Hinzpeter’s Fires and His Plan to Generate a Racial Conflict in Mapuche Territory

January 15th, 2012

Due to the great number of forest fires in Wallmapu and the border region of Bio-Bio, a gruesome plan had been put forth by the Chilean government in order to demonize the struggle of the Mapuche People; this especially after the tragedy in Carahue with the deaths of 7 forestry scouts, trying to extinguish the fire at the Mininco Inc Forestry estate.

In the beginning, the authority alluded to the possibility of intent, but then quickly moved to make direct accusations towards Mapuche communities and in particular, one Mapuche organization.

This is not anything new, considering the loquacity of the majority of statesmen in Chile and the many script like texts they continuously throw at the Mapuche movement. However, what should be noted is the timing of such remarks during the actual fires; perhaps to take advantage of public commotion and outrage, while the seven scouts who died in Carahue were being laid to rest.

We should remember that there had been an extremely unstable climate due to the many actions of resistance in our Mapuche territory from the fourth anniversary of Matias Catrileo’s murder and the fact that the highest Chilean Court had minimally convicted the cop who murdered him.

It is in this context where many Chilean government representatives paraphrased possible accusations against the Mapuche, as alleged authors of the various forest fires and thereby accusing them of the murder of the seven scouts.

Moreover, currently many of our communities in various parts of our territory are accusing the police of employing racist tactics, as there have been numerous confrontations between community members and the occupying police force, where territorial reclamation processes are taking place.

Anti-Mapuche Reprisals?

It is interesting to note that in the same area where the victims of Carhue were being laid to rest, house of a well known and charismatic Mapuche leader from the 1980’s was burnt down.

The truth is that Santos Millao, whose father’s house was burnt down, is well known for is loud rhetoric, but in practice is actually more in line with Chilean institutionalism than with his own brothers.

Santos Millao is still well known in the region, as being the leader of an organization that extinguished itself little by little until it was completely co-opted by Chilean political occupying forces in our territory, but would nonetheless be a target of Chilean settlers in the area.

What is behind the Accusations?

The media circus of Anti-Mapuche accusations by the Chilean government in this context could provoke extreme reactions on both sides, generating a panorama of conflict which would only benefit those who risk their interests in the region: business and the enemies of the Mapuche people.

There seems to be an intention by a portion of Chilean political power to generate a racial confrontation in Wallmapu and turn the Chilean – Mapuche conflict into a contentious interethnic conflict.

This portion led by Rodrigo Hinzpeter- in understanding that there is no short term solution to the security issues raised from maintaining the occupation of Wallmapu – pretends to twist the objectives of the Mapuche struggle and thereby generate the eventual support of repressive State policies from the Chilean population living in the area.

For the Elite, Poor Chileans are under Business Interests

The truth is that a race based conflict is only at the interest of those whose economic interests are at risk in Wallmapu and hope to count on better security for their business. It is not beneficial in any case, not for the Mapuche, and much less for the many poor Chileans with whom we share Wallmapu.

We Mapuche are legitimate owners of our territory. We have lived here since before this fraud called Chile was established, and our struggle is oriented to generate the conditions necessary for our survival as a People, in order to continue in existence, which are obviously not guaranteed under the current occupations of the Chilean and Argentinean States on our Territory.

Just like the displaced Mapuche, poor Chileans are the cheap semi-slave labourers that sustain business in the region, generating huge profits for these companies whose owners do not live in Wallmapu, sometimes not even in Chile.

These poor Chileans do not count for these entrepreneurs, who only know this territory from their private property plans. They are only distant related statistics, a social material to use on the will of political power- nothing relevant – as their only worth is to be the support system to greater interests.

Those Chileans cannot dream of a more just society today, not even in looking towards the left, whose visions of socialism are nothing more than myths, at most, old legends.

That is why only the Mapuche struggle can today make them dream of a more just society, more human, where they count. Today, in this situation of occupied and usurped Wallmapu no one counts; neither Mapuche nor Chileans.

The reconstruction of our Mapuche Nation and with it the construction of a new type of society, one that is inclusive and not exclusive, more humane and non-capitalist, a society of justice and freedom out of the reach of neo-liberal interests; that is the change for which we the Mapuche wish to walk and would most likely be the objective of poor Chileans who live in Wallmapu.

Perhaps this is what Hinzpeter fears the most, which is why they impose a climate of Anti-Mapuche hostility that would allow them to repress us with everything they have, as the State of Israel does in occupied Palestinian Territory.

Perhaps in looking at occupied Palestine, Hinzpeter (whose origins are Zionist) wishes to generate something like it – maybe even with a wall.

It is not just the area of Torres de Paine that saw an Israeli citizen light the forest fires – other Zionists are also lighting the fires in Wallmapu.

 País Mapuche

Distributed by: The Women’s Coordinating Committee for a Free Wallmapu

About The Women's Coordinating Committee For a Free Wallmapu [Toronto]

The Women's Coordinating For a Free Wallmapu is an indigenous grassroots organization based in Toronto advocating for the sovereign rights of the Mapuche Nation.
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