Luis Mayol, the regional representative of the Ministry of Interior in La Araucania and a member of conservative President Sebastian Piñera’s ruling coalition announced his resignation during a press conference Tuesday.
Mayol was appointed directly by President Piñera.
His resignation came after protests broke out following the murder of Camilo Catrillanca by members of Chile's Jungle Command on Nov. 14, during a raid in the Ercilla commune.
“A few moments ago I presented my resignation to President Sebastian Piñera. I have made this decision because my main priority is, and always has been, the interest that this government does well and above all that it does well in the Araucania Region,” he said.
Hours before Mayol’s resignation, Christian Democrat legislators had announced that they would present a constitutional accusation (impeachment procedure) against him for his comments regarding Catrillanca's murder.
Mayol had falsely stated that Catrillanca had a criminal record promoting a racist mentality that has led to the criminalization and repression of Mapuche people in Chile. Depicting Indigenous communities as criminals also served as justification for the creation of the Jungle Command in Mapuche territories.
According to Mayol, his resignation was a result of the “pettiness and political narrowness" of the opposition," refusing to recognize any responsibility for the state murder of a young Mapuche man. "I leave my post knowing that I did nothing wrong,” Mayol said Tuesday.
On Monday, scores of Chileans demanded the resignation of Interior Minister Andres Chadwick, who oversaw the creation of the Jungle Command earlier this year to "fight terrorism."
Currently, the Public Ministry is carrying out investigations on Catrillanca’s murder. So far it is known that carabineros (police) present during the fatal shooting lied about not carrying surveillance camera. Four carabineros were dismissed for lying about this and then destroying the memory card which captured the whole incident.
The government also accepted the resignations of General Mauro Victoriano, head of Order and Security of La Araucania, and Ivan Contreras, who leads the Araucania forces.