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  • A Human Rights activist holds up an indigenous Mapuche flag next to banners of missing people reading 'Truth and Justice' as they demonstrate during the International Human Rights Day in Santiago, Chile December 10, 2018.

    A Human Rights activist holds up an indigenous Mapuche flag next to banners of missing people reading 'Truth and Justice' as they demonstrate during the International Human Rights Day in Santiago, Chile December 10, 2018. | Photo: Reuters

Published 30 December 2018

In the context of Camilo Catrillanca's murder, communities are standing against brutality and colonialism.

Mapuche communities from the Los Rios region, south of Temuco, sent a protest letter to the Chilean President Sebastian Piñera, condemning the murder of Camilo Catrillanca and demanding him to end the militarization process in their territory.

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Chile: Police Repress March in Defense of Mapuche's Rights

The letter, signed by representatives of the Lanco, Panguipulli and Mariquina communities, express “total indignation for the horrific and inhumane way in which a group of Carabineros … took the life away from Camilo Catrillanca,” and demands the president publicly announce a real process to demilitarize the Mapuche territory.

Cornelio Compayante, one of the signing representatives from Lanco, said the letter also demands the restitution of the Mapuche ancestral territory and the creation of a clarification commission on the indigenous group’s history “to avoid that every authority has its own truth about the history of the Mapuche people and its rights.”

“We’re aiming for the total recovery of our Mapuche territory, being invaded by the big logging companies,” said Compayante.

Regarding a possible link between the Los Rios communities and the Malleco Arauco Coordinator (CAM) and other organizations that have claimed responsibility for attacks, the representatives said that “violent groups exist because the State is violent in the Mapuche territories.”

The family of Catrillanca called for two days of nationwide protests on Thursday and Friday, answered by Mapuche and non-indigenous people in rural and urban areas.

On Thursday, the Mapuche community of Santiago delivered a letter demanding the resignation of the Interior Minister Andres Chadwick, whom they consider to be politically responsible for the murder of Catrillanca, answering to the call for protest.

The letter was directed to Piñera and demands an end to the “repressive policies” of the Chilean government towards the Mapuche people.

“Given that the minister Andres Chadwick is responsible for the Carabineros, we make him responsible for the crimes committed in our territory, especially with what happened with Camilo Catrillanca,” Ricardo Inalef, werken (spokesperson) of the Metropolitan Mapuche Coordinator, told the press.

Catrillanca was shot to death on Nov.14 while driving his tractor in the Temucuicui community. 

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