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News > Chile

Chile: Slain Mapuche Camilo Catrillanca Was Under Surveilance

  • Camilo Catrillanca was being surveilled by Chile's police before his death according to a secret report.

    Camilo Catrillanca was being surveilled by Chile's police before his death according to a secret report. | Photo: EFE

Published 28 November 2018

Two sergeants are suspected of killing Camilo Catrillanca while a report suggests he was being surveilled by police for a year before his death.

Chile's Public Ministry has concluded that two carabineros, sergeants Gope Raul Avila and Fabian Alarcon, are the main suspect in the case of the murder of Mapuche man Camilo Catriallanca, local media reported Wednesday. 


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After ballistic analyses, it was confirmed that the bullets that pierced Catrillanca were fired from the rifles carried by only two of the four Carabineros (police force) involved in the operation in Mapuche territory that culminated with the murder of Camilo on Nov. 14.

Police and authorities have tried to make it seem like an accident, however, a report from the Specialized Operational Intelligence Unit of Carabineros (UIOE) showed that Camilo Catrillanca was being closely surveilled a year prior to his assassination. The report was published by local media El Desconcierto on Tuesday.

Alarcon is the one who first fired at Catrillanca. According to his testimony during the internal investigation procedures, he did not shoot Catrillanca directly but shot at the tractor from which the bullet allegedly bounced hitting Camilo.

Sergeant Avila is the policeman who broke the memory card that contained footage of the operation, destroying evidence in the case. 

The secret report by the UIOE described Catrillanca as the leader of the Mapuche Territorial Alliance, an organization from the Temucuicui region in Chile, and it also details he had been under surveillance since mid-2017.


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The 28 pages report included details of Mapuche leaders and organizations fighting for their rights and territories.

Ciper reported that the data was used to inform Chilean authorities of the progress Carabineros made in the area. Not only that, but the report also includes the names of six Mapuche children and teens who might get involved in "damages and disorders in Ercilla's urban sector" in the future.

The report weakens police theories that Camilo Catrillanca was mistakenly targeted and have increased public outrage directed at the police and competent authorities, including Interior Minister Andres Chadwick and President Sebastian Piñera, who treat the Mapuche struggle as a case of terrorism. 

Echoing public outrage, on Tuesday 66 Chilean legislators from different political parties demanded the creation of a special investigation commission to determine political responsibility regarding Catrillanca's murder. The commission would look into the Ministry of Interior and Carabineros in their dealings with Chile's Mapuche community.

It will also include the investigation of financial resources, human technology, intelligence policies, and the resources invested in the operations of Chile's Jungle Command in La Araucania.

The commission would submit its report within 120 days.

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