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The Mapuche community Pu Lof of Resistencia, Chubut Province, Argentina, in Cushamen department, was brutally attacked on Tuesday, January 10, by the Provincial Police and the National Gendarmerie, and their homes and belongings were completely destroyed in what their spokesperson defined as “an open field hunt”.
21 police vehicles, water trucks, helicopters, horse troops, drones and many vans were part of the raid, as can be seen in the photos delivered to Real World Radio.
The judicial warrant ordered the clearing of a route known as “La Trochita”, but the police officers went beyond that: they attacked women, children and all community members, arresting several of them and destroying houses, in an area where being outdoors can be deadly due to the relentless cold.
The community never prevented the public forces from getting in, but they requested that their actions be limited to clearing the abovementioned route.
“They entered the lands with a warrant by the Esquel Court to clear the obstacles placed on La Trochita route. Since they came for this reason, the community allowed them to enter to remove the branches from the route, but asked them that no armed officers get in since it was not necessary. The Gendarmerie, without even showing us the warrant yet, insisted on entering with everything they had”, said the spokesperson of the Pu Lof community in Resistencia.
The spokesperson said that the conflict of the Mapuche communities dates back thousands of years and that the State “has never proposed solutions, and on the contrary they have attacked and persecuted us”. In the specific case of the route mentioned above, the provincial authorities of Chubut suspended several times the dialogue tables that were scheduled to find a solution, so this attack is another sign of the “lack of will to dialogue”.
“The women, locked in their houses with their children, were surrounded by police officers until they started to break windows, doors and even walls. They removed the women dragging them across the floor. Several of them have severe bruises because of this treatment”, he added in a testimony gathered by FM Comunitaria ALAS.
Aileen, a Mapuche woman member of the community, talked about the difficult moment she experienced with her son, Lautaro. “They came with horses, they were over 300 officers”, and added that the police wanted to identify everyone present in the community. “They knocked and in a second they had broken the door and everything inside the house”, said Aileen.
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