Mapuche leader Héctor Llaitul arrested in Chile on charges of attacking the State and timber theft

Chilean authorities have carried out this Wednesday the arrest of Mapuche leader Héctor Llaitul, who is accused of crimes related to timber theft, land usurpation and attacks against the State.

Llaitul has been arrested in the town of Cañete, in the southern part of the country, without offering resistance to the agents who located him in a restaurant. The arrest is part of an investigation initiated in 2020 by the government of former President Sebastián Piñera and continued now by the new Executive of Gabriel Boric.

Llaitul’s public statements defending the armed struggle have been key to advance his arrest. The Ministry of Interior filed a complaint for incitement to commit attacks against public order, which has allowed the Prosecutor’s Office to act, according to the Chilean newspaper ‘La Tercera’.

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The complaint includes at least three public statements by Llaitul, who is leader of the Arauco Malleco Coordinating Committee (CAM), in which he calls for an armed uprising against forestry companies and the Armed Forces.

“To prepare the forces, to organize armed resistance for the autonomy of the territory and of the Mapuche nation,” said Llaitul in May, according to the complaint, which includes another statement by the leader on June 10 in which he vindicates the theft of wood as a way to finance the “Mapuche world” and “the iron” and “the shots” to defend the communities and the processes that are being carried out.”

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