DOCUMENT: MAPUCHE.TXT
 
 REPORT ON THE PRESENT SITUATION 
OF THE MAPUCHE IN CHILE
 
Presented to the Working Group 
on Indigenous Populations of the United Nations 
by 
Del Anaquod, 
Margaret Thomas,
 Kenneth I. Taylor
 
July 27, 1984
 
INTRODUCTION 
 
 Among the many victims of the Pinochet regime in 
Chile, none have been more ignored than the Mapuche Indians. 
With the promulgation of Decree Law #2568 in 1979, the 
military regime provided for the liquidation of Mapuche 
comunidades, lands communally owned by Chile's major 
indigenous population. Aside from this governmental attempt 
at ethnocide by decree, there has been a marked increase in 
recent months in reports of repression against the Mapuche. 
The repression has been particularly directed at the 
leadership of ADMAPU, the organization representing the 
majority of Mapuches in Chile. 
 
 The Institute for Policy Studies Human Rights 
Project and Survival International (USA) responded to this 
increased repression by coordinating a delegation to travel 
to Chile on June 26, 1984, and a follow-up conference in 
Washington, DC, on July 24, 1984. While in Chile, the 
mission was coordinated by the Chilean Human Rights 
Commission and ADMAPU. The delegation visited a number of 
Mapuche communities in the Concepcion, Temuco and Osorno 
regions in southern Chile. In addition to the many Mapuches 
interviewed, the delegation conducted interviews with 
government representatives, attorneys, and church officials 
in the area where repression has occurred. The delegation 
ended its trip with a visit to two remote towns in the north 
of Chile where ADMAPU's President and Treasurer were 
relegated (internally exiled) by the military government. On 
their final day in Chile, the delegation gave a press 
conference at the headquarters of the Chilean Human Rights 
Commission in Santiago. 
 
 The members of the delegation were: Del Anaquod, 
President of the Saskatchewan Indian Federated College of 
the University of Regina, who represented the World Council 
of Indigenous Peoples; Margaret Thomas, anthropologist and 
Director of the Portland (Oregon) Office of the Council for 
Human Rights in Latin America; and Kenneth I. Taylor, 
anthropologist and Executive Director of Survival 
International (USA). 
 
 Also participating in the conference on July 24, 
1984 was Melillan Painemal, a member of the Board of 
Directors of ADMAPU and Vice-President of the World Council 
of Indigenous Peoples. Isabel Letelier, Director of the IPS 
Human Rights Project moderated the conference. 
 
 
LAND PROBLEMS AND LEGISLATION 
(prepared by Kenneth I. Taylor) 
The problems of land tenure and access to natural 
resources of the Mapuche of Chile date back many years. 
Their present situation of impoverishment and insufficient 
land is typical for the Third World and the Americas and yet 
the history of their relations with outsiders and invaders 
was, until the late 19th century, quite unique. 
 
 The Mapuche are the only indigenous group which 
withstood the attacks of the Inca and were never conquered 
by them. They are also the only south American indigenous 
group which was never conquered by the Spaniards. Their 
eventual "pacification" by the State of Chile in 1883 is not 
accepted by them as having been a conquest. They prefer to 
call it the PENULTIMATE STRUGGLE. Their history is a proud 
one and it is a history of which they are very conscious. It 
is reflected in their disdainful attitude to the operations 
of successive governments of Chile -- especially the present 
military regime. 
 
 In practice, however, they have lost control of 
and access to the great part of what was once their 
territory. At the time of the arrival of the Spaniards, in 
1540, the Mapuche occupied most of what is now Chile, from 
Antofagasta in the north, to the Isla Chiloe in the south. 
This has been calculated as an area of 31 million hectares 
(a hectare is 2.47 acres). After about a century of 
interaction and struggle with the Spaniards, the Treaty of 
Quilin was signed in 1641. By this the Mapuche agreed to 
remain to the south of the Bio Bio river, in an area of only 
10 million hectares. For more than two centuries they 
successfully defended this area against the Spaniards and, 
later, the Chileans. In 1881 to 1883, the Chilean armies 
which, with the help and financing of England, had just won 
the War of the Pacific against Bolivia and Peru, put down a 
major uprising and finally "pacified" the Mapuche. They were 
then settled on "reducciones" or reserves, all relatively 
small and, in most cases, separated one from another by 
areas settled by Chileans and European immigrants. This 
process continued until 1929 when 3,078 reserves had been 
created for a total area of only 525,000 hectares. By 1979, 
the date of the current law which provides for the division 
and liquidation of the Mapuche reserves, this had been 
further reduced to only 350,000 hectares. 
 
 Legal definition of Mapuche land tenure began in 
the 1860's with the issuing of "titulos de merced" in the 
north and "escrituras de comisario" in the south. The 
"titulos de merced" were for lands considered to be granted 
or gifted to the Mapuche by the State. They were communal, 
though generally in the name of the head of an extended 
family or community, and were clear titles of land 
ownership. The "escrituras de comisario" in the south had a 
different character. Although also communal, they were for 
possession and use, not for ownership. The State retained 
ownership or, during the years when inalienability (that is, 
a prohibition of sale to non-Mapuches) of these lands was 
provided for by law, trusteeship of the lands. 
 
 More recently, starting in 1927, titles of 
individual ownership have been issued to Mapuche, following 
the subdivision of community lands into individual family 
ho}dings. This was provided for by Law #4.169 (slightly 
modified in 1961) which set up the Special Court for the 
Division of Indian Communities in Temuco. This is the 
capital of Cautin Province in the heart of Mapuche 
territory. The laws on inalienability had to be renewed 
every ten years and between 1943 and 1947 there was a lapse 
in renewal which was taken advantage of for the purchasing 
from the Mapuche of some 100,000 hectares of their land. 
THE CASE OF THE ROFUE COMMUNITY 
 
 We visited the community of Rofue, some 8 
kilometers south of Temuco. The Rofue people are under 
threat of eviction at any moment. This small community of 11 
families received a "titulo de merced", a communal property 
title, in 1905. Their present problem goes back to the 
1930's and has developed in five distinct phases. 
 
 Phase I - Division of the community and the sale of 
one family holding 
 
 In 1934 a petition was presented for the division 
of the community lands, in the terms of the law of 1927. In 
1942 the community twice actively opposed and prevented the 
necessary survey. In 1946, however, in spite of the 
community's continued opposition, the division was carried 
out. "Material possession" never took place, however, and 
the community members, therefore, do not accept that the 
community was divided. 
 
 Following this supposed division of the community, 
one absentee member sold her individual holding to a non-
 Mapuche called Sepulveda. This was the beginning of the 
present troubles of the community. 
 
 Phase II - First eviction attempt 
 
 In the late 1950's there was a first attempt at 
eviction. At least one family was evicted by carabineros who 
arrested Robustiano Jineo and burned down his family's 
house. Robustiano spent 15 days in jail and was then 
sentenced to one and a half years in jail in a case brought 
by Sepulveda. His innocence was later established, the 
eviction was declared incorrect, and a commission of the 
Ministry of Lands was to look into the case. Because of the 
earthquake of 1960 this never happened. 
 
 Phase III - Compensation and re-sale 
 
 The land holding has been sold and re-sold some 5 
times and in 1960 Sepulveda received 9 million pesos 
compensation for loss of his rights to the land. 
Nevertheless, he sold it again to another person at around 
that time. Because of the payment of compensation, the 
community members do not accept the legality of this sale. 
 
 Phase IV - Second eviction attempt 
 
 In December 1981 there was another judgment of 
eviction, in favor of the new owner. Robustiano went to 
Santiago again and spoke to a lawyer at the Ministry of 
Agriculture. He informed the lawyer that there would be 
opposition and dead and wounded if the eviction was 
attempted. He also informed the newspapers and radio 
stations of this. The authorities backed down and there was 
no eviction. 
 
 Phase V - The present situation 
 
 Now, in July 1984, there could be an eviction at 
any moment. A judicial decree for this has been issued. On 
June 25th the community approached the State Governor at 
Temuco and discussions on the case are going on with his 
office. 
 
 We spoke with the lawyer who is handling the case 
for the Mapuche. He is presenting every possible delaying 
action to the courts but says the only real hope is for a 
change in government. The only legal argument against the 
eviction, he told us, is that the community is not properly 
divided as the present day holdings (with the exception of 
the one which was sold) do not correspond to those of the 
survey of the late 1940's. There is also a procedural 
objection in that the eviction was ordered two years ago and 
should have been carried out within 30 days of that date. 
 
 Not just the families immediately involved, but 
the entire community is prepared to resist the eviction and 
they told us they are willing to die rather than be removed 
from their lands. 
 
 *****
 
Between 1954 and 1972 there was a slow-down in the 
process of division and alienation of Mapuche lands when 
Venancio Conioepan, a Mapuche, was Minister of Lands. 
Although of the Conservative Party, as a Mapuche he was 
opposed to the division of their lands. 
 
 In 1972, Law #17.729 of the Popular Unity 
government of Salvador Allende completely restructured the 
Mapuche land situation. As one Chilean lawyer we met told 
us, this is the only legislation in the history of Chile 
which has been favorable to the Mapuche. 
 
 Quite the opposite of the earlier legislation, 
this provided not for the division of lands but for 
consolidation and increase in size of Mapuche land holdings 
and the confirmation of communal ownership. Indians are 
defined both as the owners or occupiers of lands referred to 
in the relevant legislation (since 1860) and also as those 
who speak an indigenous language and maintain distinctive 
cultural practices. The Indians are presumed to be the 
owners of their lands and various procedures are spelled out 
for the recovery of formerly usurped Indian lands. That was 
to mean not only lands which had been part of the original 
525,000 hectares titled since the 1880's, but also for 
progressive increase of Indian territory as the agrarian 
reform would continue to expropriate lands in excess of the 
established limit. 
 
 Absentee heirs would not have access to lands in 
favor of community members who live on and work the lands. 
The lands were to be inalienable (with certain exceptions) 
as were the woods on Indian land. Any further division of 
Indian lands was to be at the request of an absolute 
majority of the community members. Indian lands, trees, 
improvements, crops, equipment, animals and credits were to 
be unavailable for attachment or lien. 
 
 A new government agency was set up, the 
Directorate of Indian Affairs. Among its principal 
objectives were: the promotion of the social, economic, 
educational and cultural development of the communities, 
while seeking their gradual and harmonious integration into 
the national society, respecting their distinctive ethnic 
characteristics. Credit was to be provided and no land taxes 
were to be paid by Indians. Debts were to be forgiven, and 
decrees of expropriation of Mapuche lands, of 1931 and 
1961, were to be annulled. 
 
 This law followed meetings held by the Mapuche in 
Ercilla in 1969 and in Temuco in 1970, the latter attended 
by Allende and his Minister of Agriculture, Jacques 
Chonchol. All the demands of the Mapuche were not met, but 
the legislation was essentially favorable to them. 
 
 During the one year that the law was in effect a 
good deal of land which had been in the hands of large land-
 owners was regained by the Mapuche. This was achieved both 
by the implementation of the law itself and also by numerous 
direct takeovers by the Mapuche themselves. In September 
1973 the Pinochet military regime took power and a 
widespread and bloody revenge was visited on the Mapuche who 
had dared to question the injustices of history and retake 
the lands which had always been theirs. 
 
 "... On the day of the coup, the big landowners, 
the land barons, the military and the carabineros started a 
great manhunt against the Mapuches who had struggled and 
gained their land back; ... the massacres of Lautaro, Cunco, 
Meli-Peuco, Nehuente, ... Lonquimay ... and Panguipulli ... 
The counter-revolution of 1973 hit the Mapuche populations. 
even harder than most other sectors ..." (UN Ad Hoc Working 
Group on the Situation of Human Rights in Chile 1978). "No 
one has ever been able to accurately establish the number of 
Mapuches actually killed at /that/ time. Only /in 1979/, 
after six years, /were/ some people gaining the courage to 
explain what happened to them and their families" (Inter-
 Church Committee on Human Rights in Latin America 1980). 
 
 Immediately following the coup of 1973, the gains 
of the one year old Law #17.729 were reversed and the lands 
regained were expropriated once again. Obviously, then, 
there was no further implementation of that law. In 1979 the 
military regime issued Decree Law #2568 which returns things 
to where they were and makes them even worse. In the very 
title of the new law its repressive and ethnocidal nature is 
expressed: "For the Indians, Indian lands, the Division of 
the Reserves and the Liquidation of the Indian Communities." 
 
 Once again provision is made for the division of 
Indian lands, this time at the request of one single person, 
an "occupant" of a community or reserve, who need not be an 
Indian nor a resident and can, in fact, be an illegal 
squatter or usurper of the land. Following division the 
lands are no longer to be considered Indian, nor the people 
Indians (the explicit wording to this effect was removed by 
the modifying decree of July 1979, but the sense is implicit 
in several remaining clauses of the law). Indians are no 
longer defined in terms of language or culture, there can be 
no appeal of a judgment of land division and such a division 
cannot be annulled or rescinded. 
THE CASE OF THE LAUTARO COOPERATIVE 
 
 We visited this cooperative, near the town of 
Lumaco, founded in 1969. In 1968, during the Frei 
government, 120 Mapuche families of the community of Mohuen 
occupied the lands of what is now the cooperative. Mohuen 
was a "reduccion" or reserve where increasing population 
pressure meant that there was not enough land for these 
people to make a living for their families. The lands they 
therefore occupied were owned by an absentee landlord who 
rented them to a non-Mapuche of Lumaco. In the old days it 
had been Mapuche territory, in their language they knew it 
as Pelilimapu, "the place where it freezes." 
 
 Following the occupation, they were removed by 300 
carabineros and spent one year at Maiten, on the edge of 
another reserve, waiting for CORA (the Corporation for 
Agrarian Reform) to decide whether or not to expropriate the 
land for them. 
 
 This was done in 1969 and the cooperative formed, 
with 120 members. They had, at that time, 3 tractors, 390 
animals (cattle and some horses), a harrow, metal ploughs, 
carts, silos, warehouses, and an electric mill in Lumaco. 
 
 Ramon Vidal, a mestizo member of the coop and one 
of the directors sold animals without the agreement of the 
others. Another member, Augusto Cisternas, sold a number of 
other items. The result was a fair-sized debt by the early 
1970's. 
 
 The military coup was in 1973 but the land; 
division and community liquidation legislation was not 
decreed until 1979. The first clear evidence that it was in 
preparation dates from 1978. It is presumably not a 
coincidence that the government took its first steps toward 
liquidation of the coop in 1978. In January of that year, 
taking advantage of the existence of the debt, the 
government declared the coop bankrupt and named a non-
 Mapuche, Julio Diaz, as administrator. He was in this 
position for two and a half years. He sold animals and 
equipment, took out loans in the cooperative's name and, so 
we were told, used the money on his own land, used the 
cooperative's equipment on his own land, and rented out coop 
lands to outsiders. In the time he was administrator he 
managed to increase the debt from around 400,000 pesos to 4 
million pesos. 
 
 During this period it was impossible for the coop 
members to work the coop normally because, quite apart from 
the misuse and sale of animals and equipment, they could not 
arrange credits and could not represent themselves in court 
in order to straighten out the situation. 
 
 The result has been the worst situation of poverty 
that we observed anywhere among the Mapuche. 
 
 In 1980 the administrator was replaced by a 
commission which is still working on the bankruptcy and the 
liquidation of the cooperative. In 1983 Julio Diaz claimed a 
sum of back pay from the commission. Instead of simply 
denying liability, they put on record that it is the coop 
members who owe that money. The process was, we have been 
told, highly questionable in legal terms but meantime the 
situation is defined by that action. 
 
 The liquidation commission has made plans to 
auction off one large part of the area of the coop, to pay 
certain of the debts, and then to liquidate the coop and 
divide up the remaining lands. This would leave the coop 
members each with a parcel of land encumbered with a large 
debt. The only way they could get out of these debts would 
be to sell their land. Needless to say, it would be only 
non-Mapuche who could afford to buy up the land. 
 
 In our investigation we sought information on the 
implementation of the 1979 law and the impact this has had 
on the Mapuche communities. We learned of specific cases of 
land difficulties at the Lautaro cooperative, the Rofue 
community and at San Juan de la Costa as regards the 
particular situation of the southern Huilliche. We had 
discussions of the law and its implementation with Mapuche 
and representatives of ADMAPU, of other pro-Indian 
organizations and with government representatives. In these 
discussions it was noteworthy that we received two quite 
different kinds of information. On the one hand, the Mapuche 
and their supporters were uninterested in the details of 
implementation, speaking more in terms of general resistance 
to the law and preferring to disregard it as not being 
legitimate rather than discuss it as if, in any way, valid. 
The government representatives, on the other hand, were 
proud of the extent of implementation, unhesitating in 
affirming its beneficial nature, and pleased to tell us of 
what we felt were clearly harmful aspects of its impact on 
the communities. 
 
 The Ministry of Agriculture and INDAP (National 
Institute for Agricultural Development) people we spoke with 
told us that, as of the end of June 1984, 1411 reserves had 
been, or were in the process of being, divided. This out of 
a total of 2,066 in 1979, according to government 
statistics. This represents 68% of the total of 2,066. As of 
the end of 1983, 41,341 individual property titles had been 
approved as a result of these divisions (of 1,365 reserves 
by the end of 1983), an average of 30 individual titles per 
divided community. 
 
 One of three ways to avoid division of a community 
is the so-called "pact of non-division" which requires the 
signatures of 100% of the members of a community and is 
valid for five years. In ADMAPU's view, to go along with 
this procedure would be no better than the division itself 
because it presents the government with a blank check to 
divide after the 5 years are up. They clearly prefer not to 
go along with the law in any of its aspects. 
 
 ADMAPU also told us of examples of community 
resistance to division, of cases where the majority of the 
residents of a community, agricultural implements in hand, 
had simply confronted the INDAP surveyors and told them to 
leave. So far it seems that the INDAP people have not forced 
the issue (although ADMAPU also spoke of "imposed divisions" 
where carabineros accompanied the surveyors, but these were 
not cases of overt resistance). The INDAP people we met with 
denied that carabineros had ever accompanied the surveyors 
(which may be true for the region we were in, it may have 
happened only in other regions). 
 
 We were not given any total count of the 
communities in resistance, only examples of four in one 
area, one in another, etc. Various other sources confirmed 
that such resistance has occurred but again without any idea 
of the number of communities involved. Our impression is 
that only a few are involved. It is worth noting, however, 
that these cases of active resistance are recent, this did 
not happen in the first years of implementation of the law. 
It does seem that at the beginning many communities accepted 
that the division would be beneficial. It is only now, in 
the last year or so, that it has become clear to some 
communities that in fact the division is harmful. 
 
 Decree Law #2568 can be harmful to the communities 
in especially two ways. One is the extreme individualization 
of land holding that it represents and imposes. While it is 
true that Mapuche land tenure has, for a long time, been one 
of separated family small-holdings within the contiguous 
area of communally held community land, it has not been an 
inflexible system. Both the option for communal working of 
the land on occasion and for the shifting of limits and 
boundaries as might be required by changing patterns of 
tenure over the generations have been retained by the lack 
of a rigid and fixed separation of individual land areas. 
One interesting observation made to us was that it has been 
during the Pinochet years that the Mapuche have re-
 discovered aspects of their communality and have reversed 
some of the assimilation of earlier years, including the 
individualization of their agricultural practices. 
 
 Second, is the risk and the fact of sale of 
Mapuche land to non-Mapuches. The INDAP people were quite 
open in informing us of how that is happening and that it is 
already quite common. In one form (explicitly provided for 
by D.L.#2568) the regional head of INDAP can and does 
authorize the sale of land parcels by one Mapuche to 
another. This has the obvious potential for the 
concentration of land in the hands of fewer and fewer of the 
Mapuche, at the expense of their fellows, quite the opposite 
of what their traditional inheritance system involved. This, 
if anything, showed a tendency to divide and re-divide land 
holdings through inheritance by more than one heir. A second 
form of land sale which is already happening according to 
the INDAP representatives is the exchange of a parcel of 
land for a property in a nearby town or city. For the 
Mapuche receiving the urban property this has the risk of 
both separation from the other members of his or her 
community and of eventual need to sell to non-Indian(s) as 
the economic difficulties of life in the urban environment 
take their toll. 
 
 We heard from other sources that Mapuche land was 
also being sold in some areas for the purposes of tourism. 
This was denied by the INDAP people. Later, however, we 
received detailed information from representatives of 
CAPIDE (Centro Assessor y Planificador de Investigacion y 
Desarollo -- Planning and Support Center for Research and 
Development) of the buying of portions of Mapuche holdings 
for the purpose of building summer homes. This has been 
happening to a considerable extent, we were told, in the 
pre-Cordillera area, around lakes Calafquien, Colico and 
Caburgua, in the Cautin and Valdivia provinces, southeast of 
Temuco. 
 
 A further difficulty for the Mapuche is that by a 
more recent Executive Order #3.256, tax incentives are 
provided for communities that divide their land and severe 
tax penalties for those that do not. 
 
 Division of Mapuche land into individual holdings 
is fast becoming an accomplished fact. One of the supposed 
advantages of this that the government presented to the 
Mapuche was the possibility, with individual titles of 
ownership, of acquiring agricultural credit. The danger in 
this is obvious, for poor small-holders such as the Mapuche. 
Risking their land as collateral for loans and credit will 
in the normal course of events lead to the loss of more and 
more of their land. We were told, however, that very few 
people had so far taken this option and that the people are 
well aware of the risks involved. 
 
 For the Mapuche, then, their lands have been 
divided but there are thousands of them still living on 
lands that have always been theirs. The division has been in 
terms of the latest piece of non-Mapuche legislation, one of 
the many that have come and gone over the years. The Mapuche 
know that the present regime cannot last forever and they 
are waiting for the day when this ethnocidal legislation is 
replaced by laws which will return their lands to them and 
recognize their rights as an indigenous nation. 
 
 RECENT INCIDENTS OF REPRESSION AGAINST 
MAPUCHE PEOPLE AND LEADERS 
(prepared by Margaret Thomas) 
 
 It is clear that the Mapuche Indians of Chile, 
just like all other indigenous peoples of the Americas, have 
suffered a long history of racial, cultural and economic 
discrimination at the hands of the HUINCAS or white 
conquerors and settlers of their lands. 
 
 This section of our report deals with the 
repression which the Mapuche people, and especially the 
leaders of the Association of Small Agriculturalists and 
Artisans - AD-MAPU, commonly referred to as AD-MAPU, have 
suffered during the last six months. 
 
 It was at the request of AD-MAPU, seconded by the 
Chilean Human Rights Commission, that the International 
Commission traveled in Chile from June 26th to July 9th. We 
visited Mapuche communities in the Eighth, Ninth and Tenth 
Regions in the south of Chile, met with church and private 
organizations and lawyers working with the Mapuche as well 
as with government officials in Concepcion, Temuco and 
Osorno, and visited the two Mapuche leaders internally 
exiled in the desert in the Second Region in the north of 
Chile. 
 
 We collected testimony and legal documents 
pertaining to physical attacks against Mapuches, arbitrary 
detentions and control over their movements. Our 
investigation was not exhaustive, but we were able to get at 
least two sources of information, either verbal testimony or 
legal documents or statements from lawyers on a number of 
cases of repression of Mapuches and Mapuche leaders and 
denial of their human rights. 
 
 Let us briefly review the cases which we 
investigated: 
 
 I. MANUEL SEGUNDO MELIN PEHUEN 
 
 Manuel Segundo Melin Pehuen, 24 years old, a 
student, left his family's home in the community called 
Ralipitra near Nueva Imperial, which lies WEST of Temuco, at 
6am on Monday, the 23rd of January. He had told his parents 
he was going to do summer work organized by AD-MAPU in 
Temuco. He did not arrive at AD-MAPU headquarters that day. 
On Thursday of that week, January 26th, his parents were 
informed by the police that he had drowned and his body 
found in the Traiguen River about 90 kilometers NORTH of 
Temuco. 
 
 The national directors of AD-MAPU denounced his 
death as being of uncertain cause and the protests appeared 
in the newspapers. A few days later, on February 11th, a 
funeral wreath sent by ACHA (the Chilean Anti-Communist 
Action) arrived at ADMAPU headquarters. On February 13th a 
total of 21 letters from the same organization, claiming to 
have killed Melin and threatening the recipients with the 
same fate, arrived at ADMAPU headquarters and at some 
private homes of AD-MAPU leaders and persons working with 
NEHUEN, a Mapuche-run private organization which offers 
technical help to Mapuche communities. 
 
 Was Manuel Melin killed by ACHA? Or was his 
accidental death taken advantage of by ACHA to threaten the 
Mapuche leaders of AD-MAPU and NEHUEN? The government 
autopsy says the evidence does not point to homicide but 
does not rule it out; there is one reputable witness who 
claims to have seen Manuel Melin hitchhiking in the 
direction of Traiguen. It is possible he went to a popular 
swimming spot on the Traiguen River on his own. 
 
 If Melin was killed by ACHA, as that organization 
claims, it is one of the worst cases of threats to the 
leadership of an organization to have occurred in Chile in 
the last 4 or 5 years. If ACHA did not kill Melin, they 
certainly took cruel advantage of the situation to send the 
Mapuche leaders a very grisly threatening message. The case 
of Melin's death has not been resolved to date, and it is 
not clear to us that the necessary conditions exist in Chile 
under which it could be resolved. 
II. DETENTION OF STAFF OF INDIAN INSTITUTE 
 
 On the 24th of March Juan Nanculef Huaiquinao and 
Paula Pilquinao, staff members of the Indian Institute, an 
organization which works under the auspices of the Catholic 
church in Temuco, were asked by two policemen for a ride in 
the Institute's vehicle for a few kilometers. The staff 
acceded to the request even though it would delay their 
arrival at the inauguration of a new mill at Collico near 
Ercilla. The police then asked to be taken a further 
distance, which request was also granted. At the end of the 
ride the police told the two Institute staff members that 
they were arrested and forced them to drive to the police 
post at Ercilla. There were held there for 4 or 5 hours and 
then were freed with no explanation as to why they had been 
detained. 
 
 In addition, some five police then went to the 
dedication ceremony for the new mill and insulted the people 
and threatened one of the leaders who attempted to talk with 
them. The Mapuche decided to ignore the police who finally 
left without further incident. 
III. POLICE AND MILITARY ATTACK IN MIQUIHUE 
 
 On March 27th, at about 2:30 in the afternoon, 30 
police, civilians and military people drove up in seven 
vehicles and surrounded a large group of 300 or more Mapuche 
Indians who had gathered together at the playing field of 
the community called Miquihue in Arauco Province to 
celebrate a traditional game of PALIN, or CHUECA, a form of 
hockey played with sticks and a hard wooden ball. 
 
 Without asking questions or warning the people, 
who had stopped the game and were starting to have lunch at 
the time, they opened fire, first shooting into the air and 
then toward the ground where the people were. The attack 
lasted about 30 minutes during which time four people were 
wounded by bullets and one woman's hand was smashed with a 
gun. 
 
 The wounded included: 
Herman Millahual Nepuman 30, married, 1 child - 
bullet in the right thigh
 
Mario Reinao Millahual 11, student - bullet 
grazed his arm 
Jose Segundo Pilquiman Pallao 39, married, 6 children 
bullet wound in left foot - 
he can no longer work 
Bernardo Millahual Marihuen 19, out of work - bullet 
wounds in right foot and 
left calf 
Maria Eugenia Millahual Cona 33 - damaged finger and 
nail beaten with gun 
 
 We talked with all of the wounded and were shown their 
scars. 
 
 The date, March 27th, was a national day of 
protest, and the police claimed that they were breaking up a 
political meeting. They also claimed that the Mapuche had 
attacked their vehicles, breaking windows on them, and that 
this had forced them to shoot. 
 
 The Mapuche in Miquihue deny both of these stories 
as well as others which appeared later in the press stating 
that they were attempting to burn a bridge, that they were 
going to destroy a medical post, that they had closed off a 
highway which the police had come to clear, and that they 
had guns from Russia, etc. 
 
 The Mapuche claim to have taken advantage of a day 
in which people were not going to work to invite people from 
neighboring communities to play their traditional game of 
chueca. It is clear that they were celebrating a traditional 
game which holds religious significance for them and that 
even if they were having a meeting of some sort there is no 
excuse for the police and military to have come in shooting 
at people with no warning. 
 
 IV. DETENTIONS OF PERSONS FROM MIQUIHUE 
 
 There has been continual harassment of people from 
Miquihue since the 27th of March. Rumors were spread that if 
people went to the nearby town of Canete they would be 
arrested, and this has made many people fearful. In fact, at 
least three people from Miquihue have been arrested by the 
police and questioned about the 27th of March incident. 
 
 Those detained include Martin Millahual Caluman, 
31, married, one child, out of work, who was arrested March 
30th in Canete by a policeman nicknamed Condorito and two 
people dressed in civilian clothes. He was taken in a truck 
to the police headquarters where he was questioned about the 
incident in Miquihue and asked if he knew people in the 
community from a list of names. He was arrested about 10 or 
11 in the morning and released about 5:30 in the afternoon 
and told not to tell anyone he had been detained. 
 
 Another person arrested is Igor Reinao Millahual, 
17, a student at the high school in Canete. On Monday, April 
2nd, Igor Reinao was on a bus which was ordered to stop at 
the police headquarters by the same policeman nicknamed 
Condorito. All of the occupants of the bus were asked to get 
off and to give their names and where they were from. Igor 
Reinao and another man named Florentino Marinan Ayayo, about 
25 years old, out of work, were arrested because they said 
they were from Miquihue. They were detained about 3:30 pm on 
Monday and held overnight at the police station. 
 
 Florentino Marinan, who had not been present 
during the game of CHUECA on the 27th, was released about 
6am. 
 
 Igor Reinao was beaten by the police and military 
people while being questioned about what had happened on the 
27th in Miquihue. He was also asked whether he knew people 
they named to him from a list. At one point there were about 
20 people surrounding him and taking turns hitting him 
during the questioning. At 9 am he was taken to Lebu where 
he was held for just over a month. He was later sent to 
Concepcion where he was held twelve more days before being 
released on petition of a lawyer working with the Human 
Rights Commission of the Archdiocese of Concepcion. 
 
 Our commission later talked with Judge Renato 
Campos Gonzalez in Canete about the Miquihue incident. He 
told us that since police were involved the case falls under 
the jurisdiction of the military courts and that civilian 
courts like his have no jurisdiction in such matters. In the 
same interview we asked the judge what percentage of the 
cases he sees involve Mapuches. He answered that he couldn't 
tell us because all Chileans are equal under the law and 
they don't keep statistics by race. He would not give us an 
estimate either. 
 
 V. HARASSMENT OF MEMBERS OF LAUTARO COOPERATIVE 
On Friday, March 30th, a group of some 30 
Mapuches, members of the Lautaro Peasant Cooperative, were 
returning home by bus from Traiguen, where they had gone in 
a successful effort to prevent the sale of one of the 
properties belonging to the cooperative. 
 
 In Traiguen the police had attempted to detain one 
of their leaders, Arturo Curin, an effort which was 
frustrated by the group. Between Traiguen and Lumaco the bus 
was stoned by some unidentified people, breaking some of its 
windows. The driver drove the bus to the police station in 
Lumaco to file a complaint. 
 
 While the bus was stopped at the police station 
two policemen forcibly took Jose Salvador Rain Caniupan, a 
local director, of the cooperative, off the bus. The police 
also started to take others off the bus, including Arturo 
Curin and his wife. At some point a fist fight broke out 
between the Mapuches taken off the bus and the police. 
Additional police came out of the station to fight, making a 
total of 8, and several more Mapuches got off the bus to 
join in. The doors of the bus were them closed so no one 
else could get off to help the Mapuches. Jose Rain and 
Arturo Curin were taken prisoner. Both were badly beaten, 
along with Curin's wife and some of the police. 
 
 The fight was finally stopped by the efforts of 
Pedro Rain, the president of the cooperative, and the 
sergeant in charge of the station. Jose Rain and Arturo 
Curin were released, after clothes were found for Curin who 
had been left naked. The sergeant told them all to say that 
nothing had happened. To this day the police deny that the 
incident ever took place. 
 
 VI. ARREST AND DETENTION OF AD-MAPU LEADERS 
 
 On Saturday, April 21st, five Mapuche leaders 
belonging to the national directorate and youth group of AD-
 MAPU, along with two other Mapuches, were driving at night 
from Temuco to Miquihue to attend a cultural event, which 
the youth group was sponsoring. Others from the youth group 
had gone to Miquihue earlier. At about 11 pm in Contulmo, 
close to Miquihue, they were stopped by military and police, 
who, upon learning they were representatives of AD-MAPU, 
immediately took them to the police station in Contulmo and 
put them in jail. 
 
 Those arrested included Jose Santos Millao 
Palacios, President of AD-MAPU, Domingo Jineo Antinao, 
Treasurer of AD-MAPU, Francisco Painevilu and Wilma 
Mariqueo, student members of the youth group, Lucia 
Huenullan, and the owner of the vehicle and the driver. 
 
 Jose Santos was interrogated during the night by a 
lieutenant and questioned in an insolent and humiliating 
manner about Miquihue and the events of March 27th which 
took place there. 
 
 About 4:30 in the morning, the five men were 
handcuffed and put in the back of a truck and the two women 
were put in a car. They were taken to Lebu where upon 
arrival they were made to identify themselves again and were 
interrogated one by one by a captain of the police. Jose 
Santos said the captain was offensive and threatened him. 
Jose Santos only was then interrogated by a police general, 
this time in a much more diplomatic manner, about Miquihue 
once again. 
 
 About 9 or 10 am the seven were taken to the jail 
in Lebu. About 5 pm that same day, Sunday, five of them 
were released. Jose Santos and Domingo Jineo were held in 
the jail until midnight on Monday when they were turned 
over to the CNI, the security police. (See Section IX for 
the next phase, internal exile.) 
 
 VII. ANOTHER DETENTION OF AD-MAPU LEADERS 
 
 On Monday, April 23rd, just after midnight, five 
members of the AD-MAPU national directorate were taking a 
taxi to the home of a lawyer in Temuco to prepare to take 
legal action at the earliest possible moment regarding the 
detention of two of their national officers. They were 
stopped by police and asked to identify themselves, and, 
upon hearing they were of AD-MAPU, the police took them to 
the Coilaco police station in Temuco. 
 
 They were arrested and held without charge about 
14 hours until 6 pm that same day when four of the five 
were released. 
 
 Those released were Rosamel Millaman Reinao, Maria 
Traipe Avendano, Aucan Huilcaman Paillama, and Jose 
Huenchual. The other leader, Juan Neculqueo, was taken to 
Lebu and held in jail there until April 29 when he was 
released. He was held on the accusation of being an 
instigator of the events which occurred in Miquihue. 
 
 VIII. ARREST AND DETENTION OF AD-MAPU MEMBERS 
 
 On April 25th after an AD-MAPU meeting, a number 
of members decided to go to the Intendencia in order to ask 
the Intendente to free the treasurer and president of AD-
 MAPU who had been held in the jail in Lebu since April 
22nd. They were peacefully heading toward the Intendencia 
when they were stopped by police who used force to break up 
the group. A brief fight followed in which one policeman 
was hurt. 
 
 The police arrested eight of the Mapuches, the men 
being sent to the public jail in Temuco and the women to 
the women's jail. Those arrested were: Mariano Melillan, 
Benito Millapan, Volodia Painemal, Jose Huenchual, 
Feliciano Coche, Maria Huriman, Elena Colihuinca and Isabel 
Cayupil. They were all released on Saturday, April 28th. 
Three were given conditional liberty. 
 
 IX. INTERNAL EXILE OF AD-MAPU PRESIDENT AND TREASURER 
 
 On April 24th, after being held in the jail in 
Lebu for two days and then turned over to the security 
police for a day, Jose Santos Millao, President of AD-MAPU, 
and Domingo Jineo Antinao, Treasurer of AD-MAPU, were driven 
to the Concepcion airport early in the morning. They were 
put on a small six-passenger plane and flown north. It was 
only during the flight that they learned that they had been 
relegated, internally exiled, to the north of Chile for 
three months, on an order from the Ministry of the Interior. 
 
 The two Mapuche leaders were flown to Antofagasta, 
arriving about 5:30 pm, where they were interrogated in 
great detail before being taken by vehicle to two little 
towns located on the road which runs from Antofagasta to 
Calama, Jose Santos to Baquedano and Domingo Jineo to Sierra 
Gorda. 
 
 They were just left alongside the road in their 
respective towns, just before and after midnight, with 
nothing but the clothes on their backs, which were no 
protection from the cold desert night. In both places the 
local police waked up people who had been sent to the towns 
in exile previously to help them find a place for the night. 
 
 We interviewed the two men when they had about 
three weeks left of their period of internal exile. Both 
said they had been well treated by the local people. They 
had each been employed part of the time they were in exile, 
Jose Santos as a teacher and Domingo Jineo as a construction 
worker. 
 
 The internal exiles cannot leave the perimeter of 
the little two-street-wide towns so they have not seen each 
other. (An occasional exception was made for Domingo Jineo 
who was allowed to go a few kilometers out of town as part 
of his construction crew in search of building materials.) 
They must sign in with the local police three times a day, 
morning, afternoon and evening. Domingo Jineo, the younger 
of the two, is in poor health, coughs up phlegm and suffers 
very much from the cold at night. 
 
 The two Mapuche exiles have both been helped by 
the Vicariate of Antofagasta which paid Jose Santos' lodging 
and allowed Domingo Jineo to live in an unused parish house 
in Sierra Gorda. 
 
 There have been at least two requests for HABEAS 
CORPUS submitted by lawyers in Concepcion in an attempt to 
gain their freedom. These have been denied. The official 
documents which pertain to their internal exile give no 
specific charges to justify their exile. 
 
 X. CONTROL OF MOVEMENT BETWEEN REGIONS 
 
 There is also currently a situation in which two 
Mapuche women have been ordered not to enter the Eighth 
Region of the country by the military chief of the Ninth 
Region. This is particularly hard on one of the women 
because she lives in the Eighth Region. 
 
 The Human Rights Commission of the Archdiocese of 
Concepcion has solicited information from the government to 
find out why the women were prohibited from entering the 
Eighth Region. We are waiting to receive more specific 
information from the Human Rights Commission on this unusual 
human rights case, the only one of its kind known in Chile. 
 
 CONCLUSION 
 
 We feel that we have investigated enough cases of 
repression against the Mapuche people and their leaders to 
state that these are not a series of isolated incidents, but 
that there has developed a consistent policy of harassment 
and denial of their human rights. 
 
 Why has repression against the Mapuche increased 
so dramatically in the last six months? One possible 
explanation is that now that 70 percent of the reserves have 
been divided, a good percentage of the communities left to 
be divided are those which are resisting division. AD-MAPU 
as an organization is opposed to the division of the 
reserves. 
 
 Another reason may be that the current leadership 
of AD-MAPU has made a consistent effort to bring the Mapuche 
demands before a number of popular, trade union and 
political organizations in Chile. These groups include the 
National Peasant Commission, the Democratic Alliance, the 
Popular Democratic Movement and the National Workers 
Command. The leaders of AD-MAPU are moving to ally their 
organization with these groups in opposition to the Pinochet 
regime. 
 
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Pueblo Mapuche


Royaume d'Araucanie et de Patagonie