Annual Survey of International & Comparative Law


This paper is based on the contention, included in the 1997 Proposed American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, that "traditional collective systems for control and use of land, territory and resources, including bodies of water and coastal areas, are a necessary condition for [indigenous peoples'] survival, social organization, development and their individual and collective well-being." It intends to present and analyze some of the issues facing the Mapuche peoples of Chile as they fight to maintain control of water resources in their territories. The right to water is chosen, amongst other human rights also at stake in the case under study, as it is illustrative of the struggle for control of scarce natural resources that is at the centre of human rights conflicts involving indigenous peoples.