Coordinadora Mapuche, IX Region
[Mapuche Coordinating Body, 9th Region]
Temuko, February 19, 1999
To our Mapuche communities, organisations, institutions, social and political organisations, to the Chilean and international community, This is to inform you that on Thursday February 18 construction works at Ralko, in the Alto Bio-Bio, were paralysed. Construction work at Ralko had been resumed on January 28 after it had been stopped by direct action on August 7 last year. The stoppage action of February 18 was carried out by our Mapuche Pewenche brothers and sisters, with support from some social organisations which oppose the construction of this genocidal project. This action met with a violent repression from the special forces of the police, and as a consequence 28 people have been arrested and 9 are wounded.
As we write, evacuation actions are being carried out at Temulemu (Traiguen, Malleco region), where 10 people have been arrested, both men, women and children. The lonko (elder) Pascual Pichun has suffered bodily harm, and they are confiscating the timber, work tools, and machinery, among others.
We expect also that our brothers and sisters of the Choin Lafkenche community (Collipulli, Cautin region) will be evacuated today as well.
In the face of these actions, we call on all communities, both Mapuche and non-Mapuche organisations, to strengthen the fraternal and solidarity bonds with our brothers and sisters who are being strongly repressed because of their defense of the historical rights of the Mapuche, rights inalienable in spite of government attempts to privatise the resources which belong to all the people who live on this territory, and its protection of national and transnational companies. We will defend Mapuche rights for our dignity, and because our life and that of humanity, depend on it.
Those who wish to show their solidarity have to make themselves present at the sites of the conflicts, as well as express their opinion regarding the violation of the deserving rights of the Mapuche.