Protests follow a police killing in Chile

Another killing has spurred more protests by Chile’s indigenous Mapuche people in the country’s south.

Camilo Catrillanca, grandson of the lonko (leader) of Temucuicui, an important Mapuche community and center for resistance activities, was gunned down by police during a confrontation with car thieves.

His father Marcelo characterized him as a weichafe — a warrior for the Mapuche cause.

The government claims that Camilo, who was the community’s tractor driver, was caught in crossfire after police chased the thieves back to the community and were met with a barricade erected by local residents.

Locals question whether the killing was accidental, given the involvement of a controversial federal commando force deployed to “calm” restive Mapuche areas where land-rights conflicts persist.

At the heart of the struggle are longstanding Mapuche land claims in territory coveted by agriculture, forestry, mining, hydroelectricity, and other industries.

Sources: BBC News

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