Arson attack on family home of Chief Juana Calfunao

23rd July 2005

The Mapuche community Juan Paillalef, in Cunco, in the 9th region of Chile, wishes to release the following statement to the national and international public:

On Friday 22 of July this year, our community was again the victim of an arson attack on the family home of our chief Juana Calfunao Paillalef. The house was in the process of being rebuilt after being destroyed in a previous attack on 24th June 2004 and this most recent fire has now once again razed it to the ground.

Lonko Juana Calfunao, her husband Antonio Cadin and her youngest daughter Relmutrai Cadin Calfunao, only 7 years old, were at home together. During the day they heard shouts and whistles from the river (approximately 150 metres from the house). At about six in the afternoon they heard the louder shouts of a woman, coming from the same direction. The chief and her husband left the house to investigate, leaving their youngest daughter alone at home. They reached the river and, as they could not see anyone, they returned  to find the house engulfed in flames. Thankfully their daughter showed great presence of mind in escaping and hiding nearby.

This is the third arson attack on the family home of our chief. More than an attack on the lives of the members of our community, it is an attack to rival any in the history of the Chilean justice system.

Since 1998, regular complaints have been made regarding the intimidation and attacks to which our community has been subjected. Up until now, these complaints have not resulted in any criminal proceedings in the courts.

The Juan Paillalef community demands that the Ministry of the Interior open an inquiry into the situation based on the facts presented to the Regional Director of Public Prosecutions, Alberto Chiffell and the Governor of the IX region, Ricardo Celis.

The Juan Paillalef community demands that justice finally be brought against the perpetrators of the daily abuses they suffer. This is our collective right as the Mapuche nation.

We, for our part, will not cease in supporting our community in its fight. Nor will we stop demanding our rights as a nation, supporting our community in whatever action it decides upon.

Justice  - Land  - Self-Determination  - Marhichiweu!

Support Group, Juan Paillalef Community

Sr. Intendente IX Región,
Sr. Ricardo Patricio Celis Araya,
Intendencia Región Araucanía;
Bulnes 590 piso 2, Temuco, Chile,
Fax: +56 45 208217,

Sr. Ministro de Justicia,
Sr. Luis Bates,
Ministerio de Justicia,
Morandé 107, Santiago, Chile,
Fax: +56 2 695 4558,

Copy to:
Asesor de Gestión de la Presidencia,
Sr. Domingo Namuncura,
Palacio de la Moneda, Santiago, Chile,
Fax: +56 2 6984656,

Sr. Ministro de Relaciones Exteriores,
Sr. Ignacio Walker,
Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores,
Catedral 1158, Piso 3, Santiago, Chile,
Fax: +56 2 696 8796

Translated by katy Brickley
Mapuche International Link


For further informations on chief Juana Calfunao: Click here

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