March 17, 2000 Geneva, NY – Human rights advocate Reynaldo Mariqueo, who has taken part in the United Nations working group on indigenous populations since 1985 and for the past few years served on the Human Rights Commission in Geneva, will present a talk titled “Mapuche People of the Land: 100 Years of Struggle for Autonomy” at 4 p.m. on Friday, March 31, in the Geneva Room of the Warren Hunting Smith Library on the Hobart and William Smith Colleges campus. The public is invited.
Mariqueo is fighting a battle against the Chilean government for freedom from the devastating effects of hydroelectric dams and deforestation of their land. Mariqueo is a member of the steering committee of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO), an international human rights organization. In his talk at Hobart and William Smith, he will speak about the history of the Mapuche people and their struggle for human rights.
The talk is part of the Colleges year-long Genocide in the 20th Century lecture series. Organizers hope by bringing this issue to the forefront for campus contemplation that they can improve understanding of all life-annihilation processes inherent in our modern world and to help participants learn more about the circumstances under which life-destruction processes tend to focus on specific groups in events known to us as genocide.
UNPO is an international organization created by nations and peoples around the world, who are not represented as such in the world´s principal international organizations, such as the United Nations. Founded in 1991, UNPO today consists of more than 50 members who represent more than 100 million persons. UNPO offers an international forum for occupied nations, indigenous peoples, minorities, and even oppressed majorities who currently struggle to regain their lost countries, preserve their cultural identities, protect their basic human and economic rights and safeguard the natural environment. UNPO does not represent those peoples; it assists and empowers them to represent themselves more effectively. To this end, UNPO provides much needed professional services and facilities as well as education and training in the fields of diplomacy, international and human rights law, democratic processes and institution building, conflict management and resolution, and environmental protection.