Chile: police attack Mapuche community after clash at timber camp

One sergeant and two riflemen of Chile’s Carabineros police force were hurt in a firefight at Fundo Centenario timber camp near the village of Ercilla, in Chile’s AraucanĆ­a region Oct. 1. Owner of the predio, or land-holding, Juan de Dios Fuentes, said some 50 local Mapuche comuneros entered the property, cutting trees and tearing down fences, and fired on the Carabineros when they interfered. (Cooperativa, Chile, Oct. 2) Elite forces from the Special Police Operations Group (GOPE) subsequently invaded the nearby Mapuche community of WaƱako Mellao. The community’s lonco, or traditional chief, Carlos Curinao, said the troops fired into homes where families took shelter, and the cries of frightened and possibly wounded children could be heard. The community remains under occupation. (Radio Galactika, Chile, Oct. 2)

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