The National Liberation Zapatista Army (EZLN), the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) and the Indigenous Government Council (CIG) from Mexico condemned the murder of the Mapuche Campesino Camilo Catrillanca by Chilean security forces and expressed solidarity with the struggle to protect their territory.
Catrillanca, 24, was fatally shot in the back of the neck on Nov. 14 by police in the Temucuicui community, Araucania, during a repressive operation in the Mapuche territory.
Police and authorities tried to make it seem like an accident, but 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, published by local media El Desconcierto, described Catrillanca as the leader of the Mapuche Territorial Alliance, an organization from Temucuicui.
“We’re aware of the centuries-long struggle of the Mapuche people defending their forests and rivers, as well as the repression and stagings by the bad Chilean government’s police forces over Mapuche territories to end with the defense of life,” a joint statement reads.
The Indigenous organizations condemned the attack and demanded an end to repression and criminalization against the Mapuche people.
“We also demand for the death of the Mapuche Camilo Catrillanca not to remain unpunished. We reiterate our respect and solidarity with the Mapuche people. We salute their honorable fight in defense of life and territory,” the statement concludes.
Catrillanca’s murder sparked nationwide protests in the country by Chileans and Mapuches demanding the resignation of Interior Minister Andres Chadwick.
On Friday, the ministry ordered pre-trial prison for four of the involved police officers, accused of murder and obstructing the investigation, due to considering them a threat to society and the investigation.