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Mapuche conflict gets complicated in Chile

Due to the murder of a young Mapuche Camilo Catrillanca, the tension in Chilean national politics has increased. Protests have been held in Santiago de Chile and the signing of a treaty of peace and dialogue between the Chilean Government and the Mapuche nation in Araucanía is in danger.

By José Díaz

Servindi, November 21st, 2018.- Once again, the conflict between the Government of Chile and the Mapuche nation returns to occupy the front pages in the southern country. This time due to the tragic death of the young Mapuche Camilo Catrillanca (24) while a police-military operation was being executed in the Araucanía, something carried out by the so-called Jungle Command.

The death of Camilo Catrillanca occurred while this young Mapuche worked on a tractor on an agricultural land. The accident occurred after he was hit by a stray bullet fired by agents of the Jungle Command, a carabineros squad trained in Colombia and sent to Araucanía by Sebastián Piñera's administration with the goal of suppressing the Mapuche demonstrations.

"The death of Catrillanca is the result of an irresponsible political 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 Araucanía, an area of social conflict," said the senator of the Araucanía, Francisco Huenchumilla.

The assassination of Camilo Catrillanca has awakened an old conflict between the official Chilean authorities and the Mapuche nation. The climate of tension in this region of Chile has increased in recent days and even in the capital Santiago there have been violent demonstrations in support of the Mapuche population.

General outrage

One of the things that have generated the most indignation in recent days was the position expressed by the administration of Sebastián Piñera. Instead of taking responsibility for the crime and promising investigations, the central government has assured that the death of Camilo Catrillanca was due to a "criminal act" not linked to the historic Mapuche conflict.

"The Government has to assume its political responsibility in the formation and actions of the Jungle Command of Carabineros that have ended the life of Camilo. Minister of the Interior, you must give an explanation to the country, "said Araucan senator Huenchumilla.

This incident has complicated the intentions expressed by the administration of Sebastián Piñera last September. The president of Chile had announced the creation and realization of a "National Agreement for the Development and Peace of La Araucanía". For now, negotiations for this treaty would be frozen due to the impact caused by the death of Camilo Catrillanca.

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