October 16th, 2012
Almost 10 people arrested, at least two children injured and a growing indignation as the President of Chile, Sebastian Piñera aggressively arrived in Mapuche Territory, trying to validate his strategy to suffocate the movements of the communities.
It is in this way the political arm carries out the war against the Mapuche People: through the Area of Indigenous Development (ADI), composed of alleged co-opted leaders for money in order to conform it and communities created under the arm of the state, otherwise known as the CONADI (National Congress for Indigenous Peoples). (1) Within this institution, funds are only allocated in exchange of abandoning territorial reclamation.
Unto the strong opposition to these Anti-Mapuche policies, Piñera decided to make a “visit” to Wallmapu, in the same way as in the US, where Presidents visit their troops in the countries they invade. For this reason the areas of Ercilla and Collipulli became completely militarized, raiding the community of Temucuicui and giving “spirit” to the National Police Force posted in Pidima.
The spontaneous demonstrations of the communities were violently repressed, in Pidima where Mapuche made banner drops on the highway as in Ercilla, where the Chilean President could barely enter the territory and managed to make a brief and threatening speech.
As a show of strength, the raid on Lof Temucuicui was ordered, with military and helicopters that shot from the air towards the various family homes in the area. Two children, 7 and 10 years of age, were injured with pellet bullets and beaten with the ends of riffles, plus more than a dozen adults injured in the same form.
From the 15 Mapuche that were arrested 10 people are still being held and will be charged on Wednesday. Among them, Luis Toris Quiñinao, Vania Quepul Huaiquil, José Quepul Huaiquil, Anibal Queipul, the Mapuche community leaders of Temucuicui and minors of the Huañaco Millao Community.
Meanwhile, the hunger strike of the Mapuche Political Prisoners is on its 52nd Day in Concepcion and at 17 Days in Temuco. Piñera stated that the way in which the hunger strike has been carried out “is not the way” to ask for justice, treating the Mapuche mobilized in communities as criminals.
Distributed by: The Women’s Coordinating Committee for a Free Wallmapu [Toronto]
(1) The National Congress for Indigenous Peoples (CONADI), an institution developed by the Chilean State post-dictatorship in the early 1990’s, functions on the basis of indigenous land claims controlled by the government as well as administers funding for communities represented under the congress, much like the imposed North American “Band Council” System.