Solidarity with the Temuco 12!
Solidarity with the anarchists of the Temuco “Bombs Case”
Starting August 1 and lasting at least until September 11, a dozen Mapuche who have been longtime fighters for total independence will be brought to trial, accused under the Chilean state’s antiterrorism laws.
On June 28, 2009, Mapuche community members used fallen trees to block five highways in the area of Temuco. At the Temuco bypass, a Tur-bus (similar to Greyhound) and three trucks trying to cross the blockades were stoned by masked Mapuche warriors, who spraypainted “Return Mapuche lands” on the side of the bus.
Temuco is part of Wallmapu—the Mapuche territories—as recognized in numerous treaties with the Spanish crown and later the Chilean republic. For over 300 years the Mapuche successfully defended themselves from colonization in a series of wars. In the early 1880s, Chile and Argentina successfully invaded Wallmapu, dispossessing the Mapuche and commodifying their lands. The Mapuche resisted, holding on to their language and culture and rebuilding their communities. In recent decades they have been recovering their lands and are fighting to expel the occupying states and put an end to the capitalist regime which treats the land and all its inhabitants as commodities.
The 12 accused hail from various communities across northern Wallmapu, and all are longtime participants in the struggle for Mapuche independence. Many of them were imprisoned in the antiterrorism trial of 2010 that fell apart in the face of strong solidarity and an 80-plus day hungerstrike by the detained. https://chileboliviawalmapu.wordpress.com/2010/10/28/mapuche-hungerstrike…
Several of them are facing other charges or currently completing their sentences for past trials, but thanks to widespread support and continuing resistance they have so far eluded the extremely long sentences police and prosecutors have been trying to achieve. The Chilean state wants to lock up these twelve and throw away the key. It hopes to break the back of the Mapuche struggle by permanently removing some of the most active and influential members of key communities in resistance.
By going after the same people again and again, prosecutors hope they can finally make the charges stick, despite a lack of physical evidence and an exclusive reliance on anonymous, paid informants.
The Mapuche have loudly proclaimed that their struggle for their lands is not terrorism. Terrorism is what the Chilean state does, harassing, beating, and shooting Mapuche youth and elderly, raiding Mapuche communities, and imprisoning those who speak out. The Mapuche will continue to work to expel the logging companies, mining companies, estate lords, and militarized police who have usurped their lands.
Let’s stand by them. Leading up to the trial and throughout the month of August, we can let the Mapuche know we support them, or show the Chilean state that their heavy handed methods belie their democratic pretenses.
And while we’re at it, let’s not forget the Temuco bombs case.
After the 2010 “Bombs Case” in Santiago fell apart due to a lack of evidence, resulting in the acquittal of all the anarchists framed with the planting of bombs, the Chilean state has decided to give it another try.
In March, 2013, they raided an anarchist social center in the city of Temuco and planted bomb-making materials. They are charging three anarchists under the antiterrorism law.
Below are the phone numbers and emails of various Chilean consulates, and a sample message.
But please, be creative and write your own message or plan an act of protest that makes our solidarity clear.
“We demand absolution of the 12 Mapuche being brought to trial in Temuco under the antiterrorist law on August 1. The criminalization of the Mapuche struggle, and the use of the antiterrorist law and anonymous witnesses show the clear continuity between the Pinochet regime and the current government.
We also demand absolution of the three young women arrested in Temuco in March on the basis of planted evidence. The police are clearly frustrated that their “Caso Bombas” in 2010 fell apart due to lack of evidence and sheer implausability. Now they are trying again, this time manufacturing evidence and unscrupulously planting it in a social center. They are only further embarrassing the Chilean government.
We will be paying close attention to these trials and spreading the word. We stand in full support of the accused.”
Telephone: (202) 530-4104 / (202) 530-4106 / (202) 530-4107
Fax: (202) 530-4145
E mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
There are Chilean consulates in New York, Miami, Houston, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Washington, DC, Philadelphia, San Juan, Boston, Honolulu, Las Vegas, and Seattle.
Phone: 44 (20) 7222 2361
Fax: 44 (20) 7222 0861
Just a few companies that exploit Mapuche lands
Iberdrola USA, a subsidiary of the Spanish energy company with major operations in South America
Enel, which owns Endesa
In other news, Mapuche have successfully halted the eviction of the community Marihuen en Coronel, just outside of Concepcion. On the night the police were supposed to arrive, July 10, community members and supporters maintained a large overnight vigil prepared for confrontation. In the next days they held a large, communal cultural event as the Chilean government announced it would reconsider the eviction.
And on the other side of the Andes, on July 16 Mapuche from various communities in the area of Neukén occupied several rigs of the North American oil giant Chevron, which recently won contracts in Argentina for “nonconventional” hydrocarbon exploration. Chevron was recently convicted of contaminating 500,000 hectares of rainforest in Ecuador, home to other indigenous nations.