15 February 2010
'A court in the southern city of Temuco (Region IX) on Friday agreed to keep a Mapuche youth charged under anti-terrorism laws in preventative custody after his arrest on Thursday.
Job Morales was arrested for an arson attack that occurred on September 11 last year. Over 360 hectares of land as well as property and machinery belonging to local Elsa Fernandez was torched during the attack. Police allege Morales was trying to flee the country when detained.
The court also ruled in favor of prosecutor Omar Merida to permit the ongoing detention of supposed Mapuche activists Jorge Cuyupan Niripil and Daniel Canio Tralcal, allegedly Morales’ accomplices in the attack.
Cuyupan was previously arrested over a break-in at a country estate in January last year and will face charges of arson and attempted homicide.
Tralcal stands accused of attacking a tourist bus in August 2009 and is alleged by prosecutors to be among several Mapuche activists to have been trained by Columbian terrorists in 2006.
The Araucania region is the scene of long standing tensions between Mapuche indigenous groups and local businesses. Activists are fighting for Mapuche land historically their to be returned to the community. They say their land was taken illegally by the Chilean state. Land occupations and attacks against businesses in the area have become increasingly common in recent years.
All three men can be held indefinitely under Chile’s antiterrorist laws. The government’s undersecretary of the interior Patricio Rosende announced that anti terrorism laws would be used in Mapuche-related violence last October after a spate of highway attacks in the Araucania Region (IX) (ST. Oct 13, 2009)'