Thursday, January 10, 2013

Interview with Werkén of Mapuche Community Temucuicui, Chile


The Clinic Online January 8, 2013

Jorge Huenchullán, the Werkén of the Mapuche Community Temucuicui Autonomous about the government support for the truckers strike: "The lack of control and the double standard showed clearly."

The werkén of Temucuicui insists in denouncing a violent raid on his community by the police and announced that they will interpose a complaint in the Military Prosecution Service for the injuries that police have caused to a resident of the area. According to Huenchullán, the support for a truck strike on Route 5 from La Moneda is an attempt to discredit the claims of the Mapuche: "We know that the economic power of the forestry and agriculture of the region has been protected by the current government," he says.

Jorge Huenchullán. werkén of the Mapuche Community Temucuicui Autonomous  

The werkén of the community Temucuicui Autonomous, Jorge Huenchullán, insisted yesterday with the denunciation of a raid that left Pablo Millanao, a community memberof 32 years old, seriously injured after an identity check carried out by police.

Although the institution denied it and denied any involvement in the incident, the werkén insisted on denouncing and announced that they will go to court to prove the police actions. Along with that, Huenchullán commented on the latest statements of the government and defined its support of the truck strike on Route 5 as an attempt to discredit the claims of the Mapuche,
those which they have not attended to in all this time. "We know that the economic power of the forestry and agriculture of the region has been protected by the current government," he says.

The police denies the raid denounced by you. How are you going to proof it?
-The facts are clear: at 10 pm on Sunday a police patrol entered, with personnel of the GOPE, hooded, with weapons of war, armaments. They entered the community by the public road leading into the community. In that moment peñi Pablo Millanao, walking at that time going to his house, was immediately arrested, beaten by police at the scene. He was then left there lying. Subsequently we took him to the nearest post, Cesfam of Ercilla, and hence for the character of his wounds he was referred urgently to the Hospital of Temuco.

But are you sure that it was the police?
- The police comes out speaking, saying they are unaware of this fact and the aggression against our brother. This practice of being unaware is common of the police, of the police in general in Mapuche territory. They have always denied that it was them and to blame the Mapuche themselves.

The police say it was not them.
- We knew they were going to react like that, so tomorrow we are going to file a criminal complaint against the Chilean police for torture and illegal force resulting in serious injury, in the Office of Angol denouncing the deeds that they have committed against our brother.

Do you believe it was them and they are denying what happened?
- It is the habitual act of the police. Here, when there are Mapuche, children injured, they have always denied the police actions and so who commits it. Here, clearly there is a total lack of control of the police. There is an exaggeration, a stir because of the events in Vilcún. This situation us are we going to denounce. It can not be that they belie a serious fact with a brother hospitalized. This situation is very complex. We will continue going forward with the evidence to present to the court.

The atmosphere is strange these days, after the fire in Vilcún. Has there been any gesture to lower the intensity of the conflict?
- It's only an overexposure of police. The government instead of solving the issue related to territorial claims has responded with militarization, killing the Mapuche people, with repression. It is humiliating to see how on the access roads into the communities there are routine police checks. Practically we are in a state of siege. That is the solution that the government has given. This Conservative government obviously will defend the interests of farmers and will not listen to the demands that we have made in the communities.

The government seems to want to install the idea of ​​an "internal enemy" in Chile. How about this?
- Here there is a lack of maturity to understand the Mapuche of Chile, to recognize our process. There is a total ignorance of the land claims. Only here they want to implement special laws to criminalize us. What is even worse is that there is no doubting the fact of violence which has existed in Vilcún, but why must the Mapuche be blamed without an investigation? It is intolerable what the government has done.
To request the ministers to invoke the Anti-Terrorism Act without prior knowledge of where such attacks come from. That is the big mistake which this administration has made. And we want to be very clear: while the government continues with militarization in the area, the conflict is very far from over. Here the police presence is not welcome.

What do you think of the statements by the Interior Minister, who declared to support the strike by a group of truckers who cut traffic on Route 5?
- There is a clear lack of control and a double standard. They do not know what to do with the Mapuche issue. It is clear also that this Conservative right-wing government supports transnational interests which are located in Mapuche territory.
Why have they so strongly defended this topic? Because the large landowners who are here were supported by the State at the time and they are staunch defenders of this system. Clearly they will not validate land claims because it is against their interests. We know that the economic power of the forestry and agricultural area has relied on the government of the day and obviously they will find a way to apply any rules to condemn, criminalize and silence the Mapuche struggle.

How do you solve the issue then?
- First, the State must recognize that it has killed Mapuche and must commit to resolve this issue. The police murderers of our brothers are free and free to exercise their profession. And second, if you want to try to solve the issues of Mapuche claims they must be the important topics in a round-table dialog eventually.
The territorial issues are not addressed by the state, they do not care. And the communities ask them to address them. What the government does is welfarism, a table of development where all there is is just that.

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