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Chilean poet Jaime Huenún’s Reducciones (Reductions; 2012) explores the social and environmental consequences of European colonization since the second half of the nineteenth century, when southern Chile received thousands of German immigrants as part of a state-sponsored colonization plan. Confronted with large stretches of impenetrable native forests, the colonists began a deforestation process in order to prepare the land for agriculture and livestock farming, which left a profound impact on the society, economy, and geography of the region. In less than a century, the region spanning La Araucanía to Chiloé lost at least three million hectares of native forests. The massive destruction of indigenous forests and their recent replacement with pine plantations caused the ecological degradation of regional ecosystems, forcing local farmers to leave their land and join a population of migrant temporary workers. Indigenous territories shifted considerably due to private expropriations of land and forced labor migrations.


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