Catrillanca case: Minister Chadwick interpellated by Mapuche deputy

SANTIAGO – Minister of Internal Affairs Andrés Chadwick has been questioned by Emilia Nuyado (PS) on the killing of Camilo Catrillanca. The polemic interpellation by the Mapuche deputy marks a new chapter in the search for the truth behind the death of Catrillanca. Nuyado arrived at the interpellation with the father of the killed Mapuche man and started by greeting the Congress in the language of the indigenous people.

When members of Chile’s Congress want explanations about a certain law, event or act, they can ask for an interpellation of the minister or decision-maker in charge. If the majority of Congress approves, the minister will be called to defend decisions made. This interpellation will be led by a deputy who questions this minister.

In the Catrillanca case, Emilia Nuyado, member of the commission of Human Rights and Indigenous Peoples and Mapuche herself, was chosen to lead the interpellation against Internal Affairs Minister Andrés Chadwick, seen as one of the politicians responsible for the death of Catrillanca.

The interpellation was meant to clarify the background of the events that caused the death of Camilo Catrillanca on November 14. Also, questions were asked about the presence of the so-called Jungle Commando and human rights violations in the Araucanía region.

Government withdraws Jungle Commando from Araucanía region

The interpellation: mapudungún opening and defense of policies

Emilia Nuyado set the tone by arriving at Congress in company of the father of the killed 24-year-old Mapuche, Marcelo Catrillanca. Opening the interpellation, Nuyado greeted those present in mapudungún, the language of the Mapuche people. Her opening was mocked by UDI deputy Ignacio Urrutia. “Is she speaking English?”, the deputy asked at the start of the questioning.

Upon Nuyado´s questions, minister Chadwick admitted that Catrillanca wasn´t carrying arms, wasn´t intervening with his tractor in the shootout and that erasing the footage by the Carabineros was unacceptable. He said various policemen and high-ranking Carabineros officers have been forced to step down in the aftermath of the Catrillanca case.

Nevertheless, Chadwick defended the presence of elite forces in the region, stating that there was extreme violence and terrorism, also referring to the Luchsinger-Mackay case, where an elder couple died in their home as result of an arson attack by Mapuche extremists.

After the interpellation, Nuyado stated she was not satisfied yet, and considers a constitutional accusation against the minister.

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