ATTACKS AGAINST MAPUCHE PEOPLE MUST BE INVESTIGATED NOW!
The Chilean justice system acts differently towards Mapuche communities and their leaders.
When Mapuche people are accused of crimes, the system acts swiftly: they are promptly prosecuted, many times based on scant evidence, are frequently incarcerated, and subjected to unfair trials.
But when Mapuche people, and especially their leaders, are victims of attacks, whether by agents of the State or by unidentified attackers, justice is slow and most of the time these attacks are carried out with impunity.
This has to change.
In April 2020, two Mapuche people with leadership roles were attacked.
The night of April 28, the house of Elena Paine – leader of the Koyam Montre community, in the borough of Perpenco, was burned to the ground.
Elena, together with her community, is part of a territorial recovery process and is fighting against contamination of an estuary in the area. She believes the fire was deliberately set as an act of intimidation due to her activism.
The next day, Alberto Curamil, Goldman Environmental Prize recipient and leader of the community of Pancho Curamil of the lof Radalko, went to Elena Paine’s home with other members of his community to show support. They then decided to protest, temporarily interrupting traffic on Highway Route 5.
Carabineros – Chilean police – used force to separate the demonstrators. Once the protest ended, Alberto Curamil, together with his teenage nephew and son were driving away when they were intercepted by Carabineros, who launched a tear gas canister through the rear window of the truck. Once chief Alberto Curamil got out of the truck, they shot him, with buckshot in his back, ribs and leg.
These are but two examples where the justice system must act.
Demand justice for Elena, Alberto and all Mapuche people who defend their territory and are under attack.