BUENOS AIRES – Police clashed with a group of Mapuche during an operation to clear lands seized by members of the indigenous community, and one young Mapuche was killed and two were injured, Argentina’s government said on Sunday.
The Security Ministry said in a statement that the incident happened Saturday and stemmed from a police operation that began on Thursday in southern Argentina to evict Mapuche activists from properties they had taken over.
The Mapuche community of Lof Lafken Winkul Mapu said a 22-year-old Mapuche had been killed. They identified him as Rafael Nahuel. A hospital said he died of a gunshot wound.
As happened when Santiago Maldonado was murdered, the ministry’s statement argued the clash came after some Mapuche fled into the mountains following their eviction from national parkland near the Patagonia city of Bariloche.
The statement said four police officers searching in the area were attacked by 15 to 20 hooded people armed with spears, guns and stones. It said the officers fired some shots into the trees. Later, two Mapuche came down from the hill carrying a man who had been wounded but died on the way down, the statement added.
The incident has sparked protests in Bariloche and other areas, with hundreds of activists demanding justice for Rafael Nahuel who was “just protecting his land”.
— ubique (@PersonalEscrito) November 27, 2017