An analysis and discussion of the struggles and demands of indigenous peoples for autonomy, in the countries of Latin America, must rise above predictions of disaster. It must avoid the chronic temptation to classify this influential trend as a potential threat to nationhood that must be addressed decisively by reducing or eliminating the demand. The present work discusses a potential future crisis between Chile and Argentina if the Mapuche demand for one people, one territory becomes established and develops forcefully on both sides of the Andes. What is known as the Mapuche Conflict could become a bi-national variable. It must be recalled that this area contains significant numbers of Mapuche communities on both sides of the Andean range. If it intensifies, the actors in the crisis, in addition to the Mapuche, will be two states with not a few disputes in their history since independence from Spain. We still have unresolved border issues and other significant, and recently expressed, misunderstandings and differences of a serious tone. In the event of a nationalistic-type Mapuche Conflict, these differences could lead to a crisis in border relations in which the two sides could find themselves in highly disparate positions regarding the "what," "how," and "when" to do and in benefit of whom to act, as occurred and continues to occur in many other matters, including indigenous issues, beginning with ILO Convention 169 that Argentina signed six years ago and Chile has refused to sign.
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