Chile: Another Mapuche martyr dies as victim of an attack by a forestry company

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On 10 May, Zenen Diaz Necul, a 17 year-old Mapuche boy was run down by a truck when participating in a demonstration in repudiation of an attack carried out by the Mininco company’s forest guards against Mapuche symbolism and cultural, spiritual and religious elements. The protest took place in the area of the Malleco Viaduct (a historical railway bridge in southern Chile’s 9th Region).

This event has led the Arauco Malleco Mapuche Coordinating Committee to declare:

In view of the brutal murder of Diaz Necul, a young Mapuche boy:

1. This murder comes within the framework of the Mapuche conflict waged by the communities that are struggling for their territorial rights against the State and the capitalist system, mainly apparent in the investments of transnational (forestry and energy) companies in our ancestral territory.

2.. The political responsibility for this death falls on the State and the forestry companies that are implementing a permanent policy of repression, expressed in political, legal and police terms, whereby a true hunt is carried out through persecution, militarization of the zones in conflict and selective and indiscriminate repression against any signs of mobilization and struggle by our People.

3. The State is held responsible because it is the supporter and administrator of a system protecting investments by transnational companies through political intervention condemning our communities to poverty, curbing policies for the devolution of land, obliging communities to mobilize, and applying strong repressive measures.

4. The direct responsibility for this murder falls directly on the forces of repression, mainly the carabineros, who through their Special Forces and tactical groups have generated real battlefields against the mobilized Mapuches. In this case we place in doubt the official version that it was in fact a truck-driver who fled, in the knowledge of the repressive methods used by the forces of repression, and also aware that it was the carabineros of the tactical group and forestry guards that searched and destroyed the rehue (*1) and the works done in the framework of restoration carried out by the communities in the area.

5. For the above reasons, we claim the young Mapuche boy, Zenon Diaz Necul as a new martyr to the Mapuche cause, and we raise him to the status of Weichafe (warrior in the Mapuche language) because he died struggling for his community and for his People.

6. We declare that we share the pain and express solidarity towards his family and the communities of the area and make it clear that our best homage to his bravery will be to continue struggling for the reconstruction of our People, the Mapuche Nation.

7. We call on the communities and the areas in conflict to be watchful in view of these events and to advance in their processes of territorial and political reclamation and not let themselves be intimidated by the repressive attacks. At the same time, we call on our Weichafes to pay homage to this new martyr.

In memory of Jorge Suarez Marihuan, Alex Lemun and Zenon Diaz Necul.

(1) Translator’s note: a rehue is a ladder representing the seven powers governing the life of the Mapuche. It is 3 or 4 metres high, made of laurel or cinnamon and is placed in the ground in a semi-vertical position, pointing to the East.