Mapuche Communities Accuse Police of Burning 15 Rukas

TEMUCO – Three Mapuche communities are taking to the Court of Appeals in Temuco as they accuse police forces of burning 15 rukas. According to the indigenous groups, the police forces burned the houses during an eviction from occupied land. Police forces deny any responsibility.

On January 15, police forces arrived at La Fusta, a large estate in the commune of Lonquimay. The land was occupied since late October by three Mapuche communities, who claimed that the land, which was about to be sold by private owners, was rightfully theirs.

The police forces arrived with an eviction order from the court in Curacautín. According to the Mapuche communities, during the eviction the authorities burned at least 15 rukas, which are traditional Mapuche homes.

The communities will now file an appeal at the Court of Appeals in Temuco for the destruction of their houses and the police violence during the eviction. They also said they will proceed with the recovery of what they consider ancestral land in the Araucanía region.

According to news outlet Cooperativa, Manuela Royo, the lawyer of the Mapuche, said the police “even burned rukas without opening them, once again the police actions violate human rights. We are in the year 2020, not in the seventeenth century, when those practices were happening.”

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