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Nora Ñancul

HRD, Werken
Likankura autonomous lof

Nora 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. Nora has also been involved in land recovery processes from lands usurped by forestry companies in the Araucanía region in southern Chile.

Throughout her work in human rights defense, Nora has been affected by both state repression and gender violence. On 10 September 2020, agents of the Chilean Investigative Police violently and warrantless detained Nora Ñancul and her sister Gricel 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 Nora and Gricel Ñancul face various fabricated charges including "threats and violence against the police.


One group of HRDs representing a marginalised community that continue to face difficulties are indigenous HRDs, notably from the Mapuche people, who were criminalised on several occasions on the grounds of the Chilean Anti-terrorist Act.