From daily The Morning Star in Britain:
Mapuche leader found dead
Thursday 26th December 2013
Mapuche Indian leader Nicolesa Quintreman who became the face of Chile’s environmental movement has been found dead in a reservoir she spent a decade trying to prevent.
The authorities said on Wednesday that they were awaiting autopsy results but the death appeared accidental.
While there was no official cause of death yet for 73-year-old Ms Quintreman, who was nearly blind, prosecutor Carlos Diaz said that “she apparently slipped, fell into the lake and died.”
Police found that “the cadaver showed no signs of injury attributable to third persons,” said Mr Diaz.
Forensic pathologists returned the body to her family on Wednesday in preparation for a funeral today.
A day of mourning was declared in the Mapuche community of Alto Biobio.
With her sister Berta, Ms Quintreman became a national figure during protests against a new hydroelectric dam on tribal land in the forested mountains of southern Chile.
They led a public fight against the European power company Endesa at a time when Chile’s environmental enforcement was lax and its indigenous protection law wasn’t closely followed.
“I’m going to tell it like it is. My sister fell into the lake, she won’t ever come back,” Berta Quintreman said.
“This company should leave, and pull everything out.
“I want to emphasise this point – things have to keep progressing because my sister was a tireless fighter, and now my sister has left me all alone.”
Mapuche Resistance Defies the State of Siege: here.
- Chile: Indian Leader Found in Reservoir She Worked to Stop (climate-connections.org)