Tag Archives: Carabineros

Chilean Court Prohibits Use of Tear Gas Against Mapuche Communities

On Wednesday, December 21st, the Temuco Court of Appeals decided a case in which they ordered the Chilean police force to refrain from using tear gas in the homes of Mapuche communities near Ercilla. The court’s order also stated that tear gas should not be used when women, children or elderly people are present. The case was brought by the Mapuche community of Wente Winkul Mapu, after their homes were raided by officers firing tear gas in November of this year. The court’s decision cited several international law instruments, including ILO Convention 169. Continue reading

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Police Raid Mapuche Community in Temucuicui, Juvenile Arrested

On Thursday, December 8th, another incident occurred between police officers and the Mapuche community in Temucuicui (in the comuna of Ercilla). As with other incidents, the facts of what happened vary heavily depending on whether the statement is coming from the police forces or from the community members. What is clear is that police forces — including a helicopter — entered into the Mapuche community and began raiding the area. According to several Mapuche, there were dozens of officers present (one report said approximately 300 officers in total), tear gas was used, and no reason was given for the raid. The police, on the other hand, claim that they sent three officers and a helicopter and were trying to locate missing livestock. Continue reading

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Police Officer Sentenced to Five Years for Killing of Mapuche Individual

More than two years after Chilean police officer Patricio Jara Muñoz shot and killed a 24-year-old Mapuche man named Jaime Mendoza Collío, the Military Court of Valdivia issued a sentence of five years and one day for Jara. This is a reduction in the fifteen year sentence that Jara was originally given — a sentence that was originally recommended by the Military Prosecutor in the case. At the time of this writing, no explanation for the reduction in penalty has been made public. Continue reading

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Three Mapuche, Three Police Injured; Two Mapuche Arrested in Ercilla

On Wednesday, November 2nd, more violence broke out in Ercilla resulting in multiple injuries and arrests. Although the details and timeline of the incidents are disputed, according to multiple reports rubber bullets were fired by both Mapuche individuals as well as police officers in the area of Chequenco on Wednesday. The initial confrontation appears to have started in relation to the presence of forestry vehicles — with police protection — operating in the area. By the end of the day, in addition to injuries, two Mapuche individuals were taken into custody on the one hand, and the Mapuche community of Wente Winkul Mapu was considering a lawsuit against the police on the other. Continue reading

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UN High Commissioner Discusses Indigenous Issues in Chile

This week Chile finds itself hosting Kang Kyung-wha, the United Nation’s Deputy High Commission on Human Rights. Kang is largely in the country due to the ongoing protests and movements related to education within Chile, but is also taking some of her time to discuss Indigenous rights. During her time in the country, Kang spoke about Indigenous rights with the President of Chile’s Supreme Court, the Mapuche Federation of Students (FEMAE in Spanish), and the Mapuche Territorial Alliance among others. Continue reading

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Mapuche Man Found Dead in Conflict Zone of Ercilla

On Saturday, October 8th, the body of a 32-year-old Mapuche man named Ramiro Queipul Colihuinca was found by his relatives in the Roble Huacho sector of Ercilla. Queipul’s body was found with a gunshot wound to the chest and early evidence suggests that he died on Friday, October 7th. The police are continuing to investigate the cause, manner and circumstances surrounding the death. Continue reading

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Multiple Clashes Between Mapuche and Police in Ercilla; Four Officers Injured

On Sunday, October 2nd, there were multiple reports of two separate incidents between police and large groups of individuals in Ercilla on traditional Mapuche land. The first incident involved approximately 40-50 people who began cutting down trees and knocking down fences. Ultimately, three officers were injured during this confrontation. The second incident involved approximately 20 masked men on a different piece of property in which one police officer was injured. Continue reading

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Mapuche Communities Report Increased Police Activity in Araucanía

On Thursday, September 1st, the Mapuche Territorial Alliance (Alianza Territorial Mapuche) issued a declaration claiming that the Mapuche community Ignacio Queipul in Temucuicui, located in the comuna of Ercilla, was subject to police helicopters patrolling the area and taking photographs “in a clear act of intimidation and terror.” Meanwhile, a separate report from Radio Bio-Bio stated that the home of former Mapuche hunger striker, Luis Menares Chamileo, was raided by dozens of police officers in the Araucanía region as well. That article indicated that the raid was a part of three coordinated raids (the other two apparently in Santiago) in which the police confiscated documents and technology of sympathizers of the Mapuche movement. Continue reading

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Mapuche Teens Takeover Town to End “Police Brutality”

Article submitted by Katie Manning, courtesy of MiVoz.cl.

A decades-old debate over a 150-year-old conflict is heating up as Chilean cities spend their winter under a blanket of protests. Forty teenagers, part of 700,000 Mapuche Indians out of 17 million people in Chile, staged a toma, or takeover, in Ercilla. The small forest-farming town, 600 kilometers south of Santiago, frequently hosts brawls between the police force and Mapuche. Continue reading

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Human Rights Watch Director Concludes: Strong Evidence of Police Abuse Against Mapuche

On Wednesday, August 24th, the Commission for the Rights of the Mapuche held its second meeting — this time in Concepción. In attendance at this meeting was José Miguel Vivanco, the Director for Human Rights Watch in the Americas. After the meeting, Vivanco gave an interview in which he discussed the relationship between the Chilean government and the Mapuche people. Among other things, he stated: “We have conducted some studies and have concluded that there is, indeed, strong evidence of police abuse, of police brutality during raids, and of excessive and unjustified force, which has resulted in the loss of Mapuche lives during this conflict.” Continue reading

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