Brutal Repression of Mapuche People in ArgentinaBy: The New Dawn
Two members of the “Pu Lof” Mapuche community, located in the Cushamen department, Chubut, Argentina, are still hospitalized after the brutal repression they suffered at the hands of the Infantry. According to witnesses, the armed agents arrived in the community last night without a court order and began shooting in cold blood. Seven members of the community are still under arrest since the first two episode of repression they suffered last Tuesday (one ordered by the Federal Justice and the other by the Provincial Justice).
The conflict between the state and the Mapuche is over land. Their ancestral territory has been occupied by the Italian-based transnational clothing company Benetton, who owns thousands of hectares of land in the Argentine Patagonia, where they breed sheep for their wool. Benetton disregards the rights of the Mapuche people and continues to occupy their land with the protection of the local government. The Mapuche community has been protesting for years, and recently has blocked the railroad of the touristic train La Trochita and the state is cracking down on them with armed violence to get them to desist.
The governor of Chubut, Mario Das Neves, considers the Mapuche people to be responsible for the “serious incidents” of violence and expressed his “overall repudiation” of their actions. “For a while, there has been a group of violent people in Chubut who don’t respect the law, nor the Motherland nor our flag and permanently attack anybody,” he said in a press round.
Ambulances were slow to arrive. “They obey orders from the police and refuse to assist the wounded, despite the seriousness of their injuries. Once more, we hold the government of Chubut and the national government responsible for these absurd acts of violence against us. This is a murderer state,” said a spokeswoman of the community.
One of the wounded Mapuche is Emilio Jones, whose jaw was destroyed by a rubber bullet. “They shot him at point-blank range, so close that they wrecked his jaw. We know he is well and that doctors will attempt to reconstruct his jaw,” said Soraya Maicoñia, one of the leaders of the community.
The other victim, Fausto Jones Huala, was transported to the Bariloche Hospital and is still in the ICU with multiple trauma in the head. “His head was full of wounds and soon he lost his ability to speak. They’re currently studying if he has more serious lesions”, Maicoñia said.
This morning, members of the community attended an audience at the Provincial Justice Court pertaining the case of the seven people that were detained.