Mapuche Resistance Organization Repressed in Chile

On October 19th, a new case of repression by the Chilean State towards the Mapuche Resistance Movement came to light. According to the police, at least eleven alleged leaders of the Mapuche Lavkenche Resistance would have been arrested, including a minor. The arrests have occurred in the Biobío region, the so-called Southern Macrozone together with La Araucanía. The arrests were made with raids done during the early morning, and there the police seized material allegedly related with crimes, such as cell phones, money or, as the police itself shows, chainsaws.

Map of Chile pointing out the Biobío region.

Mapuche Lavkenche Resistance is known for its actions against forest companies, especially forest or infrastructure machinery sabotage, and for expelling large companies from historical Mapuche areas. It is due this rebellion that they are carrying out against the companies which exploit their lands that they experience a great repression since their foundation. For example, for arresting eleven people, more than 400 police officers, armored vehicles and support of the army were deployed.

This is not the first time that the Chilean State makes false statements to appear to “win the battle” against the Mapuche resistance movement. Last September, the Biobío Police also announced the arrest of other eleven people allegedly linked with the organization. However, days after the organization released its own statement denying its link with these people and denouncing the farce that was being carried out by the State: “This media farce, we believe, sought to defame our organization by making the public opinion believe to an alleged blow to our militancy, discrediting our principles of struggle and showing us as a band of criminals at the service of forest mafias.”

Not only against this resistance group the State of Chile exercises great repression against those Mapuche groups which struggle against the large companies that exploit in their areas. For example, in the march twelve days ago to commemorate indigenous peoples, the Statkfft hydroelectric company was denounced, due to the theft of water. Organizations denounce a great repression by the police in the demonstration, where water cannons that carried toxic substances, military armored vehicles and tear gas were used in a large operation of the anti-riot police.

When the peoples rise against the companies that exploit their stolen lands, the State uses its armed forces, in this case the police, to be able to repress popular movements. And although the falsely-called “progressive” governments, such as Boric’s, claim being in favor of the people, as soon as the people demands its rights, dares to rebel, they are harshly repressed. In this case Boric does not hesitate to compare the Mapuche resistance, whose land has been stolen to give it to foreign companies and they dare to rebel, with the Nazis of Germany. Meanwhile, he is the president who has restricted the longest time the rights of the people through the State of Exception, “casually” used to suppress the Mapuche movement of Biobío and Araucanía.

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