Santiago, Chile: President Sebastián Piera declared a state of emergency on Tuesday in 72 communities in two regions of southern Chile, sometimes claiming disturbances and attacks by indigenous Mapuche groups demanding the return of their ancestral lands Was.
The decree limits freedom of assembly and movement and also allows the military to support the police. Such an order by the President may last for a maximum period of 15 days, which may be renewed for another 15 days with the consent of Congress.
The measure affects 40 communities in the Biobo region and 32 communities in La Araucana. In the latter region, violence and conflict have been going on for decades, including attacks on forestry machinery and trucks. In Biobo, which neighboring La Araucana, arsonists burned two churches, one Roman Catholic, one Evangelical.
Piera said the state of emergency is capable of protecting the population, protecting public order and the rule of law.
After learning the measure, truck drivers gradually started lifting road blockades installed in both the areas to demand more safety on their routes.
La Araucana has spent years in the custody of the military police, who have been criticized for the shooting of a young Mapuche in 2018. A year ago, a police intelligence unit fabricated evidence against eight Mapuche men who were jailed for allegedly organizing attacks in the area.
About 12% of the 19 million people in Chile are Mapuche who are descendants of the country’s native peoples. Half of them live in poor rural communities.
The Spanish never managed to conquer the Mapuches, which were eventually dominated by the Chilean army in the 18th century, when they were pushed south and colonists occupied their lands.
Disclaimer: This post has been self-published from the agency feed without modification and has not been reviewed by an editor