Below is a translation of a statement released by the Mapuche Community of Wente Winkul Mapu, which experienced additional police raids in their territory on Monday, April 2, 2012. This statement was made public on April 8, 2012 and was translated by Man-Ya Kniese. The original version (in Spanish) is available here.
Community Wente Winkul Mapu denies versions and CLARIFIES circumstances of the death of the GOPE officer
Apr 08, 2012
To the Mapuche communities in resistance and the national and international public opinion, we express the following:
1. – The 2nd of April last, a huge operation of military police, once again, broke into our community in order to raid houses of commoners. This raid was led by the prosecutor antimapuche Luis Chamorro accompanied by armored cars of GOPE and FFEE police in a number of over 100 armed troops to the war.
2. – They proceeded to raid two houses of the Community, in one of them and in front of the homeowner, who is head of the household with three children, they proceeded to seize an old pair of spurs, an agenda and they took pictures a poster alluding to the Mapuche cause.
Con posterioridad Carabineros afirma haber encontrado una escopeta hechiza, lo cual es absolutamente falso y se demostrará en su oportunidad. En la segunda casa y también frente a la dueña de casa, no se encontró nada, y después aparece un cartucho de escopeta calibre 12, de común uso en el campo.
The two lamgen were arrested and taken in the caravan, led by Chamorro towards Collipulli. From the above there are multiple witnesses, including the Jesuit Luis Garcia Huidobro, who witnessed the whole operation in the houses raided. The caravan headed by Chamorro and the detained lamgen is withdrawn in complete normality and went their way toward Collipulli.
3. – After the withdrawing of part of the police convoy and in a different place from the raids, a contingent of more than 60 policemen burst into another section of the community, in different directions, firing indiscriminately against the houses.
This sector has been attacked on numerous occasions and was protected by order of the Court of Appeals of Temuco, to avoid precisely the illegal and arbitrary actions of the police force.
In this situation it is that the sergeant Albornoz was shot, in the backyard of a lamgen, a couple of meters from their window, away from any public road or neighborhood, within the Community, in a place were there are only women and children, as recorded by the press who came to the place.
4. – We categorically deny the irresponsible statements of the prosecution and the police daily changing versions of the facts. First they talked about an ambush on a public road, which has become increasingly clear as totally false.
There was talk of a 9mm bullet, and it proved to be a 38 caliber bullet, police official use. It was stated that police had seen a hooded man with a handgun, now they are talking about a long-range rifle and sniper.
5. – To address these obvious attempts to prepare a setup that emphasizes the repression of the Community, we are most interested in clarifying the truth of what happened and give every facility to a serious and unprejudiced investigation.
In this regard, we call the authorities and to whom it may concern to withdraw from the research management the anti-Mapuche prosecutor Luis Chamorro, because he is a recognized figure for effecting setups against the Mapuche, from the days of the trial Poluco-Pidenco, which is why they put the forestry companies back in Collipulli. Already there has been made contact with officials of the PDI to perform the expert testimony and take the appropriate statements.
Unfortunately, the place where the incident occurred was cleared by police before it was investigated by Labocar members. However, we believe that an impartial and professional investigation can get to clarify the facts, which will not happen if Chamorro continues in charge.
6. – The regrettable death of Sergeant Albornoz, probably caused by a police bullet, is the consequence of the military occupation of our territory, the continuing massive raids and uncontrolled police violence, a force acting as a private guard for forestry companies and landowners, to the neglect and silence of the politicians who have done nothing to resolve the causes of conflict.
We know what it means to have death by murder go unpunished, of our brothers Alex Lemún, Matías Catrileo and Jaime Mendoza Collio, we also know of the growing number of wounded, tortured and imprisoned that these repressive actions of the state have left in our communities and we are the most interested in seeing this war against our people over.
Neither the state repression, much less the military occupation of the Territory will make us abandon our struggle!!
Community Wente Winkul Mapu
April 07, 2012
Contact: Werken Daniel Melinao 81673681