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Video of Matias, a Mapuche killed by the police

cenutrix | 16.01.2008 22:52 | Globalisation | Repression | Zapatista

The 3 of January of 2008, when he was participating in a land reclamation along with other 30 compañeros a bullet shoot by the police force killed him instantly.
His compañeros and compañeras decided not to leave the body in the hands of the police and they carry him away with them.....
From this corner of europe we want to sand a strong hug to the family and his friends.
And our most deep admiration for Matias, a Mapuche fighter who gave his life for the rights of his people.

from; The Mapuche Struggle Today: An Interview With Vladimir Painemal Morales
( full text: )

[....] The Mapuche people have a long and proud history of resistance to colonialism. Today, the Chilean state and multinational corporations continue in their long-standing efforts to steal the resources of the Mapuche and to subdue their ongoing struggle.

Historically, the Mapuche people have faced different invasions, empire-building invasions. Before the Spanish, in fact, we faced the Inca Empire. For this reason, we have an image as a ‘warrior nation.’ I like to say that we have been in resistance, in self-defence, for many, many years. It’s different than us being a warrior nation because, say, we like violence or we are a violent people. We have had to resist these incursions by the various empires over the centuries.

Speaking specifically about the Spanish invasion, we fought a very strong war against them. The Mapuche territory is called the Spanish cemetery, because they suffered huge losses in their wars against us. The Spanish Empire, therefore, realized that they were taking very heavy losses, and they agreed to sign treaties with us, which allowed us to keep our autonomy for centuries. From 1641 to 1881, we were an autonomous nation.

So there is a bit of difference between the Mapuche and the other indigenous peoples of Latin America. So our history of loss of autonomy only goes back 125 years, and we are in the process right now of trying to recuperate our autonomy from the Chilean state.

In current times, the struggle of the Mapuche is not the same as in the past with armies invading our territories. It is an invasion of multinational companies that we’re facing today. So again -- although in the media we are often portrayed as a people always in conflict – they are the ones that are invading our territories and they are the ones who have started a conflict between us and them [.....]

[.....] In Chile, after our lands were divided up and taken by the state, we were left with the worst little pieces of land in our traditional territories.

Later on, they realized those lands that they had left us with were actually very rich in resources, in mineral resources, in gold, in gas. As well, the economic policy of the Chilean state was to diversify their economy – it’s a nation that has been mostly dependent on copper as their main staple of production. Now, they are trying to open up forestry as another main export industry.

When the land that was taken was assigned to European colonialists, it was held in small tracts of agricultural production. But in recent years, these colonists have been selling their lands, particularly to forestry companies. So we have huge tracts of land being used for forestry, and planting trees that are not native to the area. For the example the eucalyptus tree, each one which absorbs 100 litres of water per day. So we have that problem, and there are huge amounts of contamination by fumigation. They’ve created a massive environmental problem with the incursion of forestry companies into our territory.

That’s just the forestry industry. We could talk for days if I was to tell you each aspect of each different sector of exploitation by multinational companies. And the state and multinational companies, today, go hand in hand.[....]



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