The National Parks Administration (APN) declared the Lanín Volcano as “Sacred Mapuche Natural Site”, a decision that was described as “a historical fact” by the Mapuche Confederation of Neuquén. However, Neuquén governor Omar Gutiérrez came out to repudiate the initiative, anticipating that he will advance with administrative decisions and legal presentations to reverse the resolution and pointed out that the volcano belongs “to all Neuquén men and women.”
The decision made by the body dependent on the Ministry of the Environment was communicated through resolution 438, which determines that a joint work mechanism must be created with the Mapuche People for the preparation of a Management Plan for the Sacred Natural Site of the Lanín-Pijan Volcano. Mawiza.
According to the resolution, this joint management plan should define, together with the Mapuche People, the criteria for use and zoning, the modalities of intercultural management of the site and the allocation of the necessary resources to comply with this resolution.
The resolution indicates that part of the APN’s policy is to recognize “sacred places as a conservation value for the communities and for the protected area, and especially the Lanín Volcano as one of them” and indicated that the declaration as a natural site sacred responded to a request from the Mapuche Confederation of Neuquén.
“The values of the Pijañ Mawiza are related to our way of life, of those of us who have always lived with it and the ecosystem it feeds; it is linked to the Mapuche national identity and is necessary for important ceremonial and religious purposes,” the confederation said after hearing the NPC’s decision.
In addition, the Mapuche confederation valued the recognition of the sacred place as a way to protect it from “human behavior is having dramatically negative effects on the diversity of lives on the planet and at the same time, languages, belief systems, traditional values, the rich cultural diversity”.
The rejection came from the governor of Neuquén, Omar Gutiérrez, who described the decision as “an outrage against the provincial autonomies, another act of centralism and interference.” and anticipated that it will initiate “the corresponding administrative and legal actions because it is an illegitimate and illegal act.”
“The Lanín is a symbol of the Neuquén identity and belongs to all Neuquén men and women; it forms part of our geography and cultural identity and is on our provincial coat of arms, the provincial anthem and our flag,” the provincial president stressed, pointing against the value they have for the Mapuche People, pre-existing the provinces that made up the Argentine State.