Police, Mapuche protesters clash in Chile

Thu Oct 2, 2014 7:10AM GMT

Police in Chile have clashed with protesters from the indigenous Mapuche community in the capital, Santiago.

Ethnic Mapuches rallied outside the presidential palace on Wednesday in protest against the killing of a fellow Mapuche, named Jose Mauricio Quintriqueo Huaiquimil.

Violence broke out toward the end of the protest, with police officers arresting several people. The Chilean police reportedly used water cannons to contain the protest.

Local media say Huaiquimil was run over by a tractor-trailer after entering a private plot of land in the Araucania region, but Mapuche people say he was deliberately run over.

The Mapuches, whose name means “people of the land” in their native language, make up six percent of Chile’s population of 17 million.

About one third of Chile’s Mapuches live in the poor south-central Araucania region. In the early 19th century, following the invasions of Spanish colonizers, the Mapuches’ lost their lands to Argentina and Chile.

Although thousands of hectares of land have been returned to the Mapuche since 1993, they still say the government has not done enough.

Source: PressTV

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