SANTIAGO – President Sebastián Piñera has reacted to the death of Camilo Catrillanca in the southern commune of Ercilla. The 24-year-old Mapuche died after being hit by a stray bullet during a shooting between armed men and Carabineros special forces. Piñera called for an investigation: “We want to know the full truth”.
The president, who is in Singapore at the moment, commented on Twitter about the incident that occurred last Thursday. “We regret the death of Camilo Catrillanca. We will perform a profound investigation. At the same time, Carabineros must be able to defend themselves when they are under attack”.
During the short press conference in Asia, Piñera condemned the violence that erupted in the aftermath of the death of Catrillanca. According to radio Cooperativa, the president said he categorically condemns “the acts of violence in Ercilla, where a police station was attacked, and also the violent acts that have occurred in Santiago”. Last night, protestors demanding justice for the 24-year-old Mapuche man clashed with Carabineros.
Respecto a lamentable muerte de comunero Camilo Catrillanca: Gob agotará medios para investigar verdad de lo ocurrido, solicitando Fiscal de dedicación exclusiva. Al mismo tiempo, ratificamos deber de Carabineros de perseguir delitos y su derecho a defenderse cuando son atacados.
— Sebastian Piñera (@sebastianpinera) November 15, 2018
Polemic minute of silence in the Chamber of Deputies
In the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of the Chilean Congress, a minute of silence in honor of Catrillanca caused controversy between members of rightwing and leftwing parties on Thursday. Members of rightwing Renovación Nacional and Independent Democratic Union (UDI) left when the minute of silence for Camilo Catrillanca was announced.
On Wednesday, leftwing deputies had already tried to pay a tribute to the Mapuche, but leaders of political parties from the ruling Chile Vamos coalition rejected the idea.
Que almas tan miserables las de la UDI y RN.
— Daniel Nuñez A. (@daniel_nunez_a) November 15, 2018
Editor-In-Chief Boris van der Spek is the founder of Chile Today. He worked in Colombia, Surinam and the Netherlands as reporter and works with international media during major events, like the social crisis, the elections and the Pope’s visit.