November 8, 2013

Criminal Complaint Against Policemen Who Shot Mapuche Children In Ercilla Undergoes Preparation For This Friday

Mapuche children

Relatives of the children as well as Mapuche leaders repudiated the fact that two minors aged 11 and 16 years, as well as a 19-year-old girl were wounded.

Nélson Miranda, the lawyer sponsoring the prosecution as well as the appeal for protection that will be presented at the Temuco Court of Appeals, said that the intended result of the procedures was that such incidents would not happen again.

Below is the translation of an article from Observatorio Ciudadano:

A protection petition regarding the Mapuche children, who were shot by police officers last weekend in the Chequenco´s sector of the municipality of Ercilla in the Araucania region, will be presented at the Temuco Court of Appeals this Friday [8 November 2013]. This action is taken in addition to a criminal complaint filed by the families of the affected children against the police officers.

This information was confirmed by the lawyer sponsoring the lawsuit, Nélson Miranda, who noted that the legal actions seek to restore the rule of law in an event that is qualified as extremely serious, and mustn’t reoccur within Mapuche communities.

Miranda confirmed that they will "present a protection appeal for the children as well as a complaint against the police officers, given that it comes down to an illegal act that affects the physical and psychological integrity of Mapuche children". He also added that "both the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court have stated that the police should ensure the safety of children."

The facts

On Friday 1 November, around 9 pm, police officers broke into the José Millacheo Levio – Curacao community in the Chequenco sector of Ercilla, and specifically into the home of 82-year-old Mrs. Berta Rosa Levinao, who lives with her 16-year-old granddaughter. That very day her grandchildren D.A.M.M. (11), J.P.M.M. (13) and G.C.M.M. (9) were also visiting.

As the children were about to enter the house, after having played ball in the backyard, they were interrupted by the arrival of a strong police contingent, firing birdshot bullets in the air and also aiming at the children. The most affected was D.A.M.M. (11), who was hit by seven birdshot bullets in his leg, arms and back. His testimony, released on video, puts the incident into context: "We were playing ball when suddenly the cops arrived, they came shooting, and they shot at me, I fell, and then got up and went to my grandmother, because my two cousins were shot as well.”

Pablo Marin, father of the child, also explained the context of the events: "I usually send my children to Chekenko where my mom lives since she is old and alone, although she is there with a granddaughter. That is the reason why I will continue sending my child there. What is happening, what the police is doing is beyond bad“. He continued, stating angrily that “They not only threaten them, now they also gun down their children".

Two other teenagers, Sandra Alicia Millacheo Marin (19) and RZMM (16), also ended up wounded by police action that day.


With regard to the version given by the police, according to which the Mapuche children were used as human shields, the lonko Juan Catrillanca emphasised "what a parent cares about the most is his or her children", meaning that "where ever a mom or grandmother is, the child will be there, but never as a human shield".

Other facts and judgment

It is interesting to note that in July this year [2013], the Temuco Court of Appeals received a petition on behalf of 12 minors of the Trapilwe and Mawidanche Mapuche communities of the Quepe sector, in the commune of Freire. The action was brought by attorney Maria del Rosario Salamanca of the Mapuche Public Defender office of Temuco against the Chilean Investigative Police (PDI), following a procedure that took place on 30 April [2013] in the area.

The ruling of the second Court room stated that "critical for this Court is the presence of a large number of indigenous children in the place where the diligence investigation was undertaken, thus allowing the Court to conclude that there has been a breach and there is a clear risk of new violations of the rights to personal freedom and individual security of the applicants”.

The judgment finishes "urging the Chilean Investigative Police to hold future investigative activities affecting indigenous children strictly according to the provisions of Article 214 of the Criminal Procedure Code ".

Source: UNPO

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