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  • Mapuche activists demand no more repression against them.

    Mapuche activists demand no more repression against them. | Photo: AFP/G.Bouys

Published 5 August 2020
Opinion

The occupants said that their action is in support of 27 political prisoners of that ethnic group who are on hunger strike and in repudiation of the weekend incidents in several locations.

A hundred Mapuche community members today occupied the municipality of Tirúa in the Bio-Bio region of southern Chile, amidst persistent tension in Araucania since last weekend.

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The occupants of the facility said that their action is in support of 27 political prisoners of that ethnic group who are on hunger strike in prisons in La Araucanía and in repudiation of the weekend incidents in several locations when Mapuche citizens were attacked by Chilean civilians without the intervention of the police.

In a statement, representatives of the Mapuche communities of Tirúa said that this time the takeovers of municipalities reached the territory of Arauco Province (Bio-Bio region), to demand dialogue with the Minister of Justice Hernán Larraín, in search of a solution to the hunger strike.

''In Chile the media manipulate and misinform on the people's demand #Mapuche . The real fight is to enforce the international agreement to the government that has ceded to the political elite and landowner establishing the path of repression.''

The communiqué also points out that what happened last weekend is not an isolated event but ‘’part of a violent strategy of repression against our entire Mapuche Nation.’’

Last week, Mapuche community members occupied several town halls in La Araucanía, claiming the government's attention to the demands of the prisoners on a hunger strike.

However, they were evicted last Saturday and Sunday morning in the midst of serious disturbances in which the Chilean police (Carabineros) and armed civilians, many from extreme right-wing groups, attacked people of Mapuche origin during the curfew imposed by Covid-19.

The political prisoners demand that the Chilean government respect Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization, which refers to the special attention that should be given to native peoples, their customs, and cultures.

Academics of that ethnic group have denounced that the recent events in Araucania revealed the strong racism and structural violence against those native people in the Latam country.

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