(Mapuche Territory, Chile) In Memory of Mapuche Land Defender Rodrigo Melinao Lican, Five Years After his Assassination

Rodrigo Melinao Lican: Five Years of Impunity

(Editor’s Note: The original in Spanish was published by Lafken Kurruf and can be found here).

Rodrigo Melinao Lican was found dead on August 6th, 2016, inside plot No. 4 of the sector of Chihuahue in Pidima, Chile. He had shotgun wounds to his chest. His death certificate states the cause of death as, “Chest trauma caused by a gunshot wound/ homicide”. Rodrigo was a fugitive, after being sentenced to five years in prison for a fire that destroyed various hectares of eucalyptus belonging to the forestry company, Bosques Cautín. The public prosecutor’s office of Collipulli has stated on more than one occasion their intention to close the investigation, making practically no progress in identifying those responsible for the murder.

The tomb of Rodrigo Melinao was desecrated shortly after his death by persons unknown, events that have not been properly investigated either.

Today, we remember Rodrigo Melinao, as five years have passed since his murder. We state our profound rejection of the impunity surrounding his and other cases in which the victims are young Mapuche, prominent members of their communities and defenders of the environment. We hope that the impunity will not be eternal and that we will soon have the necessary justice.