LIFESTYLE

Chile's Mapuche Land Fight Turns Deadly
Over the past five years, reported acts of violence from the Mapuche struggle have escalated 10 times over, prompting a police response that the indigenous group says has been heavy-handed and abusive.
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In this Feb. 10, 2013 photo, Mapuche Indians gather for a "Guillatun," a spiritual ceremony to ask for the well-being of the clan and strengthen ties in the Temucuicui Autonomous community in Ercilla, Chile. "We're not trying to kick anybody out," said Aucan Huilcaman, a Mapuche leader. "We're not asking for more roads or more seeds. We're asking for our own government because this is our land. It's not anti-Chilean, it's pro-Mapuche." (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
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In this Feb. 17, 2013 photo, Gerardo Purran Heiquillan, 20, poses for a portrait as he rests from dancing at a "Guillatun," a spiritual ceremony to ask for the well-being of the clan and strengthen ties in the Collico community in Ercilla, Chile. In the past five years, reported acts of violence from the Mapuche land struggle have escalated 10 times over, prompting a police response that the indigenous group say has been heavy handed and abusive. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
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In this Feb. 9, 2013 photo, Mapuche Indians from the Temucuicui Autonoma community wait to welcome members of other Mapuche communities to attend a "Guillatun," a spiritual ceremony to ask for the well-being of the clan and strengthen ties in Ercilla, Chile. In the last three years, Chile's government has returned 10,000 hectares, or about 25,000 acres, to the Mapuche and encouraged timber companies and other landowners to allow the Mapuche to till small plots. Yet violence has only grown as the Mapuche demand the return of 750,000 hectares, or nearly 1.9 million acres, larger than the state of Delaware. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
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In this Feb. 10, 2013 photo, Mapuche Indian women prepare lunch during a "Guillatun," a spiritual ceremony organized by Mapuche communities to ask for the well-being of the clan and strengthen ties, in the Temucuicui Autonoma community, in Ercilla, Chile. The Mapuche ultimately secured treaties with the Chilean state recognizing their land as everything south of the Bio Bio River, or roughly the entire southern half of the long, thin country. But in the late 19th century, a second wave of European settlers arrived, and to make way for them, the treaties were breached in a violent takeover called the Pacification of the Araucania. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
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In this Feb. 15, 2013 photo, the head of a slaughtered cow sits in a wheel barrow to be cooked for a"Guillatun," a spiritual ceremony to ask for the well-being of the clan and strengthen ties in the Collico community in Ercilla, Chile. Today, many of the 800,000 Mapuche who survive among Chile's 16.6 million people inhabit Araucania, the countrys poorest region, living on the fringes of timber lands or ranches owned by European settlers. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
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In this Feb. 10, 2013 photo, a Mapuche Indian sits on his horse standing on two legs as he waves the green, red and blue indigenous flag colors during a "Guillatun," a spiritual ceremony to ask for the well-being of the clan and strengthen ties, in the Temucuicui Autonoma community, in Ercilla, Chile. After Chile returned to democracy in 1990, governments tried to provide redress by buying land from timber companies and turning the plots over to the Mapuche, while brokering land deals with forestry companies to let communities grow berries and other crops. Yet the Mapuche often lacked the money or tools to develop the returned land, and theyve struggled to prove exactly what belongs to them. Mapuche activists then began outright seizing land. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
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In this Feb. 13, 2013 photo, Mapuche Indian Lorenzo Wenchuian Keipul, 73, rests from cutting fire wood in the Temucuicui Autonoma community, in Ercilla, Chile. All sides, from the Mapuche to the landowners to timber companies, have lamented the escalating land conflict, with many pointing to police and Mapuche extremists as responsible for most of the destruction. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
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In this Feb. 15, 2013 photo, Mapuche Indians skin a cow to cook and serve at a "Guillatun," a spiritual ceremony to ask for the well-being of the clan and strengthen ties in the Collico community in Ercilla, Chile. The government crackdown related to Mapuche attacks related to their land struggle ensnared Daniel Alveal in 2008 when he was arrested and charged in connection with an armed attack against a timber company official. Eventually absolved, hes now back in his community, where he said he still has a hard time finding a job because of his police record. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
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In this Feb. 10, 2013 photo, Mariluz Colihuinca plays an accordion during a "Guillatun," a spiritual ceremony to ask for the well-being of the clan and strengthen ties, int he Temucuicui Autonomous community in Ercilla, Chile. President Sebastian Pinera has responded to the tensions between Mapuche Indians with land owners and timber companies by enforcing an anti-terrorism law dating back to Gen. Augusto Pinochets dictatorship letting suspects be held in isolation without charges and permitting the use of phone taps and secret witnesses in investigations. Pinera also deployed hundreds of police agents to the region to guard land at risk of of Mapuche attack. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
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In this Feb. 16, 2013 photo, Emilia Conumil carries her aunt Rosa Quitriqueo, 85, who suffers from diabetes, hours before the start of the "Guillatun," a spiritual ceremony to ask for the well-being of the clan and strengthen ties in the Collico community in Ercilla, Chile. Today, many of the 800,000 Mapuche who survive among Chile's 16.6 million people inhabit Araucania, the countrys poorest region, living on the fringes of timber lands or ranches owned by European settlers. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
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In this Feb. 13, 2013 photo, Sandra Millacheo, 18, center, and her sister Elsa Millacheo, 22, are released by a judge after being arrested during confrontations with police and held for one day in Collipulli, Chile. The women were arrested along with 17 others after clashing with police outside a court where Fernando Millacheo, a member of the Mapuche indigenous community, was to appear for a hearing on robbery, arson and attempted murder charges. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
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In this Feb. 10, 2013 photo, a woman cooks during a "Guillatum," a spiritual ceremony to ask for the well-being of the clan and strengthen ties, in the Temucuicui Autonoma community, in Ercilla, Chile. 4 In the past five years, reported acts of violence from the Mapuche land struggle have escalated 10 times over, prompting a police response that the indigenous group say has been heavy handed and abusive. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
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In this Feb. 16, 2013 photo, a boy rests on the roots of a tree after swimming in the Cholchol River in Temuco, Chile. Temuco is the capital city of the Araucania region, which Mapuche Indians consider their usurped ancestral land. We're not trying to kick anybody out, said Aucan Huilcaman, a Mapuche leader. We're not asking for more roads or more seeds. We're asking for our own government because this is our land. It's not anti-Chilean, it's pro-Mapuche. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
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In this Feb. 8, 2013 photo, a handwritten letter lays in the charred remains of the home of Werner Luchsinger and wife Vivian Mackay after it was burned down in an attack in Vilcun, on the outskirts of Temuco, Chile. The property belonged to the elderly couple who had lived most of their lives on this land surrounded by soaring mountains and rich, primeval forests. For the attackers, the couple were only the latest in a long line of enemies usurping their ancestral territory. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
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In this Feb. 10, 2013 photo, a Mapuche Indian performs during a "Guillatun," a spiritual ceremony to ask for the well-being of the clan and strengthen ties, in the Temucuicui Autonomous community in Ercilla, Chile. For centuries, many tried to claim the verdant homeland of the Mapuche by force, which once sprawled across South America to the Atlantic Ocean. The mighty Incan empire failed. The Spanish conquistadors, who founded Chile five centuries ago, crossed the worlds driest desert only to suffer defeat when the expeditions leader was killed. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
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FILE - In this Jan. 4, 2013 file photo, a firefighter, left, works to extinguish the flames of the home of a non-Mapuche landowner in Vilcun, on the outskirts of Temuco, Chile. The elderly couple, Werner Luchsinger and wife Vivian Mackay, whose family's landholdings have long been targeted by Mapuche Indians in southern Chile, were killed in the arson attack while trying to defend their home. The Luchsinger family originally emigrated from Switzerland, and bought about 300 hectares (740 acres) in the region in 1940. (Hector Andrade/Agenciauno, File)
(AP2013)

Chile's Mapuche Land Fight Turns Deadly

Over the past five years, reported acts of violence from the Mapuche struggle have escalated 10 times over, prompting a police response that the indigenous group says has been heavy-handed and abusive.

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