presented by Wolf in 1957, as a romantic myth (Schryer 1993: 373). Wolf himself later admitted that it was a naïve model. Economic and cultural factors and their relationships to the greater society in rural contexts worldwide have repeatedly been analyzed by scholars to demonstrate that communities have class differences, political differences, and cultural differences and that they may only be bound by geography. Thus, the concept of ‘community’ has come to be understood in the social sciences as a symbolic, cognitive construction, shared by individuals in their common struggle towards an external threat, whether this is economic, political, religious or otherwise (Ouweneel 1993: 413). Looking at the comunidades of Ralco Lepoy and Quepuca Ralco, one can see the four possible ‘communities’, as described by Ouweneel (1993: 415), present before the arrival of ENDESA: 1) family ties, which transcend the borders of the comunidad, and are formed for social and economic support, exchange and reciprocity; 2) neighbours, which entails support in times of need; 3) charitas, the well-off people sharing with the poor to ensure a certain economic balance in the community and 4) landowners, in this case the collection of individual and communal properties which formed the comunidad. Curiously, none of these four symbolic communities formed a united front to resist or cooperate with ENDESA. The people acted individually, according to their own interests, and not in the interests of any of these four communities as a whole. A community usually surges out of protest, or the desire to achieve a common goal. Social movements can be seen as communities, and are typically depicted as successful based on features such as having a charismatic leader (see Crabtree 2005 and Gläser 2004). The relocated comunidades have apparently not yet (re)constructed any of these four communities, in the face of external interventions. Whether this is an anomaly in general, or whether it is also found in the rest of Mapuche society remains to be explored in further detail, which is beyond the scope of this thesis. Therefore, the comunidades are only formally established as such, as the social relations necessary to form a community have not been re-established yet. The losses in social capital in the forms of social interaction, reciprocity, and support form the social impacts of a relocation, especially according to a plan that does not consider the non-material aspects of such a process. “Various studies on resettlement have noted that the communities fragment and the patterns of social organisation and interpersonal links are dismantled, affinity groups disperse, and informal networks of mutual aid that maintain families fall apart. In this way, the destabilization of community life provokes a typical state of depression, insecurity, and loss of cultural identity, transforming the displacement areas as regions of social instability due to the loss of values and standards” (GonzalezParra and Simon 2003: 12). After Cernea (1994), Downing describes this ‘social disarticulation’ as a common result of forced displacements worldwide:
Resettlement rips routine relations of social time and social space, laying bare critical, but often ignored dimensions of culture….when people are displaced by development projects, social impoverishment seems incongruous, if not grotesque. Vital social networks and life support mechanisms for families are weakened or dismantled. Authority systems are debilitated or collapse. Groups lose their capacity to self-manage. The society suffers a demonstrable reduction in its capacity to cope with uncertainty. It becomes qualitatively less than its previous self. The people may physically persist but the community that was - is no more (Downing 1996: 33).

The paternalist clientelism inherent in the relocation plan has created a dependence on the aid that ENDESA has failed to provide. This is compounded by the lack of community organisation and a lack of powerful leadership for the comunidad and authority towards external actors, so that the dirigentes continue to be manipulated and controlled by those institutions so that benefits offered do not fulfil the needs of the comunidad. This dependence results in a certain passivity in satisfying their basic needs. This further debilitates their social capital in uniting as a community and the development of the self-determination of the comunidad.

In summary, this chapter demonstrated that the Ralco communities were divided and fragmented during the course of the conflict. Furthermore, the relocation reinforced the divisions, as the families and comunidades were separated physically. Evidently, the Pewenche comunidades before the arrival of ENDESA had organisational problems which allowed for the individual character of the negotiations and the lack of forming of community to confront the multinational together. These weakness may have been compounded due to the crisis of representation found in the faltering authority of the lonkos and the abuse of power by the dirigentes, granted by the Indigenous Law, which became further exacerbated by the interventions of ENDESA, and later, aid institutions. This situation has created an inequality that has only deepened since the relocations and has resulted in the lack of community forming, organisation and cooperation in the new relocated comunidades. This result is not only due to the interventions of ENDESA, it is the culmination of a historical process marked by the incompatibility of the Chilean State and Mapuche society. The physical separation of the comunidades due to the relocations further exacerbated this process. Although the Mapuche traditions have persisted, the former’s authoritarian character has dictated the points of contention. The lof being the traditional organisational structure, was encompassed by the reducciones and the granting of the Título de Merced to the lonko, but did not allow enough legal protection when faced with latifundista expansion. Many Mapuche became inquilinos, sharing the same status as other Chilean small farmers. Under Pinochet, the legalization of individual land titles (Título de Dominio) formalized their assimilation into the Chilean legal system, and negated the communal structure of the comunidad indígena. The latter was only revived in 1993, with the introduction of the Indigenous Law and the CONADI. The legalization of the comunidad, encompassing the individual titles, yet now with indigenous status, can be seen as an attempt to reconcile the traditional lof structure with the Chilean system. Simultaneously, the CONADI intended to increase the political participation of the comunidades in the Chilean system by appointing dirigentes, who need to fulfil certain requirements according to the winka educational standards. The ascription of legal capacities to the dirigente of the comunidad has contributed to divisions in Mapuche communities as it endows them with legal and political powers superior to the rest of the comunidad, and diminishes or extinguishes the traditional authority of the lonko (Latta 2005: 179). Other problems occur, such as in Ralco Lepoy, when projects offered by external actors, such as the programme Orígenes by the CONADI, and the lonko and dirigentes have diverging opinions on such a project, but the dirigente is the only one with the legal capacity to represent the comunidad and accept the projects (Latta 2005: 184). The asociaciones cause problems of representation as well. It confuses people as to who is actually the leader and authority of the comunidad, who is the voice to external actors, as it may actually in practice be found in the president of such an association. An important consideration is the distinction between cultural authority and political power. If the lonko only retains his importance in symbolic and cultural terms, and the dirigente controls the relations between the comunidad and external actors, the latter has more actual power in practice, and the former only maintains authority in ritual spaces. It can be concluded that the traditional structure of the comunidad has been transformed by the implementation of a Chilean legal structure (Latta 2005: 185). The relocated comunidades are defined legally by the Ley Indígena, and geographically, yet do not contain any of the symbolic constructions as defined by Ouweneel (1993). Whichever of the four they had previously no longer exist as such, and new bonds have yet to be forged. Thus, the already individualized property and mode of production in the comunidades disallows for the traditional autonomy and self-determination previously known in the lof. Therefore, the Ley Indigena actually presents a paradox: it is both trying to revert to traditions as well as integrate the original peoples into the Chilean system. This approach fails to achieve either goal in the Mapuche comunidades that I have observed, because they are approached with both a “hands off” attitude so that they are left to their own devices, while they necessarily navigate the winka system. This is possibly an outcome of the paradox found in the indigenous movements throughout Latin America. Ironically, indigenous movements seek formal recognition based on a particular indigenous identity, yet employ a nationalist discourse. This discourse involves a demand for civil rights, driven from a moral ideal of equality, based on inclusion politics, yet the demand for specific cultural or ethnic rights regenerates exclusion politics, however shifting the group which is to be excluded. This is conflictive, not only because the Mapuche cosmovisión and the winka (or western) model are incompatible, but also because a choice needs to be made: either they will do things their own way,

completely free from outside interventions, so that they may develop their own community organisation, political and economic systems based on socio-cultural traditions, or they adapt the winka system and take full advantage of what it has to offer, but for which they need access to the different forms of capitals necessary to be able to navigate that system. The first option may seem utopian, but the second option has also clearly been unsuccessful to date, in spite of the Chilean State’s multiple assimilation efforts throughout the past two centuries. The Mapuche cultural traditions were not extinguished. This is clear in the case of the relocated comunidades. Although they have had the winka agricultural system implemented, they are disillusioned when they cannot continue their traditions such as the veranada-invernada system. Simultaneously, the Chilean State’s and ENDESA’s promoted the idea that the construction of the dam and the relocations would improve their quality of life, which they deemed as poverty. Thus, the plan only considered material aspects of that life, and not the immaterial aspects such as social and cultural capital, which were also affected. The promise of a “better life” has turned out to the opposite for the Pewenche. They now believe that their lives in their former comunidades were actually much better. As the odds were stacked against the Pewenche in the arena in accomplishing their “Plan A” – resistance to the Pangue and Ralco dams – Downing and Garcia-Downing (2001) propose that they were lacking a “Plan B” to mitigate the social impacts. Such a plan is an alternative to the one that is implemented top-down by the company. A plan B would need to be formulated collectively, according to Pewenche tradition, and not in the form of individual negotiations that ENDESA so cunningly achieved (Downing and Garcia-Downing 2001: 8). Such a plan, according to the Downings, would increase their chances of cultural survival, and not result in the fragmentation and inequality that it has in the relocated comunidades (Downing and Garcia-Downing 2001: 8-9). Furthermore, it would prevent the disappointments found in the unfulfilled verbal promises that were made. In summary,
…the plan determines how the project fits within the people’s cultural vision… The negotiations focus on benefit-sharing arrangements over and above risk mitigation…the negotiated arrangements with project promoters and other affected stakeholders are formalized in legally binding instruments. Properly done, a good Plan B offers answers to the all-important question: “if this particular project is approved, rejected, or modified, what will happen to my people?”…a good Plan B is a plan for cultural survival, not a plan for surrender. The act of taking control—producing and ultimately implementing their Plan B—is a significant step toward self-determination. Plan B will alter project financing and economics, making clear the differences between payment for damages, risk mitigation, and benefit-sharing arrangements. And, most important of all, by laying out a project’s full social and economic dimensions, a good Plan B influences whether or not Plan A ever takes place (Downing and Garcia-Downing 2001: 9 and 15).

It is a plan developed by the people themselves in order to assure their self-determination and control over their own futures, and perhaps even truly benefit from the project, as ENDESA promoted, instead of the increased inequality due to the concentration of the benefits in the dirigentse and lack of clarity about the official documents and legal structures.


5. Conclusions
Returning to the questions posed at the start of this thesis: What are the perspectives of the Pewenche on the events leading up to the construction of the Ralco dam and their subsequent relocations? How have these events affected and been affected by their different forms of capital? In this final chapter, the thesis will be summarized briefly, then framed by the larger Chilean and global contexts, and concluded by answering these thesis questions.

Ralco, Relocations, Impacts
The history of the Ralco conflict has shown us that State-led industrial interventions are a powerful force when combined with market interests in the arena, disregarding the impacts on local peoples and environments, despite controversy, and in the name of progress. Political manipulations at the top level of government transformed supposed democratic institutions such as the CONAMA and the CONADI into instruments employed to execute the will of the State’s industrialization projects. Political decisions have far-reaching impacts in democratic processes, such as the EIAs, which can reinforce a political decision and uphold its discourse, instead of ensuring a democratic and informed process in practice, that in principle, they are supposed to uphold. Through financing of reports and subsequent ownership of the information, interest groups retain control over their use. They thus become an instrument of the State in order to implement a project, disguised under the banner of environmental mitigation. In the Ralco arena, ENDESA strategically used the legal land title framework, which allowed ENDESA officials to negotiate the permutas individually, without having to receive collective consent. The power struggles within the arena of the Ralco conflict were most obvious as ENDESA led people to believe that the Ralco dam had already been approved by the government, leaving them no alternative than to relocate. Taking this authoritarian position in the arena allowed the Ralco dam to be constructed without democratic citizen participation, and the Pewenche were relocated, without the social impacts being mitigated to date. Negotiating the relocations individually generated internal conflicts within the comunidades, and with other external actors due to the different positions taken for or against ENDESA’s projects. The State’s authoritarian position was further reflected in prioritizing the Electricity Law over the Indigenous Law, showing the ineptitude of indigenous politics when faced with industrial megaprojects. There is gap between the Indigenous Law and the Chilean constitution, which ENDESA systematically took advantage of to relocate the Pewenche and construct the Ralco dam. The Electricity Law privileged the persons or groups that solely gain economically from its application. This is a result of the ideological hegemony of the economic interests of the Chilean State, whose power is wielded in support of their own interests. This is apparent in the political discourse, which prioritizes the economic over the rights of original peoples, within the dynamics of the Chilean social system. This system is founded by a neoliberal, exportmarket oriented development discourse. This discourse motivated the commercialization of the relocated comunidades, as the interventions by ENDESA opened the doors to more interventions by other NGOs and public institutions, creating unequal and uneven development, and dependence. This demonstrates the gap between the discourse of environmental and social mitigation, and the practice of a forced relocation and industrialization of natural resources. The obvious role of land in a relocation of original peoples demonstrates the different points of view in the arena of the conflict: land being priceless in the case of the Pewenche, or land holding a price tag, as in the case of ENDESA, who traded the inundated land for other land elsewhere, and one million 800 thousand pesos (2500 Euros) imbedded in a technical assistance programme. The focus was solely on the material aspects and not on the immaterial impacts of the relocations. The Ralco case is part of the historical pattern in the utilitarian tone of the Chilean State’s approach to expropriating land from indigenous groups, as a resource destined solely for the purposes of national development. Through such megaprojects, in the name of national interest, the State is legitimized to exercise control and power over its territory. In the process, the CONADI was sidelined in the arena, as it was pawned off by the State to serve the GDP instead of the interests of Chile’s original peoples. Thus, the Ralco conflict presented a breaking point between Chile’s original peoples and the democratic State.

Many of the things ENDESA had promised were not fulfilled. In terms of material circumstances, the Pewenche are hardly better off in the relocation sites, as medical care is minimal or inaccessible, schools are far away, they lack transport, and their agricultural and animal husbandry practices are faltering. In El Barco, a lack of infrastructure and the climactic conditions deepen their isolation, and in both comunidades, they have to pay for the same electricity for which they were relocated, and compounded with a new consumption pattern, they have started racking up debts to do so. The lack of water is complicating cultivation. They have lost animals, central to their traditional animal husbandry economy, due to the relocations, as the animals are not able to adapt to the climates in the new locations, and they have been sold to make ends meet. The sacrifices the Pewenche had to make for the construction of the Ralco dam were supposed to be rewarded by ENDESA. Instead, they are worse off than they were before, and are now integrated into the national consumption culture. Nor ENDESA, nor the State, in the form of CONADI and the municipality take the responsibility to solve the problems that surged from the relocations. However, the people have become dependent on these institutions. Although they are in a power struggle with these institutions, they are not empowered to achieve the ‘cultural autonomy’ as forecasted by money-driven academics working for ENDESA in the EIA process. These academics and the institutions have also depleted any kind of trust that the Pewenche had of the winka. This is emblematic for the gap between discourse and practice in megaprojects. The beautiful utopias that would await the Pewenche if they were to relocate, are a stark contrast to their new homes proved to be far from being the paradise they were promised. The practice being that once the relocation was physically accomplished, the Pewenche were largely left to their own devices. The impacts of the construction of the Ralco dam, the conflict and the relocations, as predicted by various academics and activists, include a change of livelihood for the Pewenche; a change of demographic in the Alto Bío Bío due to the construction of the dam; and a changing socioeconomic and cultural makeup of the area, as the change of infrastructure encouraged migration. Psychological impacts of the relocated Pewenche include distress, distrust, envy, and increased individualization. The loss of cultural practices has sped up assimilation of the Pewenche into the winka system, which they are not capacitated to navigate. In terms of social impacts, the comunidades were divided and fragmented during the course of the conflict, and the relocations reinforced the divisions, as the families and comunidades were separated physically, largely affecting their social capital. The lack of community forming in the face of the external threat that ENDESA’s arrival posed, may be attributed to the crisis of representation, and a lack of a charismatic leadership figures. The dirigentes are required by the CONADI to be literate, educated, and therefore have usually lived in the city previously and returned to the Alto Bío Bío to take up these positions of power. They followed their own agenda according to their own interests, which echoes the authoritarian decision-making of greater Chilean society such as ENDESA employed, without consulting or informing the people. This also represents a breach between the dirigente and the rest of the comunidad, in terms of social, human and economic capital, which in the case of the relocated comunidades, has allowed the dirigentes to abuse their power as they act in self-interest instead of in the interest of the comunidad as a whole. Glaring inequalities surface when one observes that the dirigentes have the latest 2008 trucks and the best houses and the most land, in terms of production and surface area, while other members of the comunidad are struggling to survive the winters in El Barco. These inequalities are telling of the social gaps between dirigentes and comunidades in the greater Mapuche society. Representation struggles are compounded as those with more resources (in terms of social, human and economic capital) and access to the political system are then able to obtain more benefits in the name of the Mapuche cause. This inequality, in turn, echoes the general inequality found in the greater Chilean society.

Ralco, Emblem of a Capitalist Democracy
The fight over the Ralco dam was an emblematic social conflict in the history of Chile and the history of dams worldwide. The dam’s construction despite the controversy revealed that the ideological discourse of modernizing, industrial development in the name of the Nation’s progress and energy autonomy were to override environmental and human rights, and any citizen’s questioning of that model or preference for local alternatives. Over the past thirty years, international agreements and declarations, such as the International Labour Organisation Convention 169, have been signed to “grant rights” to indigenous peoples. These include rights to land and resources such

as water, and the rights to cultural autonomy. Conversely, most hydroelectric megaprojects neatly resemble the destruction of those same land and resources, swept together with State assimilation programmes. This is a complete disregard of the newly recognized rights that are supposedly being ratified by those same States. The priority of those States still seems to follow the 1950s slogan of “progress”, a myth that has been shattered again and again by critical academics analysing “development”: The modernisation discourse is indeed old in thought and although the hydroelectric projects were planned in the 50s and 60s, the governments cannot seem to back down. It intertwines the old discourses of progress and development with the new attention for climate change and sustainability. This is depicted even as many projects are deemed unviable and unethical on social and environmental grounds. This was the case with the Ralco dam in Chile, while construction continued relentlessly despite protests and controversies. It seems that once a Nation-State and a company have invested anything, even if it is just an (ill-written) plan, they cannot back down. There is money in planning, money in construction. Also since the 1960s, environmentalists have signaled the finite nature of the planet’s resources and humans’ destruction as the main source of their depletion. The current global energy debate has governments reeling between wars over finite sources, development of alternatives and trying to solve the nuclear waste and safety puzzles. Megadams have displaced people from France and Spain to India, China, Uganda and Argentina. Ralco was not a first, nor a unique case. Environmental impacts of dams are known, socio-cultural impacts are declared by anthropologists and human-rights activists. Yet the States and energy companies occupy the discourse of hydro power being the most clean, green, renewable and sustainable source of energy, although the locals are not in agreement. Therefore, in practice, they are reproducing an authoritarian and clientalist relationship to natural resources and original peoples. Although ideologically out of fashion, progress, development and the need for energy are still prioritized over everything else. Consequently, human beings and natural resources become pieces in a chess game - played by the hydroelectric companies and governments - to be moved and removed as strategically deemed necessary to win the game, with the great prize being the allprevailing “GDP”. Meanwhile, the chess pieces, or the citizens, are turned into over-consuming, yet indebted nationalists. The power of multinational companies in the free market alongside an authoritarian State dictate the rules of the game, the way of life of peoples that are thus treated as objects in a game of resource exploitation and the gaining of capital. The impacts on their lives and livelihoods are many. Local sustenance is far from the objective of such an intervention, as it serves the interests of a powerful few, economically. In the Pinochet era, the focus of the government was privatisation, liberalisation, and investment in infrastructure such as roadways as a military strategy to secure the borders. To compensate for economic collapse after the shock treatments and to finance the military projects, the way was cleared for private investment to increase the extraction of natural resources. Meanwhile, land and water rights were divided in 1981 in order to market them as separate resources, so that one may buy the rights to an entire river regardless if it is running through the property or land of someone else, and regardless if they are original peoples. In the gap has fallen the Indigenous Law, subsumed to the unforgiving practices of the free market, as found in the Código de Aguas The Chilean Colbún is now aiming to start the construction of the third dam on the Bío Bío River, wherefore the people that were displaced for the Pangue dam would have to relocate once again. Forty-five families are likely to be displaced by the project. They are truly the losers in the industrialisation game, one that is destroying the ecological commons and local livelihoods. Unfortunately, the Pangue and Ralco dams established an undesirable precedent for future projects in Chile. The Ralco conflict thus opens up the discussion of what kind of democracy and what kind of development a people want for their nation’s future. The electricity produced by the Ralco dam was destined for “the greater common good” of the Chilean Nation. There is an obvious dichotomy in Chile when one sees the stark contrasts between rural poverty and national development projects. The multinational companies implementing these projects abuse the gaps between these two extremes by providing social services, that are normally the responsibility of the State, in order to gain support for the projects. In turn, local economies are threatened and replaced by hydroelectric projects and other industrial intervention and “development” projects. There is an apparent invisibility of the rural areas to the Chilean State, as they are not economically relevant in the GDP, as they perform small-scale agriculture and operate locally owned, small-scale businesses and trade. Converting these areas into economically relevant producers of primary resource extraction, such as to feed the nation’s “need” for energy will include them in the GDP, and therefore they must be converted into consumers of the GDP products and infrastructure. Not only is the GDP model a

“trickle down” myth, it is also a hegemonic instrument to show where the national interests lie. Anything not on the GDP chart (not contributing to the GDP) which in the Chilean case is Energy, Forestry, Salmon Farming, Mining and Wineries, is considered irrelevant, is ignored or appears to be non-existent. Therefore, in a self-justifying cycle, the GDP model not only provides the legitimacy in pursuing industries which will increase its value, it also neatly eliminates the need for any other form of local economy or the existence of autonomous development of local sustenance. The political ideology found in the drive for sovereignty and the growth of the GDP supporting the export-friendly market in Chile allows for multinational companies to extract the resources and make off with the profits, without necessarily relying on a local labour force, especially in the case of energy production.

Not In My Backyard
The Latin American continent is currently filled with hydroelectric megaprojects that have been initiated, funded and executed or are being planned by European energy companies. In Chile alone there at least ten (multi)national energy companies that are planning or executing at least 25 megaprojects from the first region in the north, down to Aysen, in southern Patagonia. They are from France, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Norway, and are all exploiting the natural resources in faraway lands in the south, reviving old grudges towards European colonialism. The same reason the local peoples in Latin America protest megaprojects is the one for which the Europeans construct the megaprojects in Latin America: Not In My Backyard. Europeans go to other countries with a weak civil society and a judicial system that favours market interests and “the greater common good” over human and environmental rights. Taking advantage of these weaknesses and Chile`s neoliberal policies allow for companies to reap all the benefits without having to deal with the consequences, which the local people and environment have to live with now and in the future. The transformation of the commons into commodities is ensured through political decision making at the national and international level, with the rights to vital resources moving from people to corporations. Macroeconomic development benefits those that have resources and access to the formal market and education. Multinational companies and agencies promote the separation of communities defending themselves, from the interests of the State, in turn, fragmenting and dividing the communities themselves. They have created our increasingly rational-economics-driven global society, which is dictating the largest scale industrial operations as well as the most intimate human interactions. An ‘alternative’ movement, an amalgamation of ‘post-sustainability’ discourses, in which this thesis and the Mapuche movement is also situated, is strongly opposed to the economic and social policies being carried out on a global scale. Mapuche activists, as with many indigenous movements worldwide, are protagonists in the anti-neoliberal globalisation arena. The focus on ethnicity to spearhead the indigenous agenda is a politics of difference, in resistance to the homogenizing force of McDonaldization processes. Protests from the grass-roots continue to grow and multiply throughout the world, calling for a form of local participatory democracy. This challenges globalization processes which has transferred wealth and knowledge from the public to the private and seeks to reverse this phenomenon.

Since the protagonists of the Pewenche protests against the Ralco dam employed this discourse, this thesis sought to answer the following question: What are the perspectives of the Pewenche on the events leading up to the construction of the Ralco dam and their subsequent relocations? Due to their limited power in the Ralco arena, the Pewenche were led to believe that the Ralco dam had already been approved by the government, leaving them no alternative than to relocate. They felt pressured to exchange their land in order to receive the benefits ENDESA promised. The people only have the verbal promises made by ENDESA in their minds. However, the promises of more land, better land and the other benefits enticed the families to relocate to the new sites. To date, however, the Pewenche feel that ENDESA has not lived up to their end of the bargain, reinforcing their experience of being in a position of limited power within the arena. The discrepancies between these and the written materials, and between those materials and the actual execution of the plans to date, can be distilled from the Pewenche narrative, in their complaints that ENDESA has not lived up to their

promises, in their disappointment and regret of their negotiations with ENDESA, leaving the people feeling deceived, disillusioned, bitter, and angry. These sentiments are not only projected towards ENDESA, but also to the Indigenous Law and CONADI, as well as the municipalities representing the Chilean state, as they feel that they have been left to their own devices. They feel that the world is laughing at them, at their misery. The people have further become dependent on the institutions presenting projects to them, and ENDESA’s unfulfilled promises. Now, the people are starting to realize that the status quo can no longer hold, especially as ENDESA’s ten-year commitment is coming to an end. Those events were then analysed in answering the second question: How have the events leading up to the construction of the Ralco dam and their subsequent relocations affected and been affected by the different forms of capital of the Pewenche? The weaknesses present in the comunidades prior to the arrival of ENDESA were exacerbated during the conflict and the logic of individual negotiations. Their weak economic and human capitals were barriers to adapt to ENDESA’s use of the Chilean legal system to negotiate the permutas, as those resisting did not win their court cases, and those negotiating did not receive legal aid. Their capabilities in navigating that system have also impeded them to acquire the documents to which they are entitled. The Pewenche had very little knowledge of the actual contents of the relocation plan, mainly due to their illiteracy, due to a lack of possession of the documents involved, and a lack of information concerning their rights and legal procedures. Due to the inequalies in human capital, the process of negotiation led the rupture of the internal logic and balance of the comunidades, and increasing inequality between its members in terms of economic capital. This is typical of the inequality found in the capitalist system, as the level of their human capital informed their ability to negotiate, resulting in a material manifestation found in the comunidades. Some people have a lot more land, crops, animals, material possessions, and cash, while others have next to nothing. The dirigentes previously had the human capital necessary to be able to negotiate with ENDESA successfully, resulting in increased economic capital as opposed to the rest of the members of the comunidades. Their positions give them access to achieve more human and economic capital from the projects offered by NGOs and government programmes. Those marginalized by the relocations were most prominently the widows, as ENDESA had negotiated with their husbands, leaving them out of the deal, and now they are left to their own devices. This has in turn, resulted in an increased political imbalance due to the concentration of power in the hands of the dirigentes, as each new intervention in the comunidades by outside actors necessitates their participation as formalized by the Ley Indigena. Inequality, in turn, increases when enforced by an unequal system, as only the dirigentes are empowered by ENDESA, Fundación Pehuén, and the CONADI, giving them politically and economically advantageous positions as opposed to the rest, although they decide for the rest. The formation of various committees and asociaciones increased the crisis of representation due to the faltering authority of the lonkos with the advent of the Indigenous Law. There is also a cleavage between old and young, dividing families and friends, neighbours, in an historical moment of past and future, between those that want to hold on to tradition, and those that want progress. The loss of cultural capital since the relocations is found in the discontinuance of the Guillatun ceremony and inveranada-veranada practice in Ayin Mapu, and their distance from the rest the Pewenche comunidades where they previously lived. A loss of natural capital, and could also be argued as cultural capital, is evident in the need to buy piñones, whereas previously they were able to recollect them themselves. The loss of the piñones is also a loss in economic capital, as they previously would sell or trade them for other products and services. Another loss of natural capital, which results in economic capital, is the lack of water, disallowing the maintenance of their agriculture and animal husbandry. This combined with the higher costs of living in the relocation sites - mainly due to the introduction of electricity and the thereby accompanying domestic appliances, as well as agricultural inputs, and transport, due to the lack of horses - has actually resulted in a decrease in their economic power as they previously had. Negotiating the relocations individually generated internal conflicts within the comunidades, this and the subsequent divisions due to the relocations has altered social ties, networks and the dislocation of families due to the relocations, affecting their social capital. Other social impacts include the generation of inequality, a crisis of representation, and a lack of community in the relocated comunidades. Therefore, the discourse is of increased political participation of Chile’s original peoples through the CONADI, yet in practice, this is creating yet more conflicts and divisions between them, and increasing their marginalized assimilation, instead of self-determination and autonomous development.

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Appendix A: Sample Survey for El Barco
Encuesta El Barco
I. Datos Personales 1 Nombre Completo

2. Sexo Masculino Femenino 4. Ocupación

3. Edad

5. Estado Civil Soltero Casado Viudo Conviviente Separado

6. Cuántos hijos tiene 7. Quienes viven con usted 8. Quienes trabajan aquí 9 Quienes trabajan fuera

Nivel Educacional 10. ¿Sabe leer y escribir? Si No 11. ¿Cuánto domina el Chedungun? Habla y lee Habla Entiende bien Entiende lo básico Entiende poco No entiende

12. Nivel Educacional No tiene Básica Incompleta Básica Completa Media Incompleta Media Completa Técnica - profesional Incompleta Técnica - profesional Completa Universitaria incompleta Universitaria completa 13. Confesión religiosa


14. De que comunidad proviene Quepuca Ralco Malla Palmucho Quepuca Estadio Quepuca Interior Otro II. Datos Familiares 15. Residentes en el terreno Nombre 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Parentesco Sexo Edad Ocupación Nivel Educacional Ralco Lepoy Lepoy Bajo Lepoy Alto Chenkeko Quebrada Honda Otro

16. Familiares en la Comunidad Parentesco Padres Abuelos Hermanos Hijos Tios Primos Sobrinos Parientes III. Terreno 17. Qué superficie tiene (tenía) de... El Barco Superficie Terreno Superficie Regada Botado Asperción Otro Superficie Secano Superficie Veranada Lepoy SI/NO Satisfacción SI NO Observaciones


18. Quién siembra ENDESA INDAP



19. El arado y barvechado del campo lo realiza ENDESA PARTICULAR INDAP EL MISMO 20. La siembra la realiza ENDESA PARTICULAR INDAP EL MISMO 21. La cosecha la realiza ENDESA PARTICULAR INDAP EL MISMO 22. Cultivos Extensivos El Barco Nombre Trigo Humano Animales Comercialización Lupino Humano Animales Comercialización Alfalfa Humano Animales Comercialización Empastada Humano Animales Comercialización Avena Humano Animales Comercialización Otro Forraje Humano Animales Comercialización Pino Humano Comercialización Eucaliptus Humano Comercialización Hectáreas Quintales




Lepoy Nombre Trigo Humano Animales Comercialización Lupino Humano Animales Comercialización Alfalfa Humano Animales Comercialización Empastada Humano Animales Comercialización Avena Humano Animales Comercialización Otro Forraje Humano Animales Comercialización Pino Humano Comercialización Eucaliptus Humano Comercialización 94 Hectáreas Quintales

Nativo Humano Comercialización Otro Humano Animales Comercialización Leña 23. Dónde consigue la leña EL Barco Cuanto Compra Corta de su campo Corta de otro campo suyo Otro Corta de la veranada Donación Familia Otros Costo

Nativo Humano Comercialización Otro Humano Animales Comercialización

Lepoy Cuanto


Herramientas 24. Dónde consiguió las herramientas que posee actualmente Compra ENDESA Las Trajo de Lepoy Otro 25. Tiene todas las herramientas que necesita SI NO 26. Qué le falta

26. Fertilizante y pesticida El Barco Si No Utiliza Fertilizante Utiliza Pesticidas

Lepoy Si

No 27.¿Tiene huerta? 28. Invernadero

El Barco Si

Lepoy No Si No

29. ¿Usted saca todas las verduras que necesita de su huerta? SI NO 30. ¿Tiene que comprar verdura durante el año? SI NO 31. Qué verduras


Tipos de animales 32.Cuántos animales tiene (tenía) EL BARCO Cuantos Vacas Ovejas Cabras Cerdos Gallinas Pavos Gansos Caballos Mulas Bueyes Abejas Alimentación 33. ¿Compra la misma cantidad Lepoy/Quepuca? de mercadería que en Consumo/añ o Venta/ año LEPOY Cuantos Consumo/añ o Venta/ año

Compra más Compra lo mismo Compra menos

34. Consume Piñones si no Compra Recolecta Regalan Otro

Servicios Bienes y servicios 35. Cuáles de los siguientes bienes y servicios posee (poseía) El barco Lepoy Luz Agua Alcantarillado Cocina a gas Calefacción Televisor Refrigerador Microonda Radio DVD / VHS Teléfono Fijo Teléfono Móvil Computador Otro


Transporte El Barco 36. Vehículo propio Si No Lepoy Si No

37 Cuántas veces a la semana toma locomoción El Barco Ninguna cada 15 dìas 1 vez al mes 1 vez a la semana 2 o 3 días a la semana 5 días a la semana Todos los días 38. A dónde se dirige cuando toma locomoción El Barco Santa Bárbara Los Angeles Ralco Chenkeko Otro Lepoy Lepoy

Manufacturas 39. Alguien en su familia realiza artesanía El Barco Lepoy Textil Cuero Otros 40. Las utiliza para… Venta Ceremonia 41. Se realiza El Barco Si Nguillatun Wetripantu Rogativas Otros 42. Participa El Barco Si Nguillatun Wetripantu Rogativas Otros No Lepoy Si No No Lepoy Si No Uso Doméstico Otro


Participación 43. Participa en reuniones de comunidad El Barco La Mayoría Nunca Lepoy La Mayoría Nunca

Todas A veces

Todas A veces

44. Participa en alguna organización El Barco Si No Si Cuáles Cuáles 45. ¿Tiene deudas? Si No

Lepoy No

46. ¿Con qué institución? BANCO AMIGO INDAP FINANCIERA



Appendix B: Survey Results El Baro
1. General Presentation The objective of performing surveys in El Barco was to reveal certain economic indicators that are relevant to the community, as well as to contrast the reality of this community with the realities of the communities of origin (Quepuca Ralco and Ralco Lepoy). As well, we included organisational and participatory aspects, at a descriptive level. In El Barco the survey was meant to be conducted among the highest possible amount of the land titleholders, which would ideally mean 36 persons. Owing to the fact that we were able to contact 33 families during the prestudy phase, this amount determined our ideal for the survey. The team had to decide which methodological instruments would be most relevant in order to portray the reality of the communities. This meant that priority was given to the technique of the semi-structured interview, which allowed us to retrieve economic data in a qualitative form, as it was seen to be the most adequate given the circumstances of our entrance into the communities, according to our theoretical framework and the experiences of the pre-study. This is why the team’s priority was to perform interviews, and the surveys formed a secondary priority. The result of such a prioritisation meant that 11 surveys were conducted in all sectors of the community, of the 33 contacted families, which translates to 33% of the ideal. Furthermore, the complexity of the community and their reality as well as the reality of our time constraints impeded us from achieving the ideal amount of surveys. As a full sample, it is clear that in itself does not contain the complexity of the community, but which will compliment the other obtained data. Hereby a summary of the contacts made in El Barco and the sectors in which we performed the surveys.

Table 1: Total Contacts and Performed Surveys in El Barco, per sector. Community Member Relative 11 3 11 6 1 32 0 1 0 0 0 1

Sector Costa Ralco Lomas de Loló Costa Lomin Lomas de Til Til Vega de Ralco

Total 11 4 12 7 2 36

Contacts 11 4 11 6 1 33

Other N/C* 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 3

Survey 2 1 5 2 1 11

*N/C: No Contact Of the 11 surveys, 10 were conducted with the land exchange contract titleholders. The following is a specification of the surveys: Table 2: Position of the person surveyed, per sector. Title holder 1 1 5 2 1 10

Sector Costa Ralco Lomas de Loló Costa Lomin Lomas de Til Til Vega de Ralco Total

Spouse 0 0 0 0 0 0

Other 1 0 0 0 0 1

Total 2 1 5 2 1 11


2. Results In the following section we will present the collected data of the survey conducted in EL Barco. 2.1 Sex Of the total surveys, 2 were conducted with women, and 9 with men, a fact which reflects that the majority of the title holders are men. Table 3: Sex of the survey participants, total, and per sector. Sex Male Female Total 2.2 Age All of the survey participants are between the ages of 39 and 75. The average age is 51,45. Table 4: Average Age of the survey participants, total and per sector Sector Age 2.3 Occupation The main occupation that our respondents identified in El Barco is that of the farmer. However, in practice, this means livestock raising, with which they sustain themselves. Agriculture takes a smaller role, in the form of vegetables, fodder for their animals and in a very few cases, wheat. This means that the locals use the term farmer very generally. Table 5: Occupation of the respondents, per sector Occupation Stockbreeder Farmer Housewife Farmer Stockbreeder 2.4 Marital Status The majority of the respondents are married. 3 of the respondents are widows. Table 6: Marital Status of the respondents, total and per sector Marital Status CR Widowed 0 Married 2 Common-Law 0 2.5 Literacy As is frequently common among the adult population of the Alto Bío Bío, the majority of the adults in the community are illiterate. The principal reason that the respondents volunteered for being illiterate, as it was not one of our questions, was that at the time of their youth, there was no school in the area where they lived, and in order to go to a school in another area would require a few days travel by horse. The aspect of illiteracy is significant because the people themselves argue that it was one of 100 CR 1 1 0 and 0 1 0 0 0 1 CL 0 3 1 TT 1 1 0 LL 1 0 0 VR 0 1 0 Total 3 6 1 CR 43 CL 52 TT 61 LL 47 VR 49 Average 51,45 CR 2 0 2 CL 3 2 5 TT 2 0 2 LL 1 0 1 VR 1 0 1 Total 9 2 11

CL 2 2 1

TT 1 1 0

LL 0 1 0

VR 0 1 0

Total 3 7 1

the factors that prevented them from negotiating with ENDESA effectively and in a well-informed manner. Table 7: Literacy. Command of written Spanish, total and per sector Literacy YES NO Total 2.6 Educational Level Tabla 8: Educational Level, total and per sector Educational Level None Elementary Incomplete Elementary Complete Secondary Incomplete Secondary Complete 2.7 Command of Chedungun 100 % of the respondents speak their native language, chedungun, a fact which we encountered in the rest of the community. The adults generally speak it. It would be interesting to see what will happen in the next generations, as it has been observed that the relocation has had repercussions in the reproduction of the language. Table 9: Command of Chedungun, total and per sector. Chedungun CR Spoken 2 Full Comprehension 0 Basic Comprehension 0 Little Comprehension 0 No Comprehension 0 Total 0 2.8 Religious Confession There appears to be balance between the traditional religion, Catholicism and evangelicals. In general, these results reflect the reality of the community. Table 10: Religious Confession, total and per sector Religion Catholic Evangelical, Nguillatun Evangelical Nguillatun Mapuche, Evangelical Mapuche Table 11: Religion, including variations. Religion Catholic CR 1 CL 1 TT 0 LL 1 VR 0 Total 3 101 CR 1 1 0 0 0 0 CL 1 0 2 1 1 0 TT 0 0 1 0 0 1 LL 1 0 0 0 0 0 VR 0 0 0 0 0 1 Total 3 1 3 1 1 2 CL 5 0 0 0 0 0 TT 2 0 0 0 0 0 LL 1 0 0 0 0 0 VR 1 0 0 0 0 0 Total 11 0 0 0 0 0 CR 1 1 0 0 0 CL 4 0 1 0 0 TT 2 0 0 0 0 LL 1 0 0 0 0 VR 1 0 0 0 0 Total 9 1 1 0 0 CR 1 1 2 CL 1 4 5 TT 0 2 2 LL 0 1 1 VR 0 1 1 Total 2 9 11

Evangelical Mapuche 2.9 Community of Origin

1 1

3 2

1 1

0 0

0 1

5 5

Most of the inhabitants of El Barco came from the community Ralco Lepoy, and the majority from the sectors Lepoy Bajo and Lepoy Puente. Table 12: Community of Origin, total and per sector Community Ralco Lepoy Sector Lepoy Bajo Lepoy Alto Lepoy Puente Chenkeko Quebrada Honda Community Quepuca Ralco Sector Palmucho 2.10 Residents living on the grounds Among the respondent families, there is an average of 7 persons living on the grounds. Table 13: Average Residents living on the ground, total and per sector Residents CR 5 8 CL 9 10 10 6 2 TT 7 1 LL 10 VR 8 CR CL TT LL VR Total 10 4 1 3 1 1 Total 1 1

1 0 1 0 0 CR

2 0 1 1 0 CL

0 0 1 0 1 TT

0 1 0 0 0 LL

1 0 0 0 0 VR












Total Average 6,9

2.11 Relatives in the community All of the respondents, with the exception of two, have direct relatives in the community, mostly consisting of siblings. This shows that there has not been a dramatic isolation of family members. However, a division of families has occurred due to the relocalization, but this is not reflected in the following statistics. Table 14: Presence of relatives in the community, total and per sector Relatives Siblings Cousins Aunts and Uncles Children None Total CR 2 0 0 0 0 0 CL 3 0 1 0 1 0 TT 1 0 0 0 1 0 LL 0 0 1 0 0 0 VR 1 0 0 0 0 0 Total 7 0 2 0 2 11


2.12 Labour Force In general, the quantity of persons that participate in the agricultural production is an average of 4,72 persons per household. Table 15: Labour Force average per household, total and per sector Workers CR 3 6 CL 4 6 3 1 2 3,2 TT 1 7 LL 10 VR 9 Average Total

Average 2.13 Salaried Workers






There is a low percentage of family members which work outside the home for a salary. Table 16: Salaried workers, total and per sector Asalariados CR 0 1 CL 2 1 2 0 0 1 TT 0 0 LL 1 VR 1 Promedio Total







2.14 Land surface received through the contracts The land surface which was offered by ENDESA to the inhabitants of El Barco denote a large difference per sector of the community. In Vega de Ralco, the inhabitants own much less land than in the rest of the sectors, and they are much more isolated than other sectors. Table 17: Summary Land Surface, per sector

Land El Barco Hectáreas (Há)

CR 60 39

Average (Há) Differential (Há) Land Lepoy Hectares (Há)

49,5 -43,92 CR 0,125 20

CL 30 42 25 49 27 34,6 -58,82 CL 12 12 2 45 17,75 9,58

TT 35 41

LL 47

VR 298

38 -55,42 TT 4 6

47 -46,42 LL 6

298 204,58 VR 5

Average TOTAL 93,42

Average (Há) Differential (Há)

10,06 1,89

5 3,16

3 -5,16

5 -3,16

Average TOTAL 8,162


2.15 Planting, tilling, harvesting INDAP and ENDESA perform most of the agricultural labour, including planting, tilling and harvesting. Table 18: Productive agents in agricultural labour, per sector Planting CR ENDESA, INDAP ENDESA, INDAP CL ENDESA, INDAP ENDESA ENDESA Self ENDESA, INDAP CL ENDESA, INDAP ENDESA INDAP Self ENDESA CL ENDESA ENDESA Self Self ENDESA TT ENDESA, INDAP ENDESA LL ENDESA, INDAP VR INDAP





VR Self






Table 19: General summary of agents in the productive process of El Barco ENDESA 3 4 6 13 ENDESA INDAP 6 4 3 13 INDAP 1 1 0 2 SELF 1 2 2 5

Planting Tilling Harvesting Total 2.16 Irrigation in El Barco

There are two types of irrigation in El Barco, the first being a sprinkler system and the second being a canal system. The first is used most commonly, it is present in all sectors of the community. The canal system is only present in two sectors. Table 20: Types of irrigation, per sector Irrigation Sprinkler Canal Both None Total CR 1 1 0 0 2 CL 4 1 0 0 5 TT 1 0 0 1 2 LL 1 0 0 0 1 VR 1 0 0 0 1 Total 8 2 0 1 11

2.17 Satisfaction with the irrigation system in El Barco


Almost all the respondents were generally unsatisfied with the quality and quantity of the irrigation system. Table 21: Satisfaction with the irrigation system, per sector Satisfaction Sufficient Regular Insufficient Total CR 1 0 1 2 CL 1 2 2 5 TT 0 1 0 1 LL 0 0 1 1 VR 1 0 0 1 Total 3 3 4 10

2.18 Origin of Firewood in El Barco Table 22: Origin of Firewood, total and per sector Firewood Own land Veranada 2.19 Alfalfa Cultivation Table 23: Hectares of planted Alfalfa, per sector. Cultivo Alfalfa Hectares (Há) CR 5 3 CL 2,5 1 5 3 2 2,7 -0,89 TT 1 LL 10 VR 7 Average CR 2 0 CL 5 0 TT 2 0 LL 1 0 VR 0 1 Total 10 1

Average (Há) Differential (Há)

4 0,41

1 -2,59

10 6,41

7 2,41


2.20 Use of Fertilizers and pesticides in El Barco and Lepoy All of the respondents use fertilizers and pesticides for cultivation, except for one in Costa Lomin. In contrast, in Lepoy not one person used fertilizers or pesticides for cultivation. This is an important change in the use of agricultural products. 2.21 Garden and Invernadero Table 24: Presence of Garden and use of Invernadero, total and per sector Huerta El Barco Yes No Huerta Lepoy Yes No Invernadero El Barco Yes No Invernadero Lepoy Yes No 2.22 Productivity of the Garden CR 2 0 CR 2 0 CR 2 0 CR 1 1 CL 4 1 CL 5 0 CL 4 1 CL 3 2 TT 1 1 TT 2 0 TT 1 1 TT 1 1 LL 1 0 LL 1 0 LL 1 0 LL 1 0 VR 1 0 VR 1 0 VR 0 1 VR 0 1 Total 9 2 Total 11 0 Total 8 3 Total 6 5

When asked the question: Are you able to cultivate all the vegetables that you need from you garden? Only two respondents gave a positive answer, both in the same sector.


Table 25: Productivity of the Garden, total and per sector Garden Productivity YES NO Total 2.23 Purchase of vegetables When asked if they need to purchase vegetables during the year, all of the respondents replied yes, except one. The winter prevents them from cultivating vegetables year round. Table 26: Purchase of vegetables, total and per sector. Purchase vegetables YES NO Total 2.24 Cattle The quantity of cattle has increased significantly between Lepoy and EL Barco, an increase of 17,73%. Table 28: Quantity of Cattle, compared between the community of origin and El Barco CATTLE EL BARCO CR 12 19 CL 0 5 8 17 70 100 CL 10 4 30 80 0 124 TT 4 5 LL 50 VR 75 Total of CR 1 1 2 CL 0 5 5 TT 0 2 2 LL 0 1 1 VR 0 1 1 Total 1 10 11 CR 2 0 2 CL 0 5 5 TT 0 2 2 LL 0 1 1 VR 0 1 1 Total 2 9 11


31 CR 12 0

9 TT 4 3

50 LL 50

75 VR 25

265 Total 25

Total 2.25 Sheep






The quantity of cattle has increased comparatively between Lepoy and EL Barco, an increase of 13,97%. Table 29: Quantity of sheep, compared between the community of origin and El Barco SHEEP EL BARCO CR 54 0 CL 20 8 9 19 30 86 CL 30 TT 25 0 LL 80 VR 20 Total


54 CR 35

25 TT 8

80 LL 80

20 VR 25

265 Total 106


Total 2.26 Goats


30 11 5 0 76






The quantity of goats has remained more or less the same between Lepoy and EL Barco Table 30: Quantity of goats, compared between the community of origin and El Barco GOATS EL BARCO CL 4 15 20 30 30 163 99 CR CL 35 8 0 10 200 30 0 35 248 CR 73 90 TT 6 15 LL 200 VR 74 Total


21 TT 2 6

200 LL 200

74 VR 74

557 Total

Total 2.27 Horses





The quantity of horses, an important animal in the mountain range, with a large cost of maintenance due to the amount of consumption, has increased with 23,81%. Table 31: Quantity of horses, compared between the community of origin and El Barco HORSES EL BARCO CR 4 4 CL 3 3 3 5 0 14 CL 0 0 0 6 3 9 TT 2 0 LL 7 VR 11 Total


8 CR 4 1

2 TT 0 0

7 LL 7

11 VR 11

42 Total

Total 2.28 Fowl






The quantity of fowl has remained more or less the same between Lepoy and EL Barco 2.29 Purchase of Products Concerning the amount of food products purchased, the respondents declared, in general, that they have to purchase more food products in El Barco than they did in Lepoy. Table 32: Purchase of Products comparatively before and after the relocalization 107

PURCHASES More The same Less 2.30 Consumption of Pinenuts

CR 1 1 0

CL 3 2 0

TT 0 2 0

LL 1 0 0

VR 1 0 0

Total 6 5 0

The consumption of Pinenuts has remained stable, at 100%. Some respondents commented that they were able to sell the pinenuts more easily in Lepoy than they can in El Barco, due to their geographical isolation. Table 33: Consumption of Pinenuts El Barco Pinenuts Yes No 2.31 Vehicle Ownership Vehicle ownership has increased between Lepoy and EL Barco. Table 34: Comparison of vehicle ownership between Lepoy and EL Barco Vehicle El Barco YES NO Vehicle Lepoy YES NO CR 2 0 CR 0 2 CL 1 4 CL 1 4 TT 0 2 TT 0 2 LL 1 0 LL 0 2 VR 0 1 VR 0 2 Total 4 7 Total 1 10 CR 2 0 CL 5 0 TT 2 0 LL 1 0 VR 1 0 Total 11 0

2.33 Available goods and services comparatively between El Barco and the community of origin A relative change has occurred between Lepoy and El Barco, in the introduction of electricity. Additionally, there is an increase in the possession of other products such as the radio, gas cooking stove and the availability of water. A point of interest is the introduction of the cellular telephone, in an area that is located 80 km away from the nearest point of service reception. Table 36: Comparison and availability of goods and services between El Barco and the community of origin El Barco CR CL TT LL VR Total Lig ht 2 5 2 1 0 10 Wat er 2 3 0 1 1 7 Wat er 1 3 1 1 0 6 Alcantarilla gas do Stove 2 1 2 2 0 1 0 1 0 1 4 7 Alcantarilla gas do Stove 0 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 Heat er 1 3 1 1 1 7 Heat er 0 0 0 0 0 0 Televisi on 2 1 1 0 0 4 Televisi on 0 0 0 0 0 0 Refrigerat Radi DVD/V or o HS 1 2 2 0 5 1 0 2 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 11 4 Refrigerat Radi DVD/V or o HS 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 4 0 Cellul ar 1 1 0 1 0 3 Cellul ar 0 0 0 0 0 0 108

Lig Lepoy ht CR 0 CL 1 TT 0 LL 0 VR 0 Total 1

2.35 Community Participation Participation in traditional ceremonies and other activities such as community meetings has remained more or less stable. It is important to consider that there has been a decrease in participation in the Nguillatun, when this coincides with an increase in participation in the evangelical church. Table 38: Participation of the inhabitants of El Barco in ceremonies and community meetings Participation El Barco Nguillatun Wetripantu Rogativas Community Meetings CR 1 2 2 T T CL 4 2 2 T AV AV AV LM 4 CL 5 3 5 A A A M NT 5 TT 1 1 1 LM AV LL 1 0 1 AV VR 1 0 0 AV Total 8 5 6

Other Organisation Participation Lepoy Nguillatun Wetripantu Rogativas Community Meetings

2 CR 1 2 2 A A

1 TT 1 0 1 M A

1 LL 1 1 1 A

1 VR 1 0 1 A

9 Total 9 6 10

Other Organisation A: All M: Majority NT: Now and Then






Concerning the community meetings, the respondents revealed that they sometimes do not attend because they are not informed that they will take place. Table 39: Participation in Community meetings, comparative chart: Participation El Barco All Majority Now and Then Participation Lepoy 3 All 2 Majority 6 Now and Then

8 1 1