The Huarpe Community are native to what is now Mendoza Capital, where the irrigation system they constructed, is still utilized. European invaders forced the community to Lavalle in what is known as La Conquista del Desierto. Lavalle is an hours drive north and many community members continue living there today.
Those who invaded what became Argentina committed atrocities against the indigenous communities, pueblos originarios, including, but not limited, to rape, murder, and enslavement. Invaders also forced Catholicism, for example, renaming traditional celebrations of communities with names of saints; stifled language and culture by controlling education and practices; and discriminated and oppressed the community rights as citizens.
Argentina has continuously attempted to portray itself as a white, Europeanized, nation. The most recent example comes from their current president, Mauricio Macri when speaking about the Mercosur-EU trade agreement (an agreement between Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uraguay, and the European Union). He states that the trade agreement is “a natural association because, in South America, we are all descendants from Europe” in January of 2018 at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
There are 1 million indigenous people in Argentina and 45 million in South America.