Gricel Ñancul is a Mapuche indigenous rights defender and Werken (spokeswoman) from the Likankura autonomous lof, known for her commitment promoting the revitalization of Mapuche identity, knowledge and customs, including Mapuche’s reconnection to land in social and spiritual terms. Gricel has also been involved in and recovery processes from lands usurped by forestry companies in the Araucanía region in southern Chile.
Throughout his work in human rights defense, Gricel has been affected by both state repression and gender violence. On 10 September 2020, agents of the Chilean Investigative Police violently and warrantless detained Gricel Ñancul and her sister Nora Ñancul. The police officers physically and verbally assaulted the defenders and their children. The indigenous women were beaten, suffocated and dragged through the mud for several meters.
Whilst in detention at Angol commune police station, police officers continued to beat Mapuche defenders and use offensive language alluding to their status as an indigenous woman. Both Gricel and Nora Ñancul face various fabricated charges including "threats and violence against the police.