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  • Mural dedicated to Camilo Catrillanca, Chile, 2019.The sing reads,

    Mural dedicated to Camilo Catrillanca, Chile, 2019.The sing reads, "Catrillanca, murdered by the State" | Photo: Twitter/ @chechosmh

Published 7 January 2021
Opinion

He was shot dead by Special Police officers who subsequently tried to cover up his murder.

A Court in Angol city on Thursday is set to hand over its verdict on the murder of the Indigenous Mapuche community member Camilo Catrillanca, aged 24, who was killed by Special Police Operations Group officers (GOPE) in 2018.

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The Prosecutor's Office asked for a 19-year in prison sentence for former GOPER sergeant Carlos Alarcon who was accused of both Catrillanca's assassination and the attempted murder of a minor who was present during the events. 

There are also six other ex-police officers implicated in the case, including GOPER lawyer Cristian Inostroza. The sentences for them range from 300 days of imprisonment to five years.

Over 70 witnesses testified, including former Interior Minister Andres Chadwick, former Undersecretary Rodrigo Ubilla, ex-Police Forces Director Hermes Soto, and medical personnel who attended Catrillanca.

On November 14, 2018, Catrillanca was shot dead in the Temucuicui community by a GOPE operation unit, which tried to cover the unjustified assassination. 

The implicated officials, who initially denied the existence of videos about the operation, reported that Catrillanca died in the middle of a confrontation. 

Following the release of videotapes on Dec. 19, 2018, the official version was ruled out as it was exposed that 12 shots were fired at Catrillanca's tractor, while his 15-year-old companion was arrested and beaten by the police. 

Catrillanca's death sparked a crisis that led to the resignation of Soto and other top officials. In Sep. 2019, the Lower Chamber approved the final report on the case, highlighting the direct political responsibility of Ubilla and Chadwick.

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