The news comes from Lasnet (The Latin American Solidarity Network), which is an independent group of Latin Americans and others who work to build bridges with the peoples of Latin America. The organisation campaigns to build support for the indigenous Mapuche people of Chile, facing the loss of their land and repression by the government. The message below comes from the international delegation that had arrived in Chile to meet the Mapuche, who were up by the police.
On 28 February, police and PDI (investigative Police) attempt to intervene and obstruct the International Delegation of Cultural and Ancestral Exchange in Solidarity with the Mapuche people.
Chilean police officers intercepted the International Mapuche solidarity delegation travelling through Wallmapu on a cultural and political exchange.
They pulled us over, citing administrative issues with a driver’s license, which had previously been checked three times without causing any major issues for the delegation.
When they noticed we were filming, various police officers tried to cover and hide their ID badges. Once inside the Los Angeles commissary police station #1, the police proceeded to detain and threatened to arrest our driver at the time, Jaime Huenchullan, the Werken and traditional leader of the autonomous Temukuikui community.
All members of the delegation protested this threat, demanding Jaime’s freedom, and denouncing the unjust, and threatening behaviour of the Chilean police officers who were very racist in their intimidation of Jaime.
After this, two PDI agents arrived at the Los Angeles police station, to verify that all members of the delegation had valid travel documents.
At the same time, another police officer took photos of our minivan and when questioned, refused to give us his name. Our minivan and means of transport, was then seized by the police, again citing licensing issues.
Jaime was finally freed after being detained for three hours and our passports returned to us. The timing of these events makes it very clear that the real objective of the repressive state forces of Chile was to hassle and intimidate our delegation, whose sole purpose here is to support and offer solidarity to the ancestral Mapuche struggle.
We denounce the shocking and unprofessional conduct of the Chilean police and demand that the government let us continue our trip without further interruption.
This International Solidarity Delegation has enabled us to observe and confirm the injustices that the Mapuche nation are facing.
We will not be intimidated nor will this halt us in our fight for human and Indigenous rights. More details, photos and videos to come in the next few days.