Chile: new escalation in Mapuche country


A group of masked armed men calling themselves Mapuche Territory Resistance seized control of Malleco National Reserve in Chile’s La AraucanĂ­a region Oct. 9, occupying the administrative offices and releasing a video of the action in which they declare their readiness to resist “any violent act on the part of the State.” The statement accused the Chilean Forestry Corporation (CONAF), which runs the reserve, of “usurpation” of traditional Mapuche lands and opening them to timber exploitation. President Sebastian Piñera responded by lodging a criminal complaint against the occupiers and demanding their eviction.

On Oct. 10 a woman was killed at a protest in support of the Mapuche in Santiago, apparently hit in the head by a police tear-gas cannister. (MercoPress, EFE, T13, Santiago)

HĂ©ctor Llaitul Carillanca, leader of the Arauco Malleco Coordinating Committee (CAM), a militant organization pressing for restitution of traditional Mapuche lands, accused the government of “attacking the communities” that are in struggle “against big capital.” (EFE)

Photo via T13

  1. Two Mapuche killed in clash with security forces

    Two Mapuche men were killed in a clash with Carabineros and naval troops in Arauco province, Biobío region. Authorities said a patrol on a road through the region was ambushed by masked gunmen. The incident occurred a day after President Sebastian Piñera said he had asked Congress to extend the state of emergency and the deployment of military forces in four provinces in Biobio and La Araucania regions, including Arauco. (AFP, EFE, MercoPress)

    That same day, a Mapuche armed organization called  Weichan Auka Mapureleased a video statement in which they demanded the withdrawal of security form their territory, calling them “guard dogs of the rich.” (BiobioChile)