Tag Archives: Ercilla

Supreme Court Reverses Two Mapuche Convictions; Hunger Strike Ends After 60 Days

On Wednesday, October 24th, the Chilean Supreme Court unanimously overturned the convictions of two Mapuche men who had been charged with the attempted murder of Chilean police officers. The convictions were overturned on the grounds that evidence was lacking at the lower court level to prove attempted murder. Although the two men were not completely absolved of all crimes, the ruling was well-received and, on Thursday, the men called an end to their hunger strike that had been in progress for 60 days. Continue reading

Posted in Chile, Mapuche | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Piñera Visits Ercilla, Calls Mapuche Hunger Strike “Illegitimate”

On Tuesday, October 16th, President Piñera visited Ercilla and, more generally, the Araucanía Region of Chile. His visit was met with much protest even before his arrival, when Mapuche leaders told the press that Piñera “would not be welcomed” in the region. Despite these statements, Piñera arrived with a heavy police contingent and gave a speech denouncing Mapuche violence and calling the current Mapuche hunger strike “illegitimate and ineffective”. As expected, the Chilean President was met with many protests and his speech was interrupted at times by them. By the end of the day, at least eight Mapuche individuals had been arrested. Continue reading

Posted in Chile, Mapuche | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Mapuche Hunger Strikers Reach Day 40; Attorneys Argue in Front of Supreme Court

On Thursday, October 4th, attorneys for four Mapuche prisoners who were sentenced for a variety of alleged crimes, including attempted murder of police officers, went before the criminal chamber of the Chilean Supreme Court. The attorneys argued for a mistrial and dismissal of the convictions based on a lack of evidence. Additionally, arguments were made to apply the American Convention on Civil Rights and the International Labor Organization Convention 169 on Indigenous Peoples to the prisoners’ prison conditions, which could allow them additional prison privileges. The Supreme Court is expected to announce its decision with respect to these issues on October 24, 2012. Continue reading

Posted in Chile, Mapuche | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Chilean Government Provides Money to Two Mapuche Communities for Land Purchases in Ercilla

In a press release dated September 27th, CONADI (the Chilean Indigenous development corporation) announced that it had invested 420 million pesos (approximately US$ 885,000) for land purchases in Ercilla. Specifically, the money was given to two Mapuche communities — “Alex Lemun” and “Tricauco 2″ — so that they can purchase lands for their people. In total, twenty-five families will receive lands and CONADI will follow-up with funds to help develop that land as needed. Continue reading

Posted in Chile, Mapuche | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

President Piñera Announces Plan to Address Mapuche Issues

At 11 a.m. in Santigao on Friday, August 3rd, President Sebastián Piñera announced actions the government would take to address the challenges faced by the Mapuche people. The announcement allowed Piñera to elaborate on his “Development Plan for the Araucanía Region” or “Plan Araucanía” as it is often referred to. Specifically, Piñera announced an initiative to build a multicultural school in Ercilla, five hospitals throughout the region, and to implement a consultation process that conforms with ILO Convention 169. Continue reading

Posted in Chile, Mapuche | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

More Violence Erupts in Ercilla; 7 Mapuche and 3 Police Injured

On Thursday, June 7th, another police raid erupted into violence at the Mapuche community Wente Winkul Mapu in the sector Chequenco Alto of the comuna of Ercilla.  According to the Chilean government, the police (carabineros) were ordered to arrest a Mapuche individual named Erik Montoya who is accused of attempting to kill a police officer and a farmer in an incident in October of 2011.  There are conflicting reports on how the events unfolded, but it is clear that seven Mapuche individuals sustained injuries — including two juveniles — and three police officers were also hurt in the encounter.  Two Mapuche individuals were also arrested during the raid. Continue reading

Posted in Chile, Mapuche | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Supreme Court Issues Another Decision Addressing Police Violence in Mapuche Communities

On January 5, 2012, the Chilean Supreme Court upheld a ruling in favor of a Mapuche youth from Temucuicui that originated in the Court of Appeals in Temuco.  The case arose following an altercation between police forces and Mapuche community members in Temucuicui on December 8th, during which the police detained Felipe Marillán Morales, a 12-year-old minor.  It is the second case in recent weeks to address the legality of police operations in the Araucanía region. Continue reading

Posted in Chile, Mapuche | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Chile, Mapuche | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

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

Posted in Chile, Mapuche | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

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

Posted in Chile, Mapuche | Tagged , | 1 Comment