The Río Negro government on Thursday raised a request to the Nation to intervene in the conflict that is unfolding in Villa Mascardi, about 30 kilometers from Bariloche, in a property recovered years ago by a Mapuche community.
Yesterday afternoon a group of people with their faces covered produced a series of incidents in the area that culminated in the burning a cabin. Two mobile Volunteer Firefighters moved to the place since the fire, which was concentrated inside the facilities of State gas, spread in the direction of the forest.
Commissioner José Ocarez reported that there were six attackers who surprised a police employee, who was trying to settle in a cabin on the Gas del Estado property with his partner and a girl, in order to take care of the place.
According to the complaint before Police Station No. 42, which has jurisdiction over that area, the man was repairing the cabin at the time of the incident when he was intimidated by the attackers, who threw stones at him. Then they fled into the forest.
Soon after, the authorities received calls with alerts following a fire near one of the properties that the Mapuche community would occupy. There were no injuries at the site and the flames could be controlled.
Faced with the vandalism, the prosecutor on duty Silvia Paolini reported that he was aware of an injured person who was in the cabin, Although he clarified that this is preliminary information.
The tension in Villa Mascardi is rekindled
The conflict in the Lake Mascardi area, in Bariloche, increased in 2017, when the community Lafken Winkul Mapu took possession of a property of approximately six hectares located within the Nahuel Huapi National Park, which in turn is located within the aforementioned Development Commission. The site is claimed by the community as part of the right of indigenous peoples to access their pre-existing, ancestral lands.
However, the conflict between the indigenous communities and the owners of the lands of Rio Negro increased since the end of April, as a result of an act of violence in the Mapuche community of Buenuleo, who has in his possession a property of 90 hectares, on the Cerro Ventana, where three Mapuche inhabitants were attacked with weapons by an owner. In the case, four people were charged with that assault.
For that incident, a delegation of officials made up of the Federal Security Secretary, Gabriel Fuks, and the head of the National Institute of Indigenous Affairs (INAI), Madgalena Odarda They traveled to Bariloche to find an agreement to pacify and strengthen security in the area for a period of 90 days.
Before the intervention of the Executive Power, the Río Negro government called on the Nation to focus its attention on the recurring acts of violence that occur in Villa Mascardi. According to the management of the governor Arabela Carreras, since 2017 -when the occupation in Lago Mascardi- occurred, about 108 criminal acts were counted, of which “at least 12 of them are related to direct acts of violence by groups of people identified with indigenous protest movements. ”
Río Negro’s request to the national government was formalized yesterday afternoon. The Minister of Government and Community of the provincial government, Rodrigo Buteler, requested in a note to the Minister of Justice and Human Rights of the Nation, Marcela Losardo, and the president of INAI Magdalena Odarda a “Urgent meeting” for try to find a solution to the Villa Mascardi area.
“Since that occupation, the number of acts of violence of which the provincial security forces have records has increased, which has generated strong concern and discomfort by the residents of Villa Mascardi ”, indicated the official note sent to the Executive Power. “The Rio Negro government requests its intervention to the opening of a dialogue and consensus table to achieve a definitive resolution to this conflict ”, remarked the writing.
In the region, the link between the authorities, neighbors and Mapuche communities is one of hostility. Through a statement, the Lof Lafken Winkul Mapu community accused the authorities of “opening fire on the community” and of entering “another sector with naphtha drums.” The Vice President of INAI, Luis Pilquiman He attended the scene and indicated that there was “some police presence and some shooting.” “About 300 meters away an unoccupied house was burning down. The firefighters began to be called by the community and we because the fire could not be controlled, ”he said in radio statements.
Beyond property crimes, the region has a recent tragic history. On November 23, 2017, the then federal judge Gustavo Villanueva ordered federal forces to evict the Mapuche property busy at Villa Mascardi. The repression culminated in detained women and children. Two days later, in a new operation, the young Mapuche Rafael Nahuel died., at the hands of members of the Albatros Group of the Naval Prefecture.
Since then, Rafael Nahuel’s cause has been bogged down, with some Mapuches complicated judicially for the crime of “usurpation” and without security agents prosecuted for the murder. One of the last rulings of last year revoked dictated the prefect’s lack of merit Francisco Pintos and revoked its processing. The judicial resolution was celebrated by the former Minister of Security, Patricia Bullrich, who supported the hypothesis of the armed confrontation in Lake Mascardi.