Latin America


Repression against the Mapuche people in Chile

On February 10, Mapuche people in Lleu Lleu in Southern Chile were subject to brutal police repression. They were beaten, arrested and their vehicles were burned by state agents.

February 20, 2016

Photo from Izquerda Diaro, Chile

Ignacio Rainao reported on February 12: ‘’Yesterday we were headed to work in Paillaco when suddenly the cops started to come out. They had been hidden on the edge of the road. They got us off our trucks and they were beating us. I was left without a shirt and they threw me at a blackberry-bush. They beat me until I yelled so that my father would hear me. My father was also beaten and asked that they let me go and stop hitting me. ‚Stop hitting my little boy!’ he cried. But they hit me more. I still hear the screams of my father in my head.“

This is part of the testimony of the victims. They also denounce that, ‘’They had us in custody for many hours and on the way they’d kick us every once in a while. When we arrived at the police station in Cañete, we had no shoes and shirts. That night we were very cold.’’

This is the brutal reality in which the Mapuche people have to deal in their struggle.The Mapuche are an indigenous group of south-central Chile and southwestern Argentina, including parts of present-day Patagonia. Today the group makes up over eighty percent of the indigenous peoples in Chile and about nine percent of the total population. There are particularly concentrated in the Araucanía region in southern Chile, around 700km from the capital Santiago. Many others migrated to Santiago for better economic opportunities.

The Mapuche suffer many downright violations of their human rights, including the use of torture. These violations of human rights are committed by the the Chilean state, but the state does not take any responsibility. One example of this is the excessive use of force of the police. This comes in forms of beatings, which in many cases have resulted in permanent injuries. The police forces claim that they only defend themselves, and accuse the Mapuche of using excessive violence against them.

Original Article found entitled "Grave Represión Policial a comuneros del LOF Choque en Leu LLeu" on La Izquierda Diario, Chile

Translated by Camilo Contreras


mapuche   /    indigenous rights   /    Chile   /    Latin America