January 30, 2018
Chile: Operation "Hurricane" against Indigenous Mapuche leaders
Wallmapu (Mapuche Land) - Araucania region.

In an operation called "Hurricane" by the Chilean special police forces evidence against Indigenous Mapuche leaders was manipulated. Eight Mapuche arrestees were charged with Illicit Terrorist Association under the Pinochet era Anti-Terrorist Law. No evidence could be shown and all the prisoners were released.

Chile: Operation Hurricane

Original Spanish article published by El Mostrador on January, 30th, 2018

Operation Hurricane: expert test confirms that evidence was manipulated

A second external expert test confirmed what was suspected. The tests presented by police under the flag of Operation Hurricane were manipulated.

The conclusion was the same as that of the Specialized Money-Laundering, Economic, Environmental and Organized Crimes Unit of the National District Attorney (la Unidad Especializada en Lavado de Dinero, Delitos Económicos, Medio Ambientales y de Crimen Organizado de la Fiscalía Nacional). The archives found in the cellular phones of the detained community members do not demonstrate the characteristics of the WhatsApp, Telegram, or text message applications.

According to Radio Bío Bío, the district attorney of the Araucanía Region, Cristián Paredes, requested a second time expert test, which was the responsibility of an external expert in computing and who confirmed that the evidence provided was indeed manipulated.

During the detention of the Mapuche community members, among which was the leader of the Coordinadora Arauco-Mallleco, (CAM), Héctor Llaitul, police confiscated 12 cellular phones that had been used to prove that those detained had used WhatsApp and other messaging applications to execute attacks on trucks in the region.


Video: Fiscal reconoce posible montaje contra líderes Mapuche en Chile


Chile police defend anti-militant operation questioned by prosecutors
efe-epa Santiago 26 Jan 2018

Chile's militarized national police, the Carabineros, on Friday defended the legitimacy of its actions during an operation last September targeting militant Mapuche Indian leaders in the country's south.

Gen. Gonzalo Blu, head of that institution's Intelligence Directorate, made the remarks at a press conference a day after the Attorney General's Office said police may have tampered with evidence as part of Operation Hurricane.

"Our investigation has been and remains in accordance with existing law," Blu said. The AG's office is "calling into question the decisions made and jurisdictional control exercised on that occasion," the general said.

The government has ordered the Carabineros to conduct an internal investigation to shed light on its actions during the operation.

Besides denouncing irregularities in the case, the AG's office announced its decision to halt Operation Hurricane, although acting Interior Minister Mahmud Aleuy said a strong police presence would be maintained in the southern region of Araucania.

Defense attorneys for the Mapuches, meanwhile, announced that they will ask for the complete dismissal of a case against eight suspects who were arrested in September for alleged terrorist acts, including the torching of dozens of trucks.

Those suspects were subsequently released from custody.

Among other evidence in the case, police presented WhatsApp messages that appeared to show the suspects had coordinated the attacks.

But the AG's office says those conversations were allegedly "planted" on the Mapuche leaders' cellphones.

Referring to the phones confiscated from the suspects, Blu said Friday that the Carabineros had acted under the orders and supervision of the Prosecutor's Office for High-Complexity Crimes and the AG's office's specialized unit for the investigation of money laundering, economic crimes and organized crime.

"I'm very surprised at the public declaration not to continue to pursue the case, (a decision that comes) after a prosecutor in Araucania filed a complaint over evidence that we put at his disposal," Blu said.

Mapuche militants are seeking to reclaim lands lost during a late-19th-century "pacification" campaign against the indigenous people of southern Chile.

Mapuche Indians make up around 650,000 of Chile's 17 million people and are concentrated in Araucania and greater Santiago.

Tags: #Mapuche #Chile #Hurricane