Resistencia Ancestral Mapuche

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Resistencia Ancestral Mapuche
Leader(s) Facundo Jones Huala
Foundation 2014[1]
Motives Secede territories of Argentina and Chile to create a Mapuche nation
Active region(s) Argentina and Chile
Ideology Mapuche nationalism Anti-capitalism
Status Active

Resistencia Ancestral Mapuche (Spanish: Mapuche Ancestral Resistance, RAM) is a separatist organization[citation needed] group that operates near Patagonia in Argentina and Chile,[citation needed] seeking to secede territories of both countries to create a Mapuche nation.


In 2012, policeman José Aigo was killed when he tried to check a truck heading to Aluminé. Two Chilean organizations belonging to RAM, "Frente Patriótico Manuel Rodríguez" and the "Ejército Guerrillero de los Pobres", took credit for the killing of the officer.[2] However, years before, different media attributed their murder to poachers, which led to the arrest of the son of the mayor of San Martín de los Andes who would be one of the hunters who shot the policeman[3]

One of the first attacks of 2017 was committed at the National Route 40, burning a truck. The driver, Luis Rastrelini, commented that he was surprised by an improvised rock roadblock, and then was attacked by hooded men. They filled the truck with oil, and then made it explode with a molotov cocktail.[2] Another attack took place in Bariloche. They burned two buildings, and left banners asking for the freedom of their leader, Facundo Jones Huala. Those banners featured their logo, composed by a mapuche shield and a rifle.[2] They also attacked the estancias of the Italian clothing company Benetton Group at the Chubut Province. The watchman Evaristo Jones reported that they attacked and tortured him, stole his weapons and burned his shed, claiming that it was not an action against him but against the owners of the estancia.[2] The organization has been accused of committing similar attacks against other employees and their families, burned forests and farming grounds, vandalized the farming vehicles and the electric service, and the vehicles in the nearby roads.[4]

Disappearance of Santiago Maldonado[edit]

On August 1, 2017 people of the Lof Cushamen community protested for the freedom of the imprisoned member of the RAM, Facundo Jones Huala, blocking a road near El Maitén, and were dispersed by the Argentine National Gendarmerie. Santiago Maldonado, a protester who supported the claims of the people blocking the road, was reported missing after that.[5] Witnesses testified before judicial authorities that Maldonado was taken by Gendarmerie agents,[6] and with the disappearance of Maldonado the RAM became known at national level in Argentina.[7] On August 4, a group of hooded vandals attacked the "Casa del Chubut" building in Buenos Aires, with some media[who?] attributing the attack to a reaction of members of the RAM.[8] The United Nations Committee on Enforced Disappearances has urged the Argentine government to search and locate Maldonado.[9] The prosecution is investigating the disappearance of Maldonado as a case of forced disappearance.[10]

Death of Rafael Nahuel[edit]

On 25 November, 2017 the federal forces carried out an eviction. In this context, the Albatross group of the Prefecture repressed rubber bullets and lead bullets to the members of the Lafken Winkul Mapu community. Rafael Nahuel, aged 22, died in the shooting.[11] The autopsy confirmed that he died with a 9mm bullet, as those used by the Albatross group, ruling out a friendly fire.[12] The Minister of Security said that the death of the young Mapuche had taken place in the context of a confrontation, and that the Mapuche possessed weapons of war. The search took place some time later, and no weapon was found.[13] However, as the RAM kept control of the crime scene after the event, it was suspected that it could have been altered.[12]


The RAM released their manifesto on November 11, 2014. Their goal is to establish a mapuche nation, and they do not consider themselves Argentines or Chileans. They declared themselves enemies of capitalism and the state, and reject bureaucracy and the Argentine law. They also reject the Catholic Church, as the religion of a "winka" god. They call themselves "Weichafes", a term in Mapuche language that means "warrior". They consider the RAM prisoners to be political prisoners, and that they are victims of state terrorism. Aiming for self-determination, they consider that the armed insurrection would be a legitimate action. They welcome the help of non-Mapuche people, as long as they follow their leadership.[1]

Facundo Jones Guala is the visible face and member of the RAM. He is currently held prisoner in Esquel, Chubut Province. He was interviewed by the TV program Periodismo para todos, and said: "There are things that I can not conceal, like my political and ideological doctrine. We support the use of political violence as a weapon of self-defense. We plan the Mapuche liberation as the reconstruction of our world. We are the armed wing of the Mapuche movement: we use molotovs, knives, sticks. More than that, we can't afford".[2]


Facundo Jones Huala is currently held prisoner in Argentina, and is on trial on terrorism charges. Chile asked for his extradition, to judge him for similar charges, but Argentina has refused to do so.[14] The Argentine police has tried to drive them away from the estancias of the Benetton family, but were unsuccessful so far.[14] The mapuche lonkos Camilo Nahuelquir and Raducindo Calfupan rejected the actions of the RAM, and pointed that their actions are not endorsed by the Mapuche populations.[4]


  1. ^ a b "La declaración original de Resistencia Ancestral Mapuche" [The original manifest of Resistencia Ancestral Mapuche] (in Spanish). Perfil. September 30, 2017. Retrieved December 6, 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Cómo funciona la Resistencia Ancestral Mapuche, la organización que preocupa al Gobierno -". Todo Noticias (in Spanish). 7 August 2017. Retrieved 4 September 2017. 
  3. ^ La Prensa, ed. (7 March 2012). "Un policía fue asesinado en Neuquén: detienen al hijo del intendente de San Martín de los Andes" [A policeman was killed in Neuquén: the son of the mayor of San Martín de los Andes is arrested]. 
  4. ^ a b Loreley Gaffoglio (August 8, 2017). "El Maitén exige el regreso de Gendarmería y declara como "actos terroristas" las acciones de RAM" [El Maitén demands the return of the gendarmerie and declares the actions of the RAM as "terrorist acts"] (in Spanish). La Nación. Retrieved August 8, 2017. 
  5. ^ Goñi, Uki (8 August 2017). "Argentina activist missing after indigenous people evicted from Benetton land". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 August 2017. 
  6. ^ Devanna, Cecilia (13 August 2017). "Los primeros testigos declararon ante fiscales" [The first witnesses declared before prosecutors]. Perfil (in Spanish). Retrieved 26 August 2017. 
  7. ^ "Qué es y cómo actúa Resistencia Ancestral Mapuche, el grupo que se enfrenta al Gobierno en el Sur" [What is and how proceeds Resistencia Ancestral Mapuche, the group that confronts the government in the South]. Diario Popular (in Spanish). 9 August 2017. Retrieved 26 August 2017. 
  8. ^ "Un grupo de encapuchados destrozó la Casa del Chubut en Buenos Aires" [A group of hooded people destroyed the Casa del Chubut in Buenos Aires]. Infobae (in Spanish). 4 August 2017. Retrieved 26 August 2017. 
  9. ^ "Santiago Maldonado's Disappearance in Argentina: The UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances demands urgent state action". 
  10. ^ "Cambiaron la carátula de la causa por Santiago Maldonado: lo buscan por "desaparición forzada"". Minuto Uno (in Spanish). 24 August 2017. 
  11. ^ "Quién era Rafael Nahuel, el joven que murió en una represión de Prefectura". Perfil (in Spanish). 26 November 2017. Retrieved 5 January 2018. 
  12. ^ a b Loreley Gaffoglio (November 27, 2017). "La bala que mató a Rafael Nahuel es una 9 mm, como las que usa el grupo Albatros" [The bullet that killed Rafael Nahuel was a 9mm, as those used by the Albatross group] (in Spanish). La Nación. Retrieved January 1, 2018. 
  13. ^ "Mapuches denuncian que testigos del asesinato fueron detenidos y torturados". Crónica (in Spanish). 26 November 2017. Retrieved 5 January 2018. 
  14. ^ a b Ramiro Barreiro (August 6, 2017). "Facundo Jones Huala: el líder mapuche que descoloca a Argentina y Chile" [Facundo Jones Huala: the mapuche leader who unsettles Argentina and Chile] (in Spanish). El País. Retrieved August 8, 2017. 

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