Mapuche Community Member Erick Montoya Arrested after 7 Years in Clandestinity

Published February 22, 2021

Mapuche Community Member Erick Montoya Arrested after 7 Years in Clandestinity

On February 19, 2021, the Mapuche community member Erick Montoya was arrested after spending nearly 7 years in dignified clandestinity.

Years ago, Erick was imprisoned, accused of an armed confrontation with the police in the Wente Winkul Mapu community; after conducting an extensive hunger strike, he managed to access house arrest. In February 2013, he was sentenced to 6 and a half years for the attempted murder of a cop, injuries and illegal possession of weapons. Since then Erick has gone underground.

The Werken [traditional tribal leader] of the Wente Winkul Mapu community -Daniel Melinao- pointed out about Erick: “he has decided to assume the clandestinity with dignity, since the courts did not give guarantees for due process, making it clear that his sentence simply responds to a political decision taken by the State (…) As a community, we have decided to support the brave decision of the peñi [comrade], since we consider it to be a worthy gesture of rebellion against the oppression of the Chilean State."

Shortly afterwards, Daniel Melinao was arrested, accused of the homicide of paco [cop] Hugo Albornoz, an incident that occurred in a raid on the Wente Winkul Mapu community in April 2012; in the case, Erick Montoya is indicated as the perpetrator of the murder, though, because he is clandestine, he is not arrested or included in the case.

After a long judicial process and two trials, Daniel is acquitted; the case against Erick has been open until now when personnel from the BIPE (Special Police Investigation Brigade) manage to arrest him.

Solidarity with Erick Montoya and all the Mapuche community members in resistance inside the prisons!