Chilean police fire convicted Mapuche killer

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Associated Press

Posted on January 18, 2013 at 8:02 PM

Updated Saturday, Jan 19 at 1:04 AM

SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — Chile's national police force has fired an officer convicted of killing a Mapuche activist more than three years ago, a death that has been cited repeatedly by the Indians as evidence that authorities abuse them with impunity.

Interior Minister Andres Chadwick released a statement praising Friday's decision to fire Lt. Walter Ramirez.

Ramirez was convicted of unnecessary violence resulting in the death of Matias Catrileo, a Mapuche Indian who was shot in the back in Araucania in 2008. But he wasn't jailed and remained on the force, a sore point for the Mapuches, whose protests this year on the anniversary of the Catrileo killing set off a fresh wave of violence, including the burning deaths of an elderly couple whose property is near where Catrileo died.

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