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News > Chile

Chile: Mapuche Indigenous People Gathered To Condemn Violence

  • Traditional spiritual ceremony to initiate the

    Traditional spiritual ceremony to initiate the "Urgent Conversation", Temucuicui, Chile, Jan. 18, 2021. | Photo: Facebook/ kallfuNawel

Published 19 January 2021

A meeting among Mapuche Indigenous communities was called to reject state-sponsored violence after the violent riot by the Police in Ercilla on January 7.

Mapuche Indigenous leaders on Monday began an "urgent conversation" in the Temucuicui territory to denounce the state violence against Indigenous people promoted by Chile's President Sebastian Piñera.


Chile: Children Office Asks Protection for a Mapuche Girl

The two-day meeting took place after the violence experienced on January 7 when Investigation Police (PDI) officers carried out a raid in the Ercilla community. 

Around 350 people attended the meeting, including the mother and brother of PDI officer Luis Morales who died during the operation.

"The State wants to kill us. I congratulate you for the courage you have had...We are going to share your pain as a family and I hope that Chilean people understand that we have not murdered anyone," Marcelo Catrillanca said to Morales' relatives.

"The urgent conversation takes place in full tranquility in Temucuicui territory. Communities from all over Mapuche lands attend. Media that speak about the dangerous and impregnable organized crime bastion should take note. It is not such."

Mapuche leaders Juan Catrillanca and Victor Queipul pointed out that Piñera's administration promotes "state terrorism, slander, defamation and threats" against the Mapuche community in alliance with other public branches.

Besides Morales' death and considerable material damage to Mapuche's property, a businessman died during the riot and 16 officers were injured. 

On the same day, Angol's Court condemned 7 people, 6 of whom were police officers, for the murder of Mapuche Camilo Catrillanca in 2018. His 7-year-old daughter, widow, and mother were prevented from attending the court to hear the verdict.

Following the brutality exercised by PDI in the riot, Children's Ombudsman presented a claim against PDI Director Hector Espinosa and a protection appeal for a seven-year-old girl who suffered an "illegal and arbitrary detention".

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