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Lonko Juana Calfunao

Chief (Lonko) Juana
(Photo: MIL archive)

Human rights violations

Chief Juana Calfunao Paillalef

Distinguished tribal leader and brave campaigner flolor the rights of her community and the Mapuche people. As a result of her struggle, she has become a target for violent political persecution at the hands of the Chilean establishment and landowners in the region.
Juana Calfunao, as Chief of the Juan Paillelef community, in the Cunco District, IX Araucania Region, is a figurehead of the campaign to recover land belonging to her people which has been occupied by neighbouring landowners. Her situation is one of the most serious cases of human rights violations in Chile.

Chief Juana Calfunao
Released from detention

Photos: Chief Calfunao,
tortured by Chilean
Clik here

Photos: Mapuche
community Juan Paillalef
attacked by Chilean police
Clik here

Photos: destroyed house
and paramilitary patrol
Click here

Video: Chief Calfunao
Resists police aggression
Mapundial -
Clic aquí

"As a result of the
actions I am taking,
I am persecuted by
the police and have
been arrested on
occasions. As a
Mapuche woman,
I continue to wear
traditional dress.
Because of this
I am discriminated
against. I am
regarded by the
police as a 'clown'
and an ‘Indian'." -
Statement of Juana
Calfunao Paillalef

"I Juana Calfunao
Paillalef, as an
ancestral authority,
do not want to die
before seeing the
community lands
recovered. As this
conflict has gone
on for three
generations I ask
the whole world to
help me maintain
this territorial
space for the
tranquillity of my
family and my

Join my Struggle!
Plea from Chief
Juana Calfunao

Lonko Calfunao's
wounds had not yet
healed and she had
not yet recovered from
the trauma caused by
the police violence
weeks earlier, when
she was again beaten
and detained, this time
by the police in Temuco.
Political persecution against
a brave Mapuche fighter.
By Reynaldo Mariqueo

Chief Juana Calfunao is honoured with Chico Mendes Resistance Medal. Rio de Janeiro, 20 February 2006

Chief Juana Calfunao imprisoned again: Political persecution against a brave Mapuche fighter - By Reynaldo Mariqueo - 8 January 2006

Liberty and Justice for Chief Juana Calfunao Paillalef. Sample letter to be address to the President of Chile and/or copies send to the Chilean authorities as below - 20th January 2006
Chief Juana Calfunao Tortured and Abused by Chilean Police. Mapuche International link - 26th December 2005
Chile: Mapuche community attacked. Police agents from Chile's militarized Carabineros Special Forces attacked the Mapuche community of Juan Paillalef in Cunco (by Bill Weinberg, Monday, 02 January, 2006)
Chilean police uses guns against protesting Mapuche community Juan Paillalef. 26 December, 2005 - Please see photos on police action
Mapuche human rights defender tells Europe about plight of her people. Front Line - Defenders of human rights defenders. (23 November, 2005)
Chief Juana Calfunao Activities in Holland, November 2005. Public meetings, Workshops, cultural activities will take place in various venues in Amsterdam, from 8th to 13th November, 2005.
Mapuche Chief Juana Calfunao will speak both in London and Bristol. The Mapuche Chief will speak about her endangered community, the Mapuche people of Chile and Argentina and their struggle for survival within these states
Chile: Mapuche Chief attacked and harassed. The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, in collaboration with the OMCT and the FIDH, urgently requests your intervention. (28th of July 2005)
Arson attack on family home of Chief Juana Calfunao. This is the third arson attack on the family home of our chief. (Support Group, Juan Paillalef Community - 23rd July 2005)
Document presented to the UN Sub-Commission on the situation of the Mapuche people. On the 22nd July, 2005 (Juan Calfunao) was the victim of a new arson attack that reduced her modest home to rubble. This is the third such attack. (Geneva, 27th July 2005)
Emergency Network for Lonko Juana Calfunao. A community leader from the Mapuche ethnic group, and her family, have suffered a campaign of intimidation, including the apparent murder of her uncle and an arson attack on her home. MAPUNDIAL, July 06, 2005
Plea from Chief Juana Calfunao: Join my Struggle!. Juan Paillalef Community - The total return of my lands and territories! Wallmapuche, Temuco, 22 September 2004
Human Rights in Chile still under threat. Juana Paillalef had suffered persistent intimidation connected to her community's dispute with local landowners (September 2004)
Urgent action campaign in support of a Mapuche community leader. A community leader from the Mapuche ethnic group, and her family, have suffered a campaign of intimidation, including the apparent murder of her uncle and an arson attack on her home. (12 August 2004)
Juana Calfunao Paillalef, Community leader and human rights Defender. In July, Juana Calfunao and her family were threatened and intimidated four times. Stones were thrown against their makeshift tin house and shots were fired in the air outside. (August 20, 2004)
Brutal Oppression and torture of indigenous leaders and activists in Chile. in July 1999, Juana Calfunao, was detained and brutally beat by the police resulting in her miscarrying the son she was expecting. (Wallmapu, october 2003)
The Nation through the eyes of a Mapuche Leader. They beat us just for being Mapuches. I was arrested in the Temuco bus terminal just for being a Mapuche, for wearing my traditional clothing. (Santiago, 14th Februry 2001)
Statement of Juana Calfunao Paillalef. As a Mapuche woman, I have suffered and been the victim of open discrimination, which has taken the form of verbal, physical and psychological violence. (Temuco, July 20 2003)


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