November 8th, 2013
In the next few days, it will be the 11th Anniversary since Chilean Police would murder the young Weichafe [Warrior] Alex Lemun Saavedra in the Area of Ercilla. As is the case every year, his brothers and sisters will remember him throughout all Wallmapu, continuing the struggle for which he gave his life.
On November 7th 2002 at around 6PM, the Montutui Mapu Community together with Mapuche from other communities in Wallmapu were working within the Santa Elisa estate in the township of Ercilla, then territory in conflict that was being collectively occupied through productive work. By the order of Mininco Forestry Inc, special militarized police forces proceeded to raid and remove the Mapuche from the site.
The defense of the communities would be able to contain the police fury for a brief while, when a contingent of three police officers shot live ammunition to a group of Mapuche.
Peñi [Brother] Alex Lemun Saavedra, was the fourth of nine brothers, and ever since his People began to mobilize, he would participate in every meeting, gathering and ceremony that the communities in the area would have, and would never hold himself back when entering and working in the occupied estates.
Alex received a gunshot to the head from a firearm of Major Marcos Aurelio Treuer Heyssen. The bullet ran through “10 centimetres in its trajectory, finally ending at the nape of the neck” as determined by medical specialists later on.
Alex was immediate helped by his people, being transferred in a wagon and then in an ambulance to Angol, later to Temuco, and finally in an effort to try discarding some responsibility, the Chilean government transferred him to the German Clinic of the city, where he remained resisting for 5 days connected to a mechanical respirator. The bullet could not be removed and had destroyed an important percentage of brain mass.
After 5 days of agony, on November 12th at 6:15 AM, Peñi [Brother] Alex Lemun leaves us.
The projectile was shot by Major Marcos Treuer of the Chilean National Police Force, with a Winchester rifle loaded with lead bullets and according to his version, was “used to repel an armed attack;” a vile lie that was immediately discarded, even by their Chilean Justice system.
No one could negate the crime, as even the repressive institution would recognize it. However despite the judicial trials, the international pressure, and the many demonstrations, a decade has now passed and there had been no justice.
Alex Lemun was 17 years old, son of Edmundo Lemun Nekul and Sonia Saavedra Horta, and resided in the Rekem Lemun Community of Ercilla, growing up surrounded by forestry plantations that pertain to the many large corporations and particulars.
He was characterized as being a very healthy, responsible and disciplined youth, which was stated by all who knew him. As he began acquiring conscience on the reality of the Mapuche People and of the communities that carried out productive reclamations, he gave himself to the struggle completely, supporting the mobilizations where his support was important, as was that November 7th, together with his Wetrukurawe.
The murder was absolved and today his murderer continues carrying out his work as a police officer, having been promoted twice.
Chilean Justice does not recognize the murder of a Mapuche as being a crime, as it seems to be an achievement of their military and genocidal policies. We painfully proved this once again with the with new terrorist crimes against our People: the Weichafe [Warriors] Matias Catrileo and Jaime Mendoza Collio that were murdered with impunity by the oppressive Chilean State, as with the many Mapuche brothers and sisters that have murdered in one way or another by the institutional oppression that is spread over Wallmapu.
Today the communities affirm that only Mapuche justice – that which blossoms in daily struggle, in resisting and exerting political and territorial rights, with the strength of our ancestors and continuing on the path they defended with their lives – is the only way that our Weichafe [Warriors] will not have died in vain.
[ASIDE] The Murderous Offensive of the Chilean State
- The murder of Alex Lemun was initially called “Operation Patience,” a strategy of the Chilean State that articulated various intelligence services, police, Government, and with the approval of business sectors, which was destined to detain the process of Mapuche Community struggle in their territorial reclamations through repression, cooptation, divisions, as well as harassment, persecution, violence, judicial criminalization against communities.
- Marcos Treuer murdered Alex Lemun as a Major; today he is a commander, a Lieutenant Coronel. After his action on November 7th, 2002 he was transferred to Rancagua. Today it is unknown whether he continues in the force there or in another location. Treuer continues in impunity, as with the police special forces of the GOPE that murdered both Matias Catrileo and Jaime Mendoza Collio, and remain free to this day.
Distributed by: The Women’s Coordinating Committee for a Free Wallmapu [Toronto]