A new generation of indigenous Mapuche workers is drawing attention to an ongoing horror in the south of the country – police brutality against Mapuche youth.
Mapuche, Chile’s largest indigenous community, is one of the country’s most socially and economically disadvantaged groups that already suffers significant discrimination.
Their fight for recognition, justice and the return of their ancestral lands has been going on for centuries, but the Chilean mass uprising in 2019 was another political revival for the Mapuche.
With more than a million people on the streets, angry at the rise in transportation costs and demanding a more just society, the Mapuche flag has become a defining symbol of resistance for all Chileans.
This solidarity breathed new life into the Mapuche cause, and workers loudly called for the confiscation and return of ancestral lands sold to private companies during the reign of General Augusto Pinochet.
But in Mapuche, General Z.E. drew people’s attention to an issue that often goes below the brutality of the Patti-police.
MC Millaray, or Millaray Jara Collio, is one of the most prominent Mapuche Gen Z workers. The 15-year-old has already been on the music scene for 10 years and has spoken out on behalf of his people.
“I feel that those of us who live in the city are involved in keeping silent about the realities we are facing in Mapuche, southern Chile,” he said.
“I am recording a song with my father to raise awareness about the violence and abuse that children face in Mapuche.”
In Araucania, the “center of Mapuche” seven hours south of Santiago, violent clashes between militarized special forces police and the Mapuche community are trying to reclaim their ancestral lands.
Activists and locals have accused the police of human rights abuses and abuse of power, including forging evidence against indigenous activists and killing unarmed civilians in Mapuche.
Clashes escalated after police shot 24-year-old Camilo Catrilanka, the grandson of a prominent Mapuche leader, in the back of the head while he was driving a tractor in November 2018.
The lawsuit alleges that the Mapuche community and Chilean society were outraged and that thousands of people took to the streets to protest the violence and demand the disbandment of the “Jungle Commando” unit responsible for the incident.
Miller uses his growing social media influence to highlight the injustices done to the country’s Mapuche community.
“We should all have a free childhood. One who is free from oppression. But until it becomes a reality, I will continue to raise my voice, “Miller added.