Indigenous Community Ma’u Henua
In July of 2016, he was asked by the Commission for Development of Easter Island (CODEIPA) and the recently formed native family groupings, called Honui, to present as a candidate for president of the Ma’u Henua Indigenous Community, then in formation, which was to assume the administration of the Rapa Nui National Park which the then-President of Chile, Michelle Bachelet, was going to turn over to the Rapanui community. An election was called and Camilo won with 80 % of the votes. Ma’u Henua was inscribed in the registries of CONADI (National Corporation for Indigenous Development) with 1,067 members. Camilo was willing to talk about the first years of native administration and the adversity that he later has had to face with the growing criticism of his work.
“The first stage was joint management with CONAF (the Chilean government Forestry Department) which had administered the Park for the previous 50 years. From them, we learned their system of accounting, called POA or Annual Operational Program. The accounts were audited by external accountants, separate from CONAF, who helped us to improve our administrative systems. When we became fully independent at the end of 2017, we continued to present our accounts with the same system, but the department which was now in charge of revising the accounts was National Properties. At the first plenary meeting, the Minister of that area commented to us that there were ‘discrepancies in the accounts’, that is to say, there were errors in the classifications in which we had placed the out-going payments.
“At that point, some people were beginning to complain about the supposed financial ‘irregularities’. It got so bad that they even bothered our financial officer, Francisco Paté, yelling and swearing at him in his own house. He was already under so much stress from the change of system from the POA that he decided to step down. He was replaced by Enrique “Kike” Maure-Tuki, who drew up the plan of operations for 2019 as National Properties had requested and we presented it to CODEIPA, our local auditor. They suggested changes to a few points which have been integrated in the final plan. Unfortunately, the disputes for the control of Ma’u Henua persisted, causing divisions among the Honui family groups.
Entrega del Parque a Ma’u Henua
por la Presidenta Bachelet.
“Cómo la auditoría fue irregular en forma y fondo, la Contraloría General de la República emitió un oficio a la CONADI en el cual presenta que toda esta acción del Gobierno no se ajustó a derecho. Hemos tomado las acciones judiciales pertinentes por falta de probidad y autoría corrupta. En la reciente visita a la isla de los representantes del Museo Británico, participó el Ministro de Bienes Nacionales y yo lo enfrenté, su respuesta fue un simple…‘lo siento, fueron órdenes de arriba’ y nuevamente me pidió que firmara el cambio del Contrato de Concesión a lo cual le respondí que nunca.”
To wrap up, I want to stress that the great promise of Ma’u Henua is in its technological system and in the dedication of our workers who are members of the association and Rapanui. They know that they are caring for the legacy of our ancestors. We have made errors, but we have learned from them, as well. One of our weaknesses is the lack of civic education in the population and another the lack of experience among the younger professionals, but these are only problems of time. We are continuing to train ourselves, to improve day by day. The future of Ma’u Henua lies in respect for the other and respect for the decisions of the majority; that is democracy. This Board of Directors will leave its post in the coming elections of 2020. We need to calm the waters. Fighting leads to nothing more than paralysis and retreat. We should never forget that those who will judge us will be our own children and the coming generations.”
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