Reports indicate that various notable incidents of violence transpired in Chile between November 20-23 in connection to grievances over the death of Mapuche leader Camilo Catrillanca on November 14. On November 20 a man was killed with a machete while attempting to prevent an arson attack against a Church in the Teodoro Schmith locale, in La Auracanía Region. Subsequently that day, in Temuco demonstrators mounted barricades outside a university. On November 21 students scuffled with security forces in Valdivia and Puerto Montt. Finally, on November 23, clashes were witnessed during a protest in Santiago to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. Activists threw objects and Molotov cocktails at police, triggering the latter to forcefully evict demonstrators in the vicinity of the intersection between Manuel Rodríguez and Bernardo O’Higgins avenues.
Cantillanca was allegedly shot by police during a security operation in a Mapuche community near Ercilla, in the BioBío region. The incident triggered unrest and violent demonstrations on November 14-16 in southern locales and urban areas, including Santiago. While security services believe Cantrillanca was involved in illegal activities including drug trafficking, left-leaning groups and Mapuche communities perceive he is a victim of police aggression, blaming the state for neglecting the rights of indigenous communities. Violent episodes are likely to continue to transpire in southern Chile where outrage over Cantillana is stronger. That said, as underscored by events in Santiago, violent activists are liable to infiltrate future demonstrations to bring attention to the Mapuche cause.