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At close range

Comando Jungla murders Mapuche community member in Araucanía, Chile

On November 14, at dawn, the Comando Jungla attacked Mapuche community Temucuicui. There were helicopters and tankettes surrounding the territory. As a result of the armed attack by the command, Camilo Catrillanca, a 25-year-old Mapuche man, grandson of Lonko Juan Segundo Catrillanca, of the Temucuicui traditional community and son of Marcelo Catrillanca, a renowned leader of the Mapuche people, was killed.

While the Comando Jungla was created with “anti-terrorist” purposes, trained by Colombian military forces, Chilean authorities explained that when shooting Catrillanca, the officers were supposedly persecuting common criminals who had stolen some vehicles in the area.

Catrillanca was shot to death while he was driving a tractor in his community. A boy who was with him witnessed the tragedy. “It all points to the fact that the bullet was shot at close range and that he was shot in the back”, said José Aylwin, head of the Chilean Citizen Observatory to Real World Radio.

Aylwin explained the context of this murder, which implies the presence of the Comando Jungla in the Chilean Araucanía region, and how its actions are directly linked to the increasing militarization in the Southern Cone.

It´s worth remembering that Catrillanca´s death is added to other Mapuche members killed by the Chilean State, such as Alex Lemun, Matías Catrileo and Mendoza Collio. In Chile, people are mobilizing demanding justice, while MPs from the party of the opposition are considering submitting a constitutional accusation against the Interior Ministry, the governmental authority behind the actions of Comando Jungla.

In response to the strengthening of militarization in the region, the Citizen Observatory and the Legal and Social Studies Center of Argentina (CLES) requested a special hearing before the Inter American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), which has been granted.