VEZUB Julio Esteban
capítulos de libros
Occupy Every Road and Prepare for Combat Mapuche and Tehuelche Leaders Face the War in Patagonia
VEZUB, JULIO; HEALEY, MARK
The Conquest of the Desert. Argentina's Indigenous Peoples and the Battle for History
University of New Mexico Press
Lugar: Albuquerque; Año: 2020; p. 43 - 70
Francisco P. Moreno, the Argentine explorer and naturalist, heard this slogan at a parliament of confederated caciques in the Indigenous Government of Las Manzanas in 1880. Taking this statement as a point of departure, this chapter reviews the history of Argentine military campaigns of national expansion in Patagonia from the perspective of Mapuche and Tehuelche caciques. We explore how they faced this defensive war, how they positioned themselves against the aggression launched on their territories and populations, and how they perceived and explained the radical violence of nation-states in their correspondence with other indigenous leaders and with military and civil authorities in Argentina and Chile. By conceiving the Conquest of the Desert in the 1870s and 1880s as a social war, or better stated as multiple overlapping wars which played out differently by region and by indigenous polity, we will identify the strategies and tactics of the major caciques or lonkos, their policies and diplomacy, and their alliances and negotiations with national states. This exploration will build on correspondence and other sources, such as ethnographic testimonies from the 19th and 20th century, which allow us to draw closer to the protagonists point of view on these genocidal wars and contrast it with canonical accounts. As a hypothesis, we argue that indigenous leaders were effective in coordinating actions, protecting their people, limiting the extent of mortality and the dismantling of social structures, and negotiating terms of subordination with the newly powerful national state.