Quilmes Ruins, Sacred Place of Diaguita People

Quilmes Ruins, Sacred Place of Diaguita People

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Argentina is a vast country revered for its many natural wonders and beautiful scenery. Less well-known, however, are its historic sites. In fact, some of the most important pre-Columbian ruins, such as the Quilmes site, are to be found in Argentina. They are the remains of a major native American urban settlement that flourished for hundreds of years and they offer a unique insight into an ancient society in this part of Latin America.

The History of The Quilmes Ruins

The ruins are in the Calchaquí Valley, an area of mountains and semi-desert in the Tucumán Province, in the north-east of Argentina. This area had a remarkable variety of landscapes and is renowned for its geographical diversity.

In this arid and stony landscape , the Quilmes people, who belonged to the Diaguita culture, created a sophisticated community. They built an intricate irrigation system which allowed them to be self-sufficient in the harsh environment.

The Quilmes built the city in around 700 AD and it achieved its zenith in the 9 th century AD. We no longer know what the original inhabitants called the settlement, but it is now named after the long-extinct Quilmes people. The findings indicate that the residents were technologically and socially advanced. According to the scant sources available on the inhabitants of Quilmes, it appears that they were ruled by caciques or chiefs.

The area around the settlement is believed to have been rich in minerals. This led to an invasion of the area by the Inca Empire . The Quilmes people, however, were courageous warriors who used the rugged landscape to their advantage. Despite being outnumbered, they were able to repel the army of the Inca in approximately 1480.

Machu Picchu, built by the Incas (Jazbinsek, F/ CC BY-ND-NC 2.0 )

During the sixteenth century the Spanish settled in what is now Argentina. At its height, it is believed that 5,000 people inhabited their town and they traded extensively with other Pre-Columbian societies in the Andes. They also made several attempts to conquers the Quilmes in the Calchaquí Valley. However, the were able to defy the Conquistadors and the present-day ruins were their chief bastion.

The diseases brought by the Spanish, as well as the consistent conflict, resulted in a drop in the population of the town. The Europeans launched a massive attack on Quilmes and finally conquered them in 1665. In total there were only 2,000 survivors and they were sent to a reservation south of Buenos Aires .

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Remains of the stone walls at Quilmes (Bacon, D / CC BY 2.0 )

The Quilmes settlement in the valley was ultimately abandoned after several hundred years of occupation. While on the reservation, the Quilmes people suffered greatly and eventually died out. They were declared extinct in the early 19 th century.

The modern city of Quilmes in Buenos Aires Province was built on the site of the reservation after the loss of the indigenous people. The few remaining descendants of the Diaguita people regard the ruins as a sacred place.

What the Ruins of Quilmes Offer

The ruins are extensive and covers some 30 hectares. The area includes a large number of galleries and buildings that have been built on the side of a mountain. This section of the settlement is a typical pukará, or hillside fortress , that was common in this part of Argentina and the rest of the Andean region before the arrival of the Europeans.

The ruins built on the side of the mountain at Quilmes (Jones, K / CC BY 2.0 )

Other areas of the ruins are situated on the flatlands. The settlement covers a large area of the mountain and the builders erected stone platforms at varying levels. Upon these they constructed spacious buildings. The ruins almost half-way up the mountain testify to the considerable engineering capabilities of the Quilmes.

All of the buildings were constructed in stone - a plentiful material in the arid region . Much of the settlements was once enclosed by high defensive walls, but these are now high, fallen mounds. Since most of what remains of the ruins are the walls, the plans of the houses can still be seen, and it is easy to determine the settlement’s well-planned grid layout. The Quilmes settlement had a number of straight streets and these can still be seen.

Visiting the Quilmes Ruins

There is public transportation to the site from both Cafayate and Tucumán City. An entrance fee payable, but it is also possible to book a tour of the site online. Bike tours to the site are an enjoyable option for those who enjoy exercise while adventuring. Climbing the mountain above the ruins, where the caciques once resided, is a superb way to see the ruins below and the museum has many artifacts from the original settlement on display.


The Quilmes people were an indigenous tribe of the Diaguita group settled in the western subandean valleys of today’s Tucumán province, in northwestern Argentina. They fiercely resisted the Inca invasions of the 15th century, and continued to resist the Spaniards for 130 years, until being defeated in 1667. Spanish invaders relocated the last 2,000 survivors to a reservation (“reducción”) 20 km south of Buenos Aires. This 1,500 km journey was made by foot, causing hundreds of Quilmes to die in the process. By 1810, the reservation was abandoned as a result of its having become a ghost town. The survivors ultimately settled in what is now the city of Quilmes.

The Quilmes Indians were one of the fiercest cultures which resisted the Incas but eventually fell to the Spaniards. Today, there are only a few Quilmes left in Tucumán Province.

Text adapted from Wikipedia’s article on the Quilmes people

Quilmes Indigenous community facing third eviction in three years

The Indigenous Law Distribution of people from Kawesgar in the south to Aymaras in the North

From Indigenous News.org (Website)

“The largest indigenous group in Chile is the Mapuche people (approximately 85% of all indigenous people in Chile), which is concentrated in the south. The Diaguita are a much smaller group living in the more northernly regions of the country. Although difficult to summarize, the situation of most indigenous people is one of poverty and marginalization as a result of the discrimination from which they have historically suffered.

After the first Spanish colonizers settled in the central valley in Chile, the native population began to disappear as a result of the conquest and colonization, and the survivors were gradually absorbed and integrated into the nascent Chilean population. Several attempts by the Spanish to subjugate the Mapuche failed and the Crown recognized the independence of these peoples in various agreements (parlamentos), respecting their territorial sovereignty south of the Bíobío river, which became a real, though porous, border between two societies and two cultures. The Chilean Republic maintained the same relationship with the Mapuche nation during the first half of the nineteenth century, but Chilean forays into the region gradually weakened indigenous sovereignty and led to several conflicts.

Finally, in 1888, Chile embarked upon the military conquest of Araucanía in what became known in the official history books as the “pacification of Araucanía”, which brought about the integration of the region into the rest of the country. In addition, as a result of the war of the Pacific (1879-1883), the Aymara, Atacameño, Quechua and Colla groups in the north of Chile were also integrated. The main outcome of this period for native peoples was the gradual loss of their territories and resources, as well as their sovereignty, and an accelerated process of assimilation imposed by the country’s policies and institutions, which refused to recognize the separate identities of indigenous cultures and languages. Chilean society as a whole, and the political classes in particular, ignored, if not denied, the existence of native peoples within the Chilean nation. The exclusion of native peoples from the popular imagination in Chile became more pronounced with the construction of a highly centralized State and lasted, with a few exceptions, until the late 1980s.

President Salvador Allende, who was elected in 1970, introduced various social reforms and speeded up the process of land reform, including the return of land to indigenous communities. The military regime that came to power following the coup led by Augusto Pinochet reversed the reforms and privatized indigenous land, cracking down on social movements, including those representing indigenous people and the Mapuche in particular.

The treatment of indigenous people as if they were “invisible” did not begin to change until the decline of the military regime, when their most representative organizations began to push a number of demands for recognition of the rights denied to them. The return to democracy in 1989 signaled a new phase in the history of the relationship between indigenous peoples and the Chilean State, embodied in the Nueva Imperial Agreement signed by the then presidential candidate, Mr. Patricio Aylwin, and representatives of various indigenous organizations, and culminating in the 1993 Indigenous Peoples Act (No. 19,253), in which, for the first time, the Chilean Government recognized rights that were specific to indigenous peoples and expressed its intention to establish a new relationship with them.

Among the most important rights recognized in the Act are the right to participation, the right to land, cultural rights and the right to development within the framework of the State’s responsibility for establishing specific mechanisms to overcome the marginalization of indigenous people. One of the mechanisms set up in this way was the National Indigenous Development Corporation (CONADI), which acts as a collegiate decision-making body in the area of indigenous policy and which includes indigenous representatives.

To back up the State’s indigenous policy in this new phase, the Government of President Ricardo Lagos set up the Historical Truth and New Deal Commission, chaired by former President Patricio Aylwin and consisting of various representatives of Chilean society and indigenous people. Its mandate was to investigate “the historical events in our country and to make recommendations for a new State policy”. The Commission submitted its report, conclusions and proposals for reconciliation and a new deal between indigenous people and Chilean society in October 2003.

In September of 2008, after nearly two decades of struggles, the Chilean government ratified Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization (ILO 169), which guaranteed additional rights to the indigenous peoples living in Chile. In particular, ILO 169 supports the rights to consultation, property, and self-determination. The law officially went into effect in September of 2009, and has only now begun being litigated in the courts. Despite the victory ILO 169 represents for indigenous rights, in reality, many conflicts and fights remain to be had between the Chilean government and the indigenous peoples living within its borders.”

Tafí del Valle and Quilmes Ruins Full-Day Tour from Tucumán

The Diaguita Indians called Tafí del Valle “the town of the magnificent entrance” and they were right: Tafí del Valle is one of the most heavenly destinations in Tucumán. Once people get to this summertime villa, the valleys welcome their visitors with their green and brown colors that contrast with the blue sky, with a dike over which the sun reflects and with unpaved roads that are a testimony of years of history. A must do when visiting San Miguel de Tucumán.

ItineraryThis is a typical itinerary for this productPass By: Gral. José de San Martín 564, T4109CVL San Miguel de Tucumán, Tucumán, ArgentinaHotel pick up from Tucuman (selected hotels only).Stop At: Reserva Los Sosa, Las Sosas, Tucumán, ArgentinaLeave Tucumán behind and start ascending the valley through the Route 307. The road goes into the Los Sosa River Gorge, part of the Natural Reserve with the same name. Continuing, we will sight the monument "El Indio". Duration: 1 hourStop At: Menhires Provincial Park, Tafi del Valle ArgentinaHigher, the entrance to the Valley of Tafi is simply shocking. Surrounding La Angostura Dam we will arrive at The Mollar to visit The Menhires. It only takes a walk along the Archaeological Reserve Los Menhires and a look at the 50 types of rocks dating from more than 2000 years (from the beginning of the Christian era)- that rise up to 3 meters high- to be amazed by the archaeological legacy of the primitive races.The word menhir has a Celtic origin and it means “long stone”. The shapes represented in the mehnirs are surprising: sometimes they show human faces and other times animal faces, mainly felines. Others are geometric and there also are combinations of different types.Duration: 2 hoursStop At: Tafi del Valle, Tafi del Valle, Province of Tucuman, Northern ArgentinaLater we will visit the picturesque city of Tafi del Valle. Inside Tafí del Valle, the Jesuit architecture is preserved, the oldest section was built by the Jesuits in the first half of the eighteenth century. In the valley we will have free time for lunch (optional) an then we continue through the Route 307 up to the viewpoint from which the best views of the valley are obtained, in a pronounced zigzag until Abra del Infiernillo , at 3,042 meters high. Duration: 1 hour 30 minutesStop At: Quilmes Ruins (Ruinas de Quilmes), Ruta Nacional 40 Cerro Alto El Rey A 20 Km de Amaicha Del Valle, Amaicha del Valle ArgentinaIn Amaicha del Valle we will visit the square and its surroundings. After connecting with the 40 National Route, the Sacred City of Quilmes breaks left. The visitor will be able to tour the complex with the company of a guide and will be amazed to know every detail of the last bastion on aboriginal resistance against the Spanish advance, that finished in 1667, when 1700 survivors were sent, walking, to the proximity of Buenos Aires (currently the city of Quilmes), where only 400 of them made it there. The Museo del Sitio (currently out of service for restoration) showcases pieces obtained in the excavations and invites you to dive into an unprecedented legacy.Duration: 2 hoursStop At: Gral. José de San Martín 564, T4109CVL San Miguel de Tucumán, Tucumán, ArgentinaThe return includes hotel drop-off in Tucumán.Duration: 3 hours

What's included

  • Professional guide
  • Hotel pickup (selected hotels only)
  • Entry/Admission - Quilmes Ruins (Ruinas de Quilmes)

What's not included


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The Andes Before the Incas

The descendants of the people who lived in ruined and lost settlements like Quilmes and Tilcara can be found today in towns such as Purmamarca and Humahuaca. In recent years, these towns have become a hotbed of tourist activity, owing to both the stunning geography and the customs of the people.

In the far north west of Argentina in the high and arid landscapes of the Andes bordering Bolivia, archaeologists have excavated pre-Hispanic ruins which were once home to indigenous people prior to the Inca Empire’s reign in the region and long before the arrival of the Spanish.

Dozens of settlements have been found – like those at Quilmes and Tilcara, each having hosted several thousand people, known locally and collectively as the “Diaguita”. These pre-Colombian tribes inhabited parts of Northwestern Argentina, Bolivia and Chile.

The region is famed for its picturesque multi-coloured rock formations, mountain cliffs, and fertile river valleys cutting through the dramatic landscape.

Quebrada de Humahuaca, Argentina. Pilot Productions.

The descendants of the people who lived in ruined and lost settlements like Quilmes and Tilcara can be found today in towns such as Purmamarca and Humahuaca. In recent years, these towns have become a hotbed of tourist activity, owing to both the stunning geography and the customs of the people.

Purmamarca is a small settlement, a village almost, and is famous for the coloured rocks cliffs that overlook it. Humahuaca is bigger, more of a town situated in the mountain range Quebrada de Humahuaca, which has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2003.

At higher altitudes just over an hour from Purmamarca, the infamous and stunning Salinas Grandes salt flats can be found at elevations of almost 15,000 feet.

Salinas Grandes, Argentina, Esteban Maringolo, Flickr Creative Commons

The perfect scenery of the Andes doesn’t stop here – an even more spectacular kaleidoscope of rock formations can be found 40 minutes outside the town – at 4,000 metres – high up in the Andes. It’s a rocky drive on winding mountain dirt roads to get there. Here, high mountain cemeteries of generations passed dot the sparse landscape and roaming herds of llamas and vicuña – the wild ancestor of domesticated Alpacas – can be found.

The Spanish conquered this region in the 16th century and the tribes here were driven out of their hilltop settlements, leaving behind many colonial architecture and relics. It wasn’t until the early 19th century that Argentina regained its independence the occasion celebrated by the installation of a huge statue overlooking Humahuaca sculpted by renowned native Tilcara sculptor, Ernesto Soto Avendano. Atop sits a native Indian, arm raised in freedom.

Before independence the area had become part of the rail transit route for silver travelling from nearby Bolivia. One of the lines ran high up into the Andes, following the ancient routes of it’s nomadic peoples. This section of the line has long been closed due to some mining operations ceasing and the competitive cost of road-haulage, but the relics of this bygone era remain in places like Volcan. However it would appear that it is not the end of the line for the rail systems in the Argentine Andes. A drive to improve the ecological impact of transportation in the region has resulted in talks of new solar-powered rail links between Volcan and Humahuaca, which could see large parts of existing railways revived and suitability for tourist-filled passenger trains improved.

Nowadays the indigenous people of the Andes embrace their ancient heritage more than ever. Special flags fly over the old ruined settlements at Quilmes and Tilcara, a tribute to their special significance and status, and schoolchildren visit to eagerly learn the history of their ancestors.

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Once in the past, Quilmes was a great pre-Columbian city in northern Argentina. Brutal invasion by the Spaniards forced the Quilmes Indians to flee and abandon everything they owned. Before they left, they tried to defend their holy city, until the end.
Located in the Calchaqui Valleys, Tucuman Province, the ancient Quilmes ruins are the remains of the largest pre-Columbian settlement in Argentina.
The ruins were discovered in 1888 by Samuel Alejandro Lafone Quevedo, but it was first in 1897 these ancient structures were studied by the archaeologist Juan Bautista Ambrosetti. It was ancient city, occupying about 30 hectares with high population density, complex socio-cultural structures and highly developed irrigation mechanisms. The area dates back to ca 850 AD and it is believed that about 5,000 people lived in the city.
History was not kind to the Quilmes people. They were an indigenous tribe of the Diaguita group in Argentina. They resisted the Inca invasions of the 15th century, and continued to resist the Spaniards for 130 years, until finally being defeated in 1667.
When the Spanish conquistadors arrived the Quilmes Indians were more or less helpless, but they fought as best as they could. At the end the only option was to escape the invaders.To save themselves, they had to walk with only the minimum necessary supplies for more than 1200 km. The walked all the way, until they came to the vicinity of the city of Buenos Aires. Hundreds of people died during this journey. Those who survived died later from diseases that were unknown to them. It is the place where now the city of Quilmes stands, which keeps its name the memory of that people.

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Description of El Shinkal Site

It was built at a strategic point which had been in pre-inca times an otinkuy, that is a "meeting point" for the local native Diaguita people.

It was located between the Hondo and Quimivil rivers before they vanish into the dry sandy area known as the "Campos de Belén". A closed basin to the east.

It protected the southern access to the Hualfín Valley.

It has almost one hundred stone and masonry buildings these are the main ones:

What Kallanka 1 looked like. El Shinkal. Couso M.G, et al.

  • Kallankas. These are five rectangular structures with stone walls, on the main square. Their thatched roofs have gone.
  • Qollqas, Circular buildings used as storage areas.
  • Perimetral buildings.
  • Aukaipata the main public square.
  • Two terraced hills 25 m tall (82 ft.), they are located on both sides of the square and stairways lead to their summits. The eastern one was the "Sun Temple".
  • Sinchiwasi , on the south side of the square, its name meant "barracks": sinchi: warrior and huasi: home.
  • Ushnu or throne on the square. This platform 16 m long (52 ft) and 2 m tall (6 ft) was located in the middle of the square and was shaped like a truncated square pyramid. Stairs led to the platform. There is a large stone or bench on its northern side. It is the largest Ushnu south of Lake Titicaca.
  • The area around the sqare was the residential district, with rectangular buildings which were homes.
  • The Inca Trail, cobbled here, runs towards the north and west. An aqueduct crosses the town.

Inca Trail

UNESCO World Heritage Site . Known as Qapaq Ñan, it is the Inca road network that spans several South American countries.

The main Inca Trail left the village of Ciudacita in the Nevados de Aconquija mountains on the provincial border between Tucumán and Catamarca. It ran west to the Inca settlement at Hualfín and turned south along what is now the alignment of Ruta 40 through Belén, Londres and Shincal.

From Shincal it goes through the "Cuesta de Zapata" which is a pass across the Zapata Mountains, and was part of the "old" Ruta 40 alignment. It reaches the Abaucán Valley and the Inca site at Watungasta near the modern town of Tinogasta. ("gasta" is the suffix that meant "town" in the Diaguita's Kakan language).

A branch then ran south into the provinces of La Rioja, San Juan and Mendoza

El Shinkal de Quimivil Panoramic view of the site and its main buildings:

The El Shinkal (Shincal) de Quimivil site , Londres, Catamarca .

Shinkal Meaning of the Name

There are many versions about the origin of the name "SHINCAL":

The best known one says that it is a phonetic deformation of the name of a local bush, the Shinqui. This is probably a Kakan word (the lost language of the now vanished Diaguita people). It is a thorny bush known nowadays as chilca (Flourensia campestris).

Another version says that wen Adán Quiroga discovered the site in 1901 it was covered with this bush whose Quechua name is "chillka" or "chillika" so the place was known as: "Shincal".

El Shinkal de Quimivil&rsquos terraced hilll:

Stairs on the terraced Hill at Shinkal de Quimivil , Londres Catamarca

Quimivil, the other part of the name

The place's name has a second word, written ad Quimivil or Quinmivil. It is probably a deformation of the word Quilmevid, which was the way that Gaspar Doncel wrote it when he founded the city of "Londres" for the third time on May 24, 1607. This third foundation was named "San Juan Bautista de la Ribera" (Spain and England were at war and Londres -Spanish for London- had become unpopular). The town was built where Belén is nowadays.

Like the first two, it was destroyed by the natives during the Calchaqui Wars.

Quilmes and Quimivil

The name "Quimivil" is a clear reference to the Quilmes (or Kilmes) people, of Diaguita origin, as suggested by historian Lafone Quevedo, who in the late 1800s was sure that the Quilmes had lived here in the "Valle de Londres", then, escaping from the victorious Spaniards, they fled to Tucumán, to what now is the site of "Ruinas de los Quilmes" on Ruta 40.

So the place known as "Quilme" and "Vil" which meant settlement, so "Quilmevil" means: "village of the Quilmes".

Another version says that Quimi means "post" or "idol" (totem), hence: adding "vil" to it leads to "Village of the idol". The Diaguita people vernerated painted and decorated posts.

Londres = London

The town of Londres next to Shincal was first founded by the Spanish conquistador Pérez de Zurita, on June 24, 1558. He located it in the Shinkal site proper.

He proclaimed the city on the stairs of the Ushnu and named "Londres" (Spanish for London) to commemorate the coming wedding of Phillip II, King of Spain and Queen May Tudor of England, the Catholic daughter of Henry VIII.

It was an impressive Inca town

Spanish conquistador Diego de Almagro passed by El Shincal on his expedition into Northern Argentina and Chile in 1536 after the fall of the Inca Empire to Francisco Pizarro.

A Spanish chronicler wrote about Shincal in 1586 (sic): I heard Captain Blas Ponze say. that Londres was peopled. governors and captains of the Ynga [Inca] of Cuzo, lord of the Piru [Peru] and that they extracted their tribute in gold and silver and sent them to the Ynga, taking them from the mines of this Londres. And that when the Adelantado [Conqueror chartered by the King of Spain] Almagro passed by into the kingdom of Chille [Chile] to conquer it through this Londres, it had five hundred soldiers and more than three thousand service indians. "

In other words, the Inca operated gold mines and had a garrison of 500 men and 3,000 natives here, paying tribute to the Inca Emperor.

Quilmes Ruins, Sacred Place of Diaguita People - History

Level Description Criteria
1 Unreached - Few evangelicals and few who identify as Christians. Little, if any, history of Christianity. Evangelicals - Few evangelicals, but significant number who identify as Christians. Evangelicals 5% and - Few evangelicals, but many who identify as Christians. In great need of spiritual renewal and commitment to biblical faith. Evangelicals 50%
4 Partially reached - Evangelicals have a modest presence. Evangelicals > 2% and - Evangelicals have a significant presence. Evangelicals > 10%

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Scripture Prayers for the Diaguita in Argentina.

People Name General Diaguita
People Name in Country Diaguita
Population this Country 74,000
Population all Countries 122,000
Total Countries 2
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 4 ●
Unreached No
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Structured and structuring identity from territorial demands

  • 22 We use the concept of interculturality in the sense of C. Walsh (…) when referring to the indigenou (. )

26 In the last few decades, the indigenous peoples of Latin America have played a notable role in bringing visibility to their struggles to achieve specific demands, above all those linked to claims on ancestral territories. Countries such as Bolivia and Ecuador, just to name two examples, have generated national public policies that include, at least as their explicit objectives, policies for recognition of cultural diversity. These two countries, which share a common history of colonial plunder, have done this in different ways. This has generated distinct intercultural policies (not multicultural policies), 22 since these can bring with them a new political epistemological paradigm, that is, a distinct vision of society that allows for new social creations.

27 In recent years in Argentina a series of claims have been filed by native peoples. Far from just suddenly appearing onto the scene as if they were part of some sort of current political engineering, these have had many years of development in the past. In the particular case of Tucumán claims were made during the 1970s, although these were interrupted by the country 's military dictatorship. There is documentation that links the Quilmes Indigenous Community with negotiations with the national government in 1973. According to the same chiefs from Tucumán, the claims today have become centred on recognition of territories, an end to poverty, and access to full civil rights.

  • 23 National Constitution art. 75.17: “To recognize the ethnic and cultural pre-existance of the indige (. )
  • 24 See the complete version at: http://www.ilo.org/public/spanish/region/ampro/lima/publ/conv-169/conv(. )

28 These discussions are able to move forward because of the existence of a legal umbrella. In the context of strong neoliberal policies in the 1990s, the indigenous communities entered into the National Constitution of 1994 with their ethnic and cultural pre-existence recognized (art. 75 subsec. 17 ). 23 This was a political event that marked the beginning of a new stage for relations between the national government and Argentina's native peoples. Later, in 2000, Argentina ratified the International Labour Organization's Convention no. 169, which entered into force in July 2001. 24 The ratification of this agreement made it a part of Argentina's body of national law, and this implied the recognition of even more rights for the native peoples than they were granted at that time under the National Constitution. In this convention, the rights that the government recognized for the Indigenous Peoples included the integrity of their culture and lands, their forms of social, economic, and political organization, and their traditional indigenous law. This is how a new chapter was opened up in terms of relations between the national government and the indigenous communities, and it is therefore within the scope of this legal framework that the communities, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and Argentina itself begin to operate politically . Discussions regarding the scope of these recognition strategies clearly demonstrate the tensions related to the construction of rights, since all interventions in this territory bring practical and symbolic consequences for all of the parties involved, and conflicts of interest that often become antagonistic.

  • 25 This document, produced collectively in workshops and other discussion forums, was delivered to Arg (. )

29 In 2010, more than 37 native peoples-nations met at the National Congress of Indigenous Peoples for Territorial Organization (ENOTPO by its Spanish acronym), and they signed a document known as the Bicentennial Pact. This document expressed the demands of the indigenous communities in the face of the national government's public policies, under the slogan "to decolonize the nation is to confront the profound inequalities and transform them into proposals for social justice and true participation of the peoples". This agreement emphasizes territorial claims and compliance with Law 26160, which creates the programme for territorial redistribution for indigenous communities. It also calls for legal regulation of Free, Prior, and Informed Consent, a right frequently subjugated by the national government as well as by mining corporations and other companies in the extractive industries focused on natural resources. The creation of an intercultural indigenous government ministry with the active participation of the indigenous peoples was also added to the proposals, as was compliance with the Audiovisual Media law (Law 26522) for restitution of the public voices of the communities. A quota law was also requested that would allow participation in the country's executive, legislative, and judicial power structures, in addition to other demands related to health programmes that include traditional medicinal practices, replacement of symbols, street names, monuments, and paper currency designs that glorify the genocide committed against Argentina's native peoples, and the development of lines of research on the genocidal acts perpetuated.25


The Diaguita , also called Diaguita-Calchaquí, are a group of South American indigenous peoples. The Diaguita culture developed between the 8th and 16th centuries in what are now the provinces of Salta, Catamarca, La Rioja and Tucumán in northwestern Argentina, and in the Atacama and Coquimbo regions of northern Chile.

The Diaguita were one of the most advanced Pre-Columbian cultures in Argentina. They had sophisticated architectural and agricultural techniques, including irrigation, and are known for their ceramic art.

You can learn more about the Diaguita at beingindigenous.org

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Watch the video: The ruins of the Sacred City: Alternative indigeneity in the other-history of Quilmes