Mapuche Matias Catrileo, 22, died 7 years ago on January 3, after being shot in the back by a police officer over a territorial claim. At his death, Catrileo was a student in the third year at the University of La Frontera in Temuco. Matias was with other community members the day he died at the “Santa Margarita” farm, a site which surrounded the Llupeco Vilcún community, a place of territorial dispute. People resisted approaching police that day with stones and lighting hay bales on fire. During the resistance a burst expelled from a sub-machine gun pierced the side of Mathias Catrileo’s lung, killing him a few minutes later.
Today the boy’s mother, Monica Quezada, said the person responsible: Corporal Walter Ramirez is practically free, he’s just being condemned to sign without having to set foot in prison for the crime.
In this regard she stated that ” justice was sold within the country,”she hopes that the processing of an application before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights will bring Justice.
Despite this tragedy, she appreciated the support of the Mapuche leaders throughout the country and highlighted the progress of the lawsuits in recent years.
Today’s commemoration march in Santiago was met by more police violence. 21 arbitrary, violent arrests were made including a minor who may be facing a charge for possession of a Molotov. Police in Santiago used Water Cannons and arrests to break down the assembly after they had formed lines blocking the progression.
An Interview with Matias’s mother Monica Quezada.