‘He Wanted to defend Wallmapu’ An Interview with Miriam Gutierrez, Mother of Weychafe Pablo Marchant

By Carole Concha Bell – December 17, 2021

CC: Tell us a little about Pablo, what motivated him to join the Mapuche struggle?

Pablo from a young age, was always interested in helping those more vulnerable. In his adolescence he began looking for ways to live in a more dignified way, he didn’t believe in institutions that those in power manage, and exercise violence and repression against the people. He didn’t place importance on university titles- Pablo was intelligent and knew there was more to life than that. He understood that the system was wrong and exploits the many for the benefit of the few. he did not want to submit himself and was brave to dare to live in a different more dignified way and at the same time joining a collaborative struggle so that others could do the same. He found this in the Mapuche Nation- a path to a dignified struggle. he left his anthropology degree with the conviction to join the struggle and involve himself in the reconstruction of the Mapuche nation. he knew and understood that the people were being repressed and that they had been banished from their land in a brutal and repressive manner. He wanted to defend Wallmapu, the earth from extractivism that the forestry companies are carrying out, and wanted to be among, collaborate and live like a Mapuche.

CC: What happened on that night?

That night, he with other Weychafe were headed towards a sabotage action on land usurped by Forestal Mininco. Sabotage actions involve expulsing the forestry’s by sabotaging their machinery. At 17:30 he was shot in the shoulder by policeman Hugo Huenchuvil. Once Pablo was on his knees, he was shot in the head. The Chilean authorities did not contact me at any point about what had happened to him. It was not until 2am the following morning that I found out it was not Ernesto Llaitul that had been killed, it was my son. The media had been reporting that there had been a confrontation involving Ernesto. It was the Mapuche community where Pablo lived that broke the news to me. I have not had a single call from any authorities. Not the police, nor investigations or the prosecution services. We still don’t know if there will be any formal investigation into what happened. The policeman involved has not been sanctioned and continues to be in active service.

CC: Do you think you will get justice for Pablo?

With this genocidal state that we have and a justice system that leaves one wanting, we really don’t know. I will fight till the end and do whatever is necessary to find justice for my son.

CC: What can the international community do to support your cause?

Support and spread the word about my son’s case. To this day, 5 months on there has been no form of justice against those who have protected my son’s murderers. Help us call out the state that is protecting and covering-up the actions of the forestry industry in Chile.

I must also point out that these cases are never resolved because the state does not recognise these (sabotage/recuperation) acts as legitimate, instead they qualify them as ‘terrorist actions.’ What the state is doing is colonial domination against the Mapuche people via a repressive genocidal political agenda, in turn denying their right to exist as an autonomous Mapuche nation.”

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