Chile: Thousands March for Mapuche Resistance Day

Santiago: Thousands of people gathered yesterday in the Plaza Italia to march through the Alameda in support of the Mapuche resistance. The march ended in a violent police repression.

The demonstration was called by leaders of groups in conflict zones such as Maule, Arauco and Osorno. The main demands of the marchers were the end to the militarization of their territory, to stop the criminalization of the Mapuche movement and freedom of Mapuche political prisoners.
The march also coincided with the anniversary of the arrival of Christopher Columbus in Chile – a day that indigenous communities do not think should be celebrated as a holiday.
 

Today They March, For Their Land, For Their Freedom of Their Indigenous #Mapuche People in #Chile on #ColumbusDay

Tensions have been mounting in Chile amid recent repressions and detentions of Mapuche activists. Mapuche José Mauricio Quintriqueo Huaiquimil was killed on October 1st after being run over by a farm worker on a tractor during a peaceful occupation of their ancestral land. Mapuche responded by setting up improvised roadblocks which prompted a militarized mobilization of local police working with special forces. Continue reading

Chile: Police Special Forces Evict Mapuche Community From Contested Lands

By • Oct 21, 2013

 

“Welcome to the Temucuicui Autonomous Community” Photo by Donmatas1 on Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

“Welcome to the Temucuicui Autonomous Community” Photo by Donmatas1 on Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

In the early morning of Wednesday, October 9, riot police and members of the Group of Special Operations (GOPE in Spanish), an elite, special unit of the Chilean Police, raided the Temucuicui Autonomous Community [es], an indigenous Mapuche community located near the town of Ercilla in the Araucania Region of Southern Chile.A self-denominated “autonomous” community, Temucuicui has occupied what they consider to be ancestral lands for over two years. They have resisted several eviction attempts, and their resistance has landed many community leaders and members in jail.

The land where the community lives is part of what the Mapuche call “Wallmapu”, meaning Mapuche country, where clashes between police forces and Mapuche activists are common. Currently, these lands are contested, but legally owned by landowners Rene Urban, Martin Ruf and the Zeit family. Continue reading

Chile: Indigenous groups mark Columbus Day with protests

October 13, 2013, Al Jazeera

Some of the protesters threw rocks and other objects at police after the main, peaceful march earlier Saturday.  Luis Hidalgo/AP

Some of the protesters threw rocks and other objects at police after the main, peaceful march earlier Saturday.  Luis Hidalgo/AP

Protesters clashed with police in Chile’s capital Saturday during an anti-Columbus Day march organized by Indigenous groups, with activists calling for the return of ancestral lands and the right to self-determination on the 521-year anniversary of the arrival of Christopher Columbus to the Americas.

Demonstrators in Santiago threw rocks and other objects at police who responded with water cannons. At least 10 protesters were detained by police, local media reported.

More than 15,000 people participated in the march, organized by the country’s largest indigenous group, the Mapuches, who have been in a long struggle with the government over ancestral land taken from them during colonization.

While Columbus Day celebrations took place across Latin America, the Mapuche affirmed, “we have nothing to celebrate”, according to the Santiago Times.

A press release by the group complained of mistreatment by the state, particularly against Mapuche political prisoners, and on-going land disputes in the south. Continue reading