OF THE MAPUCHE IN CHILE
                    Presented to the Working Group 
            on Indigenous Populations of the United Nations 
                             Del Anaquod, 
                           Margaret Thomas,
                           Kenneth I. Taylor
                             July 27, 1984
               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. 
     (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. 
               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 
               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. 
               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 
               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 
               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.       
     (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 
               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 
               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 
               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. 
               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 
               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. 
               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 
     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 
               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. 
               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 
               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. 
               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. 
               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.) 
               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. 
               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. 
               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 
               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 
               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. 
               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. 
               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 
               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 
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Pueblo Mapuche

Königreich Araukanien & Patagonien