« The Mapuche people, Chile’s largest indigenous group, held a march to commemorate the Day of Resistance in Santiago on Monday. The theme of the event was « There are no limits to our resistance. »
The organisers of the march had several demands, including an end to the militarisation of Mapuche territory and the repeal of repressive and racist laws against the Mapuche people. They also called for the freedom of all Mapuche political prisoners.
Footage shows tense scenes as hundreds of protesters carry sticks and throw stones at a large number of riot police officers during the march. In response, the police use tear gas and water cannons.
One protester, Myriam, expressed her frustration with the situation but emphasised the Mapuche people’s determination to continue resisting.
“It is annoying to see this situation, where the pacos are there, throwing gas, tear gas bombs. Of course, it is a tremendous annoyance, but nevertheless, we continue to resist. And I believe that That is our newen (strength) and that is our strength, to continue resisting in the face of all types of adversity, of repression. We are rebels by nature and, the truth is, we are also born in that way, also, from that Mapuche newen (strength) that they left us the huife queche (ancestors),” said Myriam, a Mapuche protester.
Meulen Huencho Werken, a Mapuche spokesperson, highlighted their long history as a people and their ongoing fight for freedom. He called for the release of Mapuche political prisoners and justice for the Palestinian people.
“We are a people that has had a nation for more than 500 years, therefore here we are, here we continue to exist and we are going to fight and we continue fighting for this reason and we are also raising and the seeds we are raising are of rebellion, therefore this people will never die and are still alive. More than 500 years and here I am, Meulen Huencho, werken (Mapuche spokesperson). Freedom for our people, freedom for our Mapuche political prisoners and justice for all the Palestinian people,” stated Meulen Huencho Werken, a Mapuche spokesperson.
This demonstration underscores the Mapuche people’s determination to preserve their culture and land. »