Attacks on the Wichí Communities: Sopfwayuk 2008
There was a serious incident in 2008 involving the police attacking a small group of Wichí from the Zlaqatahyi communities, protesting at the use of their traditional lands by agribusiness (in particular the sowing of GM soya). The community most directly affected was Sopfwayuk, 4 km. from Hoktek T'oi. Several unarmed and defenceless men and women were heavily hit about with truncheons, and six were arrested, including a community leader and an elder. Three small children fled into the forest where they were lost for 24 hours, before they were rescued.
Chacolinks funded Chacolinks' indigenous lawyer, Sarah Esper, who obtained the release of the detainees within 24 hours. Working overnight, and through the next ten days, Sarah, with Dr John Palmer as translator, accompanied thirteen of the victims as they filed charges against the police for brutality.
So the police commissioner (Ocampo) is now under investigation for "overstepping the line of duty”. To date, there have been four court appearances in connection with the case.
This is a very rare case where the police have been taken to task for violence against the Wichí .