On Wednesday, August 24 of 2022, Chilean police arrested Hector Llaitul, werkén of the Mapuche organization Coordinadora Arauco Malleco (CAM), for his alleged involvement in a series of arson attacks against logging companies in the country's south. This happened after the Temuco Guarantee Court released an arrest warrant against him.
Héctor Llaitul was captured by the Investigative Police (civil police) while he was having lunch in a restaurant in the city of Cañete and was transferred to Temuco to be placed at the disposal of the Judiciary.
The prosecutor explained that Llaitul would be investigated for his alleged participation in common crimes and some crimes punishable under the State Security Law.
The Coordinadora Arauco Malleco is an organization whose objective is to achieve more autonomy for the Mapuche people and the restitution of their ancestral lands in the south of Chile. For this, it claims the armed struggle, arson attacks and other forms of direct action against the capitalist structure in the Wallmapu.
The Mapuche insurgency hatched by CAM can be traced back to Pinochet’s decree 701 in 1974. This law incorporated vast areas of native forests in southern Chile into the global economic market. Within a decade, replacing hundred of thousands of hectares of native forest with the quickly-growing radiata pine and eucalyptus species, Pinochet’s rule introduced a large-scale monoculture plantation industry.
On the 1st of December 1997, after years of the eucalyptus dictatorship, three trucks loaded with timber, owned by forestry giant Forestal Bosques Arauco were ambushed and set on fire by the newly-founded CAM. Mapuche leaders Victor Ancalaf, José Huenchunao, Pedro Cayoqueo, Héctor Llaitul and Aliwén Antileo had ignited a process of territorial revindication in the region by any means necessary against the capitalist enemy in Wallmapu. This project of territorial recovery was soon welcomed by Mapuche communities, particularly in the provinces of Arauco and Malleco in the Bio Bio and Araucanía regions respectively. As early as 1999, the communities of Rukañanco, Kuyinco, Tranicura, Choque, Colcuma, El Malo, Miquiwe, Coiiwinka Tori and Temulemu, among others, had joined CAM in the struggle against the new colonization of Wallmapu.
CAM’s political project and its manifesto postulates that the attacks are never targeted against colonists, farmers or any other civilians but are rather aimed at the destruction of capitalist infrastructure in the region. Via “Organos de Resistencia Territorial” (ORT), CAM deploys an territorial liberation strategy to vindicate the Mapuche territory. The first step of this liberation offensive strategy is to re-occupy a property, a process referred to as “control territorial”, whereby CAM members enter a fundo (which is an extensive area of land) aiming to recover it in its entirety. To do that, CAM engages in activities such as burning large areas of imposed monoculture eucalyptus plantations, trucks, houses and warehouses belonging to forestry companies as well as destroying the crops of the settler latifundistas.
After seizing these fundos, they start a process of “siembra productiva”, where they sow potato, tomato, wheat and other elements of the Mapuche traditional diet. This is the first major tangible step toward autonomy in their project. These “recuperaciones territoriales”, in the words of Llaitul, “allow an identitarian recomposition of the Mapuche to emerge” because this recovery of lands “is a fundamental part of a broader process that leads to cultural and religious revitalization”. This way, via the recovery of usurped lands, ceremonies like the Trawun, Palin, Nguillatun and Machitun, are now part of the communities’ everyday life.
More recently, in 2011, CAM Mapuche leaders, Héctor Llaitul and Ramon Llanquileo, were condemned to serve twenty and eight years in jail respectively for the supposed intellectual planning of arson attacks in the region as well as for allegedly attacking Fiscal Prosecutor Mario Elgueta back in 2008. Despite its refusal to explicitly acknowledge the status of these prisoners, the Chilean state has de facto recognized them as political prisoners. In the maximum security prison El Manzano, in Concepcion, they have been given a secluded yet equally surveilled space where only Mapuche prisoners serve jail sentences. Recently, in April this year, the pressure instigated on the government by the prisoners’ hunger strikes of previous years has led to a reduction in their jail sentence to fifteen years for Llaitul and eight years for Llanquileo. Not only the political prisoners but the whole Mapuche nation today is subject to continuous systematized and institutionalized criminalization, dehumanization and alienation. As long as the Wallmapu remains an object for resource exploitation and Chilean colonialist immigration, the Mapuche voices from the Bio Bio River to the north to the Tolten River to the south will echo that Mapuche war cry: MARICHIWEU!
For this hard battle to come, we also count on your solidarity. Through FireFund we can support each other internationally without any borders, and thanks to this unique platform, we can raise funds for popular and revolutionary intends.
Through this campaign, we hope to strengthen the student and mapuche protests that are emerging from all over Chile in support of werkén Héctor Llaitul.
If successful, all the money from the campaign will be directly injected in street protests, logistics and equipment.
FREEDOM FOR HÉCTOR LLAITUL CARRILLANCA!
FREEDOM FOR DANIEL CANIO, LUIS VÁSQUEZ TRAMOLAO AND LUIS COLLONAO PICHUN!
OUT WITH THE 'FORESTALES' AND ALL CAPITALISTs FROM WALLMAPU!
IN MEMORY OF OUR FALLEN WEICHAFE!
FOR TERRITORY AND AUTONOMY FOR THE MAPUCHE NATION AMULEPE TAIÑ WEICHAN!
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