Skip navigation

Indymedia UK is a network of individuals, independent and alternative media activists and organisations, offering grassroots, non-corporate, non-commercial coverage of important social and political issues

Mapuche Comunero Died in Confrontation with Police near Vilcun, Chile.

Article by ANSA, Thurs Jan 3rd, 2008, at 8.32 a.m. | 13.01.2008 17:09 | Repression | Social Struggles | London

A young Mapuche 'comunero' (member of the local community) died early this morning, it is thought after being wounded by police officers that fired at him at a farm under police protection on the outskirts of Vilcun, in the Araucania region.

“We were walking along and the police fired submachine gun bullets at us, repressing us, and resulting in the death of a brother. He is Matias Catrileo, 22 years old, and he was helping the community there”, a Mapuche spokesperson, who identified himself as Rodrigo, told the radio station Bio Bio.

“Our intention was to declare the dispute openly, but the police arrived and began shooting with machine guns. We tried to resolve the situation peacefully and went to the farm", described the spokesperson.

The Undersecretary of the Interior, Felipe Harboe, in a declaration to the same radio station Bio Bio, said that he had been informed of the death of the Mapuche 'comunero' and is awaiting the investigation by the corresponding public prosecutor to clarify what happened.

Harboe called for calm “so that the Mapuches hand over the body” of the victim, identified as Matias Catrileo, student of agronomics at the Universidad de La Frontera, in Temuco.

"In a state of law it is not suitable to negotiate the handing over of the body”, informed Harboe, who specified that the public prosecutor is an autonomous authority separate from the police.

Harboe said that, in the same way, he had records that the victim’s body was previously “inside a school in Vilcun”, and it had been removed from there by some Mapuche people.

This refers to the La Roca school, situated in a rural sector of Vilcun, near to the farm belonging to the the assaulted farmer.

The Mapuche spokesperson, Rodrigo, told the radio station that the shots were fired when a group of indigenous people tried to occupy land in the Santa Margerita farm, property of the farmer Jorge Luchsinger, that is under police protection owing to constant incidents involving indigenous people.

The same spokesperson said that there were 30 Mapuches, and around 50 police officers.

Rodrigo asked for the mediation of the Catholic Bishop Camilo Vial because the Mapuches don’t want to hand in the victim’s body to the police.

The lifeless body of Catrileo is inside the Yupeco Vilcun community.

The police only ratified that early this morning around 20 hooded people attacked Luchsinger’s farm and burned around 60 parcels of fodder out of a total of 150 that were stocked there.

Another Mapuche comunero, Alex Lemun, died in November 2003 during a confrontation in the Santa Elena farm, in the interior of Ercilla, in the same region of Araucania.

The original article is at Imprimir comentarios.

Article by ANSA, Thurs Jan 3rd, 2008, at 8.32 a.m.


Server Appeal Radio Page Video Page Indymedia Cinema Offline Newsheet