The murder of Camilo Catrillanca

Camilo Catrillanca (Camilo Catrillanca)

The death of a 24-year-old Mapuche, Camilo Catrillanca, has intensified again the historic conflict in the Chilean Araucanía, in the south of the country, the area of greatest poverty in the territory. In the middle of an operation led by the “Comando Jungla” a team of Carabineros (Chilean Police) prepared in Colombia, which the Government installed in the region to control the acts of violence, a bullet hit Catrillanca, he found himself face to face with the “Comando Jungla” who shot him, without provocation. He was traveling on a tractor in the surroundings of Temucuicui, a Mapuche community. The police murdered him inside the community and from there they took him to the hospital, but they could not do anything. The police murdered an innocent man who had a 6-year-old daughter and his pregnant wife.

Already at 15, he led Mapuche mobilizations for the recovery of rights and autonomy, he denounced the racism and discrimination that affects adolescents in educational establishments, the police control that prevents them from moving freely in their communities and the impossibility of appealing to a State that represses them. “In the community of Temucuicui, to which I belong, the police enter to our homes, we are no longer free, we can not walk in the hills and take care of our animals, the repression is too strong. The State is the main repressor, the one that sends the police to murder because we are exposed, they are shooting us”, words of Camilo Catrillanca at age 15.

Comando Jungla

Comando Jungla (Comando Jungla)

Facts with weapons and extreme violence, these are the two ingredients that must have the crimes that occur in La Araucanía so that it enters the action of Comando Jungla of the Chilean police, this command is only authorized to go to situations of extreme violence. The unit composed of 80 polices who were trained in Colombia and whose main focus is to address the crimes of rural violence. President Sebastián Piñera on a visit to Temuco on June 28 authorized this group of trained policemen. The Comando Jungla whose real name is “Tactical Reaction Group”, the general director of Carabineros, Hermes Soto, said that it was “the characteristics of the Colombian jungle terrain are also similar to some sectors of the southern part of the country”
These police officers have armored vehicles, helicopters, unmanned aerial systems, short-range thermal cameras, binoculars with telemeter and HD cameras. According to the plan, the objective of this unit is the intervention to avoid acts of rural violence of a terrorist nature in the area.

Important points of the death of Camilo catrillanca and the attack of the police to Temucuicui:

  • The wrong decision to form a military group and prepare it in a foreign country where there was internal war, terrorism and drug trafficking and take it to the Araucanía where the conflict is social.
  • The police have a history of dishonest shows to blame the people from the Mapuche communities to justify violence against them.
  • The first declarations of the Mapuche people were that the police was shooting when they entered to the community, which were denied by them and the government, later it was proved that they actually entered shooting and there was no exchange of shots that caused the death of Catrillanca, he didn’t have a gun.
  • International organizations have been warning about the situation of the Mapuche people for years. In a recent report, the United Nations expressed “its concern over the numerous episodes of police brutality and excessive use of security forces against protesters” and “police abuses against members of the Mapuche people in the context of raids.”
  • The great operation of the “Comando Jungla” that resulted in the murder of Catrillanca was originated by an anonymous call, where it is accused that the people of the community steal with weapons, cars from people whose identity is still unknown.
  • Part of the protocol, the police must have cameras to record everything, after this operation the police hid the cameras that were finally found.
  • Ex-policemen Carlos Alarcón, Patricio Sepúlveda, Braulio Valenzuela, and Raúl Ávila accused of the murder of Catrillanca said that they were forced to lie about all that happened
  • There was a boy who was with Camilo Catrillanca when he dies, the young man witnessed the murder of him. At that moment he gets off the tractor, they hit him, they put him in a police car and they keep hitting him.