A crowd of Mapuches from various communities in several regions of Chile today dismissed the remains of the community member Camilo Catrillanca, shot dead last Wednesday during a police operation in the community where he lived, in the southern region of La Araucanía.
Catrillanca, 24, was buried in an indigenous cemetery inside the same community of Temucuicui, where he met his death in circumstances not yet clarified.
The young man was driving a tractor accompanied by a 15-year-old teenager when he was met with gunfire between members of an elite corps of police and strangers fleeing after allegedly stealing three cars in a nearby town.
The body of Catrillanca, whose death has exacerbated the so-called Mapuche conflict, with a wave of arson attacks, protests and clashes between demonstrators and the police, was veiled in his home, since he was taken to the cemetery in a cortege in which the coffin was flanked by riders dressed in the traditional way.
Prior to the funeral, and about 3,000 attendees, a long funeral ceremony was held by machis (shamans), who led prayers for the good transit of the deceased to the spiritual world, accompanied by litanies, chants and traditional dances.
The procession walked about two kilometers to the cemetery, without a police presence, although on the outskirts of the community, about 570 kilometers south of Santiago, there was a strong contingent of carabineros and armored vehicles.
Patrols were also deployed on each bridge and random identity checks were carried out on those who were circulating in the area.
The ceremonies were developed calmly, although in an atmosphere of tension. "There is contained anger," Jorge Huenchullán, a 'werkén' (spokesperson) from the Temucuicui community, told reporters.
This Saturday it was learned that the prosecution in charge of the case is investigating four carabineros of the so-called "Jungle Command", which starred in the operation last Wednesday, of which two claimed to have used their weapons in the operation.
Meanwhile, the General Director of Carabineros, Hermes Soto, confirmed that the officials who participated in the operation did not film the incident because they did not carry the cameras they usually wear in their helmets.
"You have to see the context of the procedure, they are called urgently because of a violent situation that had affected the four victims, three vehicles had been stolen and those vehicles entered that sector, Soto said.
"The four carabineros who enter the sector first did not carry a camera, they begin to insure the area as it is called in this type of procedure, we do not have the image of how it is produced or how the shots are made, but the carabineros do at all times, from the first day, they have said that they did use the weapons they carried, "he said.