Centro de Documentación Mapuche Documentation Center

Press Release

Mapu Domuche Newen

Women with the Strenght of Earth

Alto Bio Bio, Thursday, February 6, 2002

We would like to inform that 55 Pehuenche brothers an sisters  (Elders, adults, youth and women were detained by carabineros (Police) in Quepuca-Ralco and they are now tried by the Military Court in the city of Chillan.

Among the detainees is the leader Maria Currio, as well as the following residents of the communities of Ralco-Lepoy and Quepuca-Ralco: Lucy Reinao, Aurelia Jara Curriao, Marcela Jaquelyn Jara, Fresia Levi, Maria Levi, Carola Jara, Mirella Calpan, Lucy Curriao, Silvia Reinao, Maria Salome Jara, Jenny Soledad Salamanca Jara, Orlando Jara, Rogelio Jara, Jose Benedicto Jara, Jaime Reinao, Alberto Curriao Reinao, Luis Curriao, Carlos Reinao Curriao, Angel Reinao, Juan Huenchucan Curriao y Guillermo Salamanca.

Names of all the peopleapprehended are unavailable, because Carabineros have denied access to any information citing a secrecy of information. Other detainees are Chilean workers of ENDESA. (National Enterprise of  electricity)

A delegation of Mapu Domuche Newen visited yesterday (Tuesday) the 4th Carabineros Station of Los Angeles to obtain information about the persons who had been detained and to ask abuot their well-being; knowing about the un - necessary force and housebreaking of Pehuenche residents. Carabineros denied access to their building and kept our delegation half a block away of their premises.

The 55 detainees are crowded at the Police Station also the Mapu Domuche Newen, was able to verify, while witnessed the detention, that many of the detainees were punched and are wounded.

Lawyers Alex Quevedo, Matias Coll, Roberto Celedon, Rodrigo Lillo y Sergio Fuensalida are demanding  the Pehuenche's human rights. They also protest against the excessive use of force executed by the police forces, as well as mistreatment of the detainees.  These actions attempt against basic human rights.

Mapu Domuche Newen considered that the declarations of the Police Officer in charge of Carabineros that led the repressive operation, did not reflect the truth of the facts. He declared that the Police was mistreated by the unarmed and defenseless Pehuenche protesters; we know that Carabineros used two helicopters , armored vehicles and special forces to repress the protest.

We denounce the allegations against Nicolasa and Berta Quintreman; Mr. Rene Correa, Mayor of  Santa Barbara town, mentioned that our sister are being used by “others”.

In conclusion, with regards to these tragic events of Tuesday, March 5, we ask for solidarity for all our Mapuche brothers and sisters, and your concrete support for our demands to defend our lands from the construction of Ralco Dam in our sacred Pehuenche territories


Nicolasa Quintreman Calpan
Berta Quintreman Calpan
Rosario Huenteao Beroiza
Aurelia Marihuan Mora
Mercedes Julia Huenteao Beroiza
Hilda Riquelme Huenteao
Sara Imilmaqui Aguas