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News > Chile

Violence Grows High in Chile's Araucania Region

  • Members of the Investigative Police carry out an operation, Ercilla, Chile, Jan. 7, 2021.

    Members of the Investigative Police carry out an operation, Ercilla, Chile, Jan. 7, 2021. | Photo: EFE

Published 8 January 2021

A police operation in the Indigenous community of Temucuicui left 2 people dead and 8 injured.

Chile's Production and Commerce Confederation (CPC) President Juan Sutil condemned the violent events that resulted in the death of rural worker Orwal Casanova and a police officer in the La Araucania region on Thursday. 


Chile To Condemn Murderers of Indigenous Mapuche Catrillanca

The Mapuche Territorial Alliance (ATM) noted that over 60 Police Special Force contingents were deployed in the Ercilla community to carry out what  President Sebastian Piñera's administration described as an operation against a drug and arms trafficking network. 

The police action took place in the context of the final trial on the assassination of Indigenous Mapuche Camilo Catrillanca whose family was prevented from reaching court.

Casanova passed away after being shot in the face in the La Victoria commune. Officer Morales was a member of the Investigation Police's Tactical Reaction Team and died after being shot in the head. 

"Here it is not a problem of different administrations, it is a problem of the State. We have an agenda for advancing Indigenous development that has been stalled for decades. There is no progress in terms of their demands and their recognition," Sutil said.

Right-wing parties have criticized Piñera's passivity while noting that the strategy designed for La Araucania has been "a complete failure".

Victoria Mayor Javier Jaramillo warned that the situation will continue to worsen if "concrete public policies" are not implemented. 

On Thursday, The Angol Court found former police officer Carlos Alarcon guilty of the murder of Catrillanca and the attempted murder of a teenager.

Catrillanca's case dates back to November 14, 2018, when a police operation was carried out in the Temucuicui community, following an alleged complaint of car theft.

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