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Chile: Mapuche protester arrested after demonstration in Araucania

Wednesday, August 31st 2022 - 09:37 UTC
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Boric insisted he did not instruct any government official to contact the rebels but the CAM claims otherwise and vowed to prove it. Photo: AP Boric insisted he did not instruct any government official to contact the rebels but the CAM claims otherwise and vowed to prove it. Photo: AP

One person was arrested Tuesday in the Chilean region of La Araucanía after the radical Coordinadora Arauco Malleco (CAM) Mapuche indigenist movement staged a demonstration on Route 5 South demanding the release of their incarcerated comrades.

Some 30 hooded protesters fully blocked traffic at the junction that connects the road with the commune of Traiguén burning tires and setting barricades.

Carabineros law enforcement troopers were greeted with stones and blunt instruments, Colonel Cristian Mancilla told reporters. While most demonstrators fled the scene, one of them was arrested carrying stones and indigenous fighting paraphernalia.

Meanwhile, Chilean lawmakers were uneased by CAM announcements that details about all contacts between jailed CAM leader Héctor Llaitul and government officials would be released shortly. One cabinet minister has already been forced to resign after her links with Llaitul were disclosed.

Read also: Chile: Boric's cabinet suffers first “casualty” due to Mapuche conflict

Interior Minister Izkia Siches insisted that “there has not been any instruction from the President of the Republic or from this Minister to make contact with the CAM or with Mr. Héctor Llaitul.”

”We are not going to take charge of speculations that are circulating in the press (...) Mr. Héctor Llaitul is today in preventive prison under this government,“ she added.

”I prefer to believe the government when it says that there were no more contacts between the government and this terrorist organization. I distrust terrorist organizations, I prefer to believe the government. Obviously, if it is proved otherwise, we will be in trouble,“ Senator Matías Walker said.

President Gabriel Boric Font insisted last week he had not instructed any official of his administration to contact Llaitul, after these approaches led to the resignation of Social Development Minister Jeannette Vega. ”I can assure with certainty that I have not commissioned any minister or government official to contact Hector Llaitul,“ Boric said.

In a separate Mapuche violence event, the Lafquenche Resistance has claimed responsibility for an arson attack on the Grollmus mill in Contulmo in the province of Arauco in the Bío Bío region, which left 3 people injured, one of them, the 79-year-old Carlos Grollmus Thiele, having had a leg amputated as a result of a bullet wound.

”We vindicate the action of sabotage against the Grollmus mill in the commune of Contulmo, an action in support of the Mapuche political prisoners who remain on hunger strike in Arauco and Concepción demanding their prison rights,“ the RML said in a statement published on the Infowerken website.

The RML refers to the affected people as ”German settlers who settled with the endorsement of the Chilean state in blood and fire on our ancient lands, murdering and dispossessing our kiuvikecheyem of their territorial spaces on the shores of Lake Lanalhue.”

The RML is also making demands regarding the conditions f imprisonment of some of its leaders.


Categories: Politics, Chile.

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