Chile President Pinera vows justice in shooting of Mapuche man

By Dave Sherwood SANTIAGO (Reuters) - President Sebastian Pinera said on Friday that justice would be served following a controversial police raid that last week ended in the shooting death of an indigenous Mapuche man in the restive Araucania region of south-central Chile. Pinera told reporters on a visit to the region that the unresolved shooting would not stall a previously announced $24 billion plan to bring an end to a long-running conflict between the Mapuche and the Chilean state

Reuters November 24, 2018 00:08:09 IST
Chile President Pinera vows justice in shooting of Mapuche man

Chile President Pinera vows justice in shooting of Mapuche man

By Dave Sherwood

SANTIAGO (Reuters) - President Sebastian Pinera said on Friday that justice would be served following a controversial police raid that last week ended in the shooting death of an indigenous Mapuche man in the restive Araucania region of south-central Chile.

Pinera told reporters on a visit to the region that the unresolved shooting would not stall a previously announced $24 billion plan to bring an end to a long-running conflict between the Mapuche and the Chilean state.

The region's Mapuche indigenous residents accuse the state and private companies of taking their ancestral land, draining its natural resources and using undue violence against them. Their communities are among the poorest in Chile.

"We can't fall in the trap of going to extremes here. We need dialogue, collaboration, and agreements, but only with those who are seeking... peace," Pinera said.

The president's schedule was largely kept secret amid security concerns in the hilly, heavily forested region, which has seen several protests, assaults and arson incidents this week.

Pinera said he had met with a group of schoolteachers who had been assaulted immediately prior to the police raid, as well as the local bishop and several Mapuche indigenous leaders.

"Those that want to impose their will with force and violence, without respect for anything or anybody, we will pursue them with the full force of the law," he said.

The president's visit to the Araucania comes one week after Camilo Catrillanca, the grandson of a local indigenous leader, was shot in the head during a police operation in a rural community near the town of Ercilla, 480 miles south of Santiago.

The incident sparked fury among opposition parties and human rights activists, triggering widespread protests throughout Chile.

Chilean police initially said it was unclear who shot Catrillanca because none of the members of the special forces unit that handled the raid had worn body cameras.

But one of the policemen involved was later spotted in media footage wearing a camera. The policeman told investigators he had destroyed the camera's memory card.

Local prosecutors launched an investigation earlier this week at the behest of the Pinera administration to determine who shot Catrillanca, and why.

"We don't want the death of Camilo Catrillanca to be in vane," Pinera said. "We want it to permit us to understand the importance of coming to agreement... in the recovery of peace and public order."

(Reporting by Dave Sherwood; Editing by Dan Grebler)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.