6 January 2005
A Mapuche chief who was arrested in her home on 4 January 2006 was charged with threatening police officers and obstructing public property at a preliminary hearing on 6 January in Temuco, Chile.
Juana Calfunao Paillalef, lonko (chief) of the indigenous Mapuche community of Juan Pailllalef in the Cunco district in the Araucania region was refused bail on the grounds that she was a security threat and is now incarcerated in the regional state penitentiary for women.
According to local information, the Temuco district Public Prosecutor Alberto Chifelle is in possession of photographs that prove the 47-year-old indigenous leader’s involvement in the alleged crimes. However, Ms Paillalef contends that she is in fact a victim of police brutality and Front Line has acquired photographs of her with severe bruising on her face and body.
The lead up to these events began on 21 December 2005 when members of the Juan Paillalef community staged a peaceful protest against the construction of a road from Los Laureles and Colico; a road that runs through land, that they believe, rightfully belongs to the community.