Villa Trapa Bajo


The issue of relocation is not simple, nor is it confined to indigenous peoples. The troubles surrounding the dam and forestry issues have spawned some militant actions on the part of some Mapuches and Pehuenches. One of the recurring demands is for the return of lands that were given with government subsidies to European colonists around the turn of the century. Many indigenous groups feel that their rights have been usurped by the colonos whose land rights are passed down through heredity. The group below, who identify themselves only as Chilenos, are farmers who come from an area known as Trapa Trapa above Ralco near the Argentine border. The woman at right Justiua Chavarriga is the secretary of their neighborhood group. Their community, Villa Trapa Bajo is on the outskirts of Santa Barbara.
They say they were forced to leave their land because of violence on the part of the Indians. One man told us of having more than $400 dollars US worth of fencing cut down. They claim that beside threats that there have been fires and that herds were scattered. They don't understand why this is happening.
At 80, Quita Vázquez is the oldest member of the group. She was born and raised in Trapa Trapa.
Seventeen families for now live in these shacks on land that has been rented by Santa Barbara's Municipal government. The people are fearful because of the uncertainty of their futures because they have no rights or title to the land. The young girl below was captivated by our presence. We wish there was something positive we could have left her.
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