Community Radio Brisas del Sur: strengthening local and indigenous governance in the mapuche-chono Antunen Rain community on the Aysén coast, Chile

Community Radio Brisas del Sur: strengthening local and indigenous governance in the mapuche-chono Antunen Rain community on the Aysén coast, Chile

This initiative will implement a communication strategy to strengthen local and indigenous governance in the Huichas archipelago, off the coast of the Aysén region in Chilean Patagonia. The project will have a positive impact on three levels.

At the local level, the Antunen Rain indigenous community will be strengthened through the creation and management of the Brisas del Sur community radio. Through the programming of the radio, the community will generate a space to debate and generate commitment about local problems and needs, as well as greater awareness of collective rights and the possibility of articipating and advocating change in the transformation process the country is currently experiencing. Crucially, it is hoped to promote the rescue and strengthening of the Mapuche-Chono culture and identity on the coast and, from there, to generate proposals for the constitutional process that will soon begin in Chile. Work will also seek to develop a life plan for the community by holding talks on various topics of community interest (e.g.: the environment, indigenous history and identity, indigenous rights and the constitutional process). In all initiatives, special attention will be offered to the situation of women and young people living in the archipelago.

At the level of the regional, national and international indigenous world, mutual support networks will be generated and strengthened. In particular, a meeting will be organized among indigenous communities in the Aysén region, and local people will participate in a meeting of indigenous communicators in Chile or Argentina. In this way, it is hoped to contribute to the strengthening of the identity of the community itself and of other indigenous and local communities that are going through similar processes. This initiative will also seek to network with other community radio stations.

At the regional level, political advocacy and public awareness actions will be carried out to promote the recognition of a marine area conserved by indigenous peoples in the territory. This initiative seeks to ensure the care of marine and coastal biodiversity in the face of the threat of the expansion of the salmon industry, which has already caused havoc in Aysén and the neighboring Los Lagos region. Until today, there has been strong political resistance in Chile to recognize indigenous conservation initiatives, with special intensity in the Aysén Region, given the economic interests of industrial fishing and salmon farming companies in the territory. Another difficulty that will have to be faced is that the approval of marine protected areas is officially under the decision of a body called the Regional Commission for the Use of the Coastal Border (CRUBC), made up mainly of government representatives. This Commission will have to vote on the initiative of the marine area conserved by indigenous peoples in the first half of 2021. However, the experience of other communities has shown that it is possible to achieve a favorable vote through adequate information and awareness at regional level.  In order to generate a favorable atmosphere, it will be necessary that community representatives participate in spaces of discussion and disseminate information about the situation of the coast in the cities of Coyhaique and Puerto Aysén, which are the most populated cities in the region. To this end, the initiative will hold an event to inform on the situation of the coast, its problems and threats and the proposals of the indigenous and local communities.