Forestry Companies, Estate Lords and Chilean State Murder Mapuche in Ercilla

Rodrigo Elicer Melinao LicánAugust 6th, 2013

The Mapuche People morn a new victim today Tuesday, August 6th, in confirming the murder of Rodrigo Elicer Melinao Licán, member of the Rayen Mapu Communitu of Lof Lolokos in Ercilla, whom was persecuted by the Chilean State and corporate interests in Wallmapu.

The body of the young man was found by his family today Tuesday, in plot No.4 of Chiwaiwe, territory in conflict against the large forestry companies. In the middle of the sadness, the family realized that Rodrigo presented gunshot wounds, thereby prohibiting any foreign presence around the scene, especially police that could manipulate evidence.

The distrust is obvious. The place is surrounded by Special Police Forces, such as the GOPE and PDI intelligence units and government officials that protect the occupying corporate interests. Lands that are in the hands of invaders that have been demanded for decades by the communities in the area, and which have been  stained with the blood of its defenders today once again, as with Alex Lemun [a decade earlier].

Rodrigo was convicted to 5 years in prison – together with Cristian Levinao – this past July 24th under “arson and mischief” charges steaming from damages to a forestry company in 2011, without other further evidence other than “faceless” witnesses that accused him of being the author of these actions of resistance. The sentence had not been carried out as of yet, since the defense had presented an appeal.

Police personnel, the Homicide Squad of the Special Investigations Unit (PDI) and the Provincial Prosecutor of Collipulli, Ricardo Traipe, managed to enter the premises hours later to take the body, with the sole intermediation of the Ercilla Parish Priest whom confirmed that the victim had received a gunshot to the chest.

Conformist Government

The bland public reaction for this attack against the Mapuche People barely made Chilean authorities muster words to the press. The Interior and Public Security Minister, Andres Chadwick, had no choice other than to admit the act as a murder. This time there was no “public condemnation,” immediate charges, nor extensive speeches made in the Presidential Palace. Clearly the victim is not on their side, as with Sergeant Albornoz, whom was shot by his fellow police officers of the GOPE, in the same area, and who the Prosecution has not been able to demonstrate otherwise more than a year after the events took place.

Chadwick calmly maintained that he “did not want to point out any hypothesis or conjecture. The circumstances regarding this crime are not clear, and therefore only can resort to a few witnesses and family members that could testify on the events. But the circumstances have not been cleared or determined by the preliminary investigation,” he added, emphasizing the notion of an “alleged murder.”

Mininco, Arauco and Volterra; the Estate Lords, their allies and the Regional Government of Araucania must be silently celebrating, while the Congress forwards the Forestry Fomentation Law that finances their businesses, while the militarized police forces and their superiors demonstrate the capacity to defend their interests: the ability to kill arbitrarily and in plain impunity.

País Mapuche

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


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