On Friday 9 July in Carahue, a 29-year-old former anthropology student who had joined the Mapuche struggle through CAM (Coordinadora Arauco Malleco), Pablo Marchant, was murdered by a carabiniere with a bullet to the head during an attack on vehicles belonging to the Forestal Mininco forestry company. Far from seeking justice from the murderous state, various radical Mapuche groups from different regions (Biobío, La Araucanía and Los Ríos) immediately set out to keep the ideas of ‘Toño’ alive by attacking companies that exploit water or the forest. In less than a week, the authorities had already counted 44 road blockades, 22 gun attacks on carabinieri patrols or security guards, and 11 arson attacks that had destroyed 39 vehicles (trucks and forestry construction equipment).
Today, 1 August, a little less than a month later, all those who had hoped to reduce these vengeful attacks to an inevitable temporary flare-up of rage and anger for a few days were given a cold shower by the traditional official assessment of the Ministry of the Interior. Not only did the Ministry of the Interior report a 94% increase in “violent acts” in the Mapuche zone (Macrozona Sur) in the first half of 2021, but it also counted more than 150 “attacks” following the murder of Pablo Marchant.
Here is the continuation of our chronological overview of the sabotage carried out against companies in the region, which has destroyed an additional 50 pieces of forestry equipment in the last two weeks…
Río Negro, 18 July: three of the seven forestry machines set on fire
Los Lagos region
On the night of 18 July at around 3am in the municipality of Río Negro (Osorno region), a double attack took place which left 7 construction machines and 1 pick-up in ashes. The first attack took place on the El Mirador estate belonging to the Arauco forestry company, and the second on the Popóen estate belonging to the Huempeleo forestry company (1).
Curanilahue, 22 July: part of the twenty-four forestry facilities destroyed
On 22 July at 8am in the municipality of Curanilahue, a coordinated attack by three groups took place, leaving 24 pieces of forestry equipment in ashes (machinery, construction equipment, biomass transformers and trucks) in the areas of El Tesoro and Bajo Cifuentes. All belonged to the Bosques Arauco company, one of the main industrial devastators of the forest. (2)
Freire, 24 July: two trucks and an excavator of the six burned
La Araucanía region
On the night of 24 July, at around 2am, in the municipality of Freire, there was an attack by a dozen masked people who left in ashes 6 pieces of construction equipment (two trucks, two diggers and two loaders) belonging to two families of small businessmen of Mapuche origin who are subcontractors of the forestry industry of wood aggregates (3).
Quilaco, 30 July: part of the 11 construction machines burnt to the ground
In the evening of 30 July at around 11pm in the municipality of Quilaco, near the Quilmes bridge, an attack occurred that left 11 pieces of construction equipment (trucks, bulldozers, backhoes and gravel crushers) in ashes, belonging to Serviterra, a subcontractor of all the large and devastating construction sites in the region, specialising in sand and gravel extraction (4).
Finally, with regard to other types of recent attacks in the Mapuche area, we could, for example, return to the Santa Ana Tres Palos estate in the municipality of Carahue (La Araucanía region), where Pablo Marchant was murdered on July 9 by a carabiniere.
Well, on Tuesday 27 July, at around midday, it was exactly at this location that some unknown persons discreetly went and fired at a patrol of carabinieri in a van assigned to the Control of Public Order (COP), who are still protecting this area of logging. They managed to shoot two of them, one in the arm and the other in the eye (a forestry worker also received a shrapnel wound), causing one of them to be flown by helicopter to the regional hospital in Temuco and the other to the armed forces hospital in Santiago for emergency surgery. Needless to say, the Chilean Minister of the Interior, Rodrigo Delgado, was in a foul mood during his press conference, and not only because he had to revise his little record of attacks against the authorities in the Mapuche zone…
[Chilean Press Summary, 1 August 2021]
A banner found at the scene and signed by the Kunko-Williche/Millalikan Coordinated Groups (ORT) of the Coordinadora Arauco Malleco (CAM) read, among other things, “weichafe Toño, we will always remember you with sabotage against capital. War on the forestry companies”. It was the Kalfulicán group (ORT) of the Coordinadora Arauco Malleco (CAM) that took responsibility for the second attack.
This coordinated attack was claimed by a communiqué from the group Resistencia Mapuche Lafkenche (RML). It stated that “this action was carried out in tribute to our weichave Lemuel Fernández, two years after his death in combat on 19 July 2019 in an action of sabotage in Tirúa”, while recalling their previous incendiary sabotage of 12 July last in Cañete against 18 forestry machines, which this time was dedicated to Pablo Marchant. The communiqué ends with “Loggers, hydroelectric companies, latifundists and yanakonas, get out of Wallmapu”.
A banner found at the scene and signed by the Kulapan group (ORT) of the Coordinadora Arauco Malleco (CAM) said, among other things, “Down with capitalist investments in Mapuche territory (Wallmapu)”, while referring to the “weichafe Toño”.
A banner found at the site read, among other things, “Down with the logging companies, down with Central Rucalhue (a devastating hydroelectric project), Pablo Marchant is present”.