Mapuche Resistance Defies the State of Siege

file_20131231083837December 31st, 2013

What can only be described as an act of defiance unto the State of Siege imposed by the Chilean State was carried out this mourning (December 31st), against the Chilean occupation and its Capitalist plunder in the province of Malleco.

The events took place nearby the town of Angol, a small distance away from a police station. It involved the complete arson of a helicopter belonging to Mininco Forestry Inc, and the partial damage of another.
The events also included the alleged assault of a police officer, who was subdued by the “assailants,” according to various media reports.

helicoptero_mininco_saboteado-300x199We should remember that the Chilean government had ordered more police presence to Mapuche territory, in which several reinforcements were brought from various parts of the country. This also included the use of surveillance planes, or drones, with infrared cameras and heat detectors, in order to control and monitor the movement in the area, especially at night.

Nothing worked; the permanent police presence used to prevent unidentified people from entering site proved to be a dismal failure. A private contractor is used to maintain planes and other equipment for Mininco Forestry Inc, where the two planes were set on fire, destroying one and damaging the other.

Second Helicopter Attack in the Area

This is the second time that Forestry planes have been targeted in the area of Malleco. In another incident. An earlier incident included a helicopter that was shot in a rural area of Ercilla.

Forestry Companies: The Ugliest Face of Capitalism in Wallmapu

The forestry companies represent the worst aspect that Capitalism has shown to Mapuche community members in Wallmapu. Their extreme extractive activities have only generated dissaster for communities, including toxic fumes, the dissaperance of rivers, brooks and streams, as well as the extinction of the natural flora and fauna of the area which serve as food and medicine for the Mapuche People. These are the main effects, amoung others, of the industry financed by the Chilean State through Law 701.

Moreover, the enormous extensions of land currently held by the Forestry companies lie on stolen land from Mapuche communities. These corporate properties are directly related to the territorial plunder of the Mapuche People.

Three Families against a People

This business not only is targeted against the Mapuche People; it also excludes the thousands of Chileans that have maintained this industry through subsidized taxes for the last 20 years. The property concentrated by the forestry industry lies in the hands of only three families: Angelini, Matte and Carey, whom own companies such as Bosques Arauco, CMPC and Masisa respectively.

Bosques Arauco alone encompasses almost 1.2 million hectares, with Mininco Forestry Inc at 700,000 hectares, which does not include the many uncertified estates in the area.

According to an official report, the forestry companies posses almost three million hectares in southern Chile – in other words – Wallmapu. This accounts to almost 30% of our traditional Mapuche Territory [south of the Bio Bio River], in comparison with only 700,000 hectares held by Mapuche communities, accounting for only 7% of traditional territory.

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


Sabotage Attacks in Wallmapu unleash Government and Police Hysteria

attaquedec27,2013December 30th, 2013

At least three sabotage attacks against the Chilean occupation have occurred in the last week including the arson of a private get-away cottage in Lleu-Lleu; a corporate management house in Vilcun; and a logging encampment in Lumaco. This has unleashed the hysterical reaction of the Chilean government and the police apparatus in the area, as well as the rage of the corporate elite have begun to criticize their own government for the failure of repressive policies against the Mapuche movement.

This hysterical reaction, brought about by the rise in actions of resistance throughout various places in Wallmapu, have prompted officials to use the latest surveillance technology, including the use of at least two spy planes to assure the “peace” of occupants and control the movement of people in the area, especially at night. At the same time, authorities have significantly increased police presence in the area, allowing for 120 more police officers in addition to those that have already stationed.

helicoptero-e1357305514464-300x199These spy planes and helicopters are traditionally used to control drug trafficking, especially in Northern Chile, and had not been previously used to contain Mapuche resistance officially by the Chilean government. Nonetheless, Mapuche community members throughout Wallmapu have witnessed seeing or hearing these planes, nearly imperceptible at plain site, but can be heard, especially at night. These planes are thought to be of Israeli origin, acquired recently by the Chilean government, which are the same drones that are used to repress the Palestinian People.

Cabins Burn on Lake Lleu-Lleu

One of the last private cottages left on the shoreline of Lake Lleu-Lleu had been burnt down on the mourning of Tuesday, December 23rd, 2013.

According to media reports, pamphlets in reference to the Mapuche struggle had been left on the scene.

With this, practically the entire north shore of the lake is free from Capitalist and private Chilean investors and advances the territorial reclamation of the Mapuche communities along the shoreline.  For many years, Lake Lleu-Lleu was heavily privatized and was practically foreign to Mapuche community members in the area.

Since the early 1990’s, the Mapuche plight for territorial reclamation along the shoreline of Lake Lleu-Lleu has taken over various Estates in the area, passing from private/corporate hands into the realm of Mapuche communities through a diversity of tactics. Some estates still remain as legal property of forestry companies; however Mapuche autonomous communities have managed to stage their ground along the shoreline.

Management House in Vilcun Estate and Forestry Encampment in Lumaco Burned

On the mourning of Friday, December 27th, media reports indicated that a management house and a vehicle were burned in the Santa Ana Estate, usurped by the Ex- Director of the Chilean Construction Chamber in Vilcun.

That same mourning a forestry encampment with various logging equipment was also burned in an Estate in Lumaco.

Matias Catrileo Continues the Struggle

These new actions of sabotage have been carried out in the framework of ongoing emblematic Anti-Mapuche trials throughout Wallmapu, the increased police brutality against peaceful marches by Mapuche communities, as well as on the eve of Weichafe [Warrior] Matias Catrileo’s murder who was shot in the back by Chilean Police six years ago.

On January 3rd, 2008, Matias Catrileo participated in a peaceful land reclamation on the Santa Marguerita Estate in Vilcun when he was shot with a rifle in the back by then Police Officer Walter Ramirez, whom has not spent a single day in custody for the heinous crime.

País Mapuche

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


Political Conviction against Mapuche Youth of Chekenko

file_201312051317041December 5th, 2013

The three young Mapuche Political Prisoners belonging to the Lof Chekenko Community were convicted this Thursday in the town of Angol for the murder of farmer Hector Gallardo. The injustice and racism of the Chilean courts can be seen once again within the framework of the current Presidential elections, in which the entire political class washes their hands of any responsibility.

Luis Marileo, Leonardo Quijon, and Gabriel Valenzuela, who risk 25, 30 and 10 year prison sentences respectively, were found guilty of armed robbery causing death in the events that took place on September 1st, 2012 inside Parcel 22, in the area of San Ramon.

In hearing the verdict, the family members irrupted in a flood of tears and began confronting prison guard personnel surrounding the room, where the farmer’s family was also present.

The Mapuche protest was then moved outside of the courthouse, where riot police arrived in large numbers. Many windows at the Courthouse were broken and an unknown number of Mapuche community members were also arrested.

The convicted belonged to the Wente Winkul Mapu and Jose Guiñon Communities and have been persecuted since they were minors.

This conviction marks a precedent in future trials against Mapuche community members charged by the Chilean State. There are various emblematic trials set to be dealt with by the courts between now and March, including the trial against Machi [Medicine healer] Celestino cordova and Werken [Spokesperson] Daniel Melinao, when the newly elected Chilean President is set to take power. It is quite likely that they will be convicted, since no one is willing to take responsibility for these convictions during the electoral period. These trials and convictions clearly correlate to the political persecution suffered by the communities that maintain dignified processes of resistance and reconstruction of Wallmapu.

País Mapuche

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

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