In Historic Ruling, Chilean Judge Orders Corporation to Return 97 Hectares of Land to Indigenous Community

Lead Photo: Photo by gustavofrazao/ iStock / Getty Images Plus
Photo by gustavofrazao/ iStock / Getty Images Plus
Read more

Indigenous communities across the world have fought and continue to fight for their lands. But it’s not often these groups result victorious over the massive companies (and their endless resources) that have tried to build on these ancestral lands. On Tuesday, a judge ruled that Bosques Arauco S.A. – owned by one of South America’s biggest conglomerates, Grupo Angelini – has to return 97 hectares of land to Ignacio Huilipan, an indigenous community from Arauco.

RELATED: 5 Latin American Land Defenders Putting Their Lives on the Line For Their Communities

In her ruling, Carmen Seguel, magistrate of Juzgado Civil de Cañete, recognized a 1904 title that the Igncaio Huilipan community presented, according to Bio Bio Chile. In the ruling, the judge also invokes Ley Indígena y el Convenio 169 de la Organización Internacional del Trabajo (OIT) to support her decision.

Bosque Arauco began using the land years ago, and will have to return the land when the resolution is final. The case is already being described as historic. However, it’s likely the company will appeal the decision.