Press Release – 27.5.2022

Mapuche International Link Concerned at New State of Emergency in Conflict Zone, Chile

Mr Juan Segundo Catril

UK-based Indigenous rights group Mapuche International Link (MIL) express concern at the Chilean Government’s Constitutional State of Emergency, deployed in Chile’s Southern region Araucania or Wallmapu. The governments’ decision came after fierce lobbying by the Truckers Guild who paralyzed the highways via blockades, demanding a military presence in the region.

The State of Emergency (announced on May 17, 2022) has already resulted in the death of Mapuche community leader Mr Juan Catril who was part of the indigenous community Humberto Millahual. Mr Catril was shot in the head while travelling by bus to his job which consists of replanting native trees in a bid to restore the environmental damage caused by commercial plantations. Four others were badly hurt.

Atus Mariqueo-Russell Public Relations Officer for MIL comments “Rather than further militarising an area with an already heavily militarised, corrupt, and violent police force, President Boric should honour his promise of providing land restitution for Chile’s indigenous population. It is these promises that won him the Presidency and the support of hundreds of thousands of Mapuche voters. Yet today he is taking the decisions that are functionally indistinguishable from those that he criticised his right-wing predecessor for.”

MIL recognizes that the Government tried to pass a bill in the congress to curb military powers to the highways in a bid to avoid further human rights violations, but that it failed to garner sufficient votes.

This latest military incursion into the area puts Mapuche lives and human rights in jeopardy, highlighted by fatal shooting of Mr Catril. We urge the Boric government to fulfill his promise to facilitate a peaceful solution to this conflict before more lives are taken.


Notes to Editors

Carole Concha Bell, Press Officer:
Tel/ 07794540433

Reynaldo Mariqueo, General Secretary:
Tel: + 44-117-9279391