06 march 2012
Mapuche Man Commits Suicide in Prison
by Ryan Seelau

On Saturday, March 3rd, a Mapuche man who was in a Temuco prison was found dead in his cell. The next day it was announced that the man had committed suicide by hanging himself with some cloth he had. The man’s name was Lorenzo Llevul Antimil, and he was 40-years-old. Llevul had yet to stand trial, but was imprisoned on January 22nd in relation to fires that occurred in the comuna of Chol-Chol (approximately 30 kilometers northwest of Temuco).

In response to the death, Colonel Carlos Cortés — the director of the prison — called the occurrence “very unfortunate” and extended sympathies to the family. He also stated that the decision “was a very personal one of the inmate” who was found dead early on the morning of March 3rd. Cortés indicated that the body would be taken to the national forensics service and an investigation would be conducted to determine if there was any responsibility on the part of prison officials that led to the suicide.

At the time of this writing, no statements from Llevul’s family or community in response to the incident have made there way into the Chilean media.