Chile President Declares State of Exception Over Mapuche Dissension
Chile's President Sebastian Pinera on Tuesday announced a state of exception on two southern regions of the country, as they continue to face the conflict with the country's indigenous tribe, Mapuche.
President Pinera announced the move, as he deployed troops in the regions of Biobio and Araucania, Al Jazeera reported.
In a speech, Pinera pointed out that the state of exception he issued will affect four provinces located in the two regions of Chile, France 24 reported.
The president then furthered that the troops he deployed in the southern regions will "help control the serious disturbance of public order" in the said areas.
Aside from the Mapuche conflict, Pinera noted that the provinces affected by his move have also reported "repeated acts of violence" related to drug trafficking, organized crime, and terrorism. The president then noted that innocent civilians and law enforcement officers lost their lives due to the violence.
Political Analyst Rips Chile President's Decision Over Mapuche Conflict
Pinera's decision to issue a state of exception in the southern regions of Chile was quick to garner opposition, as a political analyst pointed out that his move might "intensify" the conflict of the government and the Mapuche tribe.
Political analyst Lucía Dammert refuted the president's move, saying that sending army troops in the region could lead to an "escalation of violence."
Dammert added that the Chilean government failed to establish an "effective and fair policy" that will solve the problems that are present in Araucania.
The conflict between Chile and Mapuche tribe stemmed out as the leaders of the indigenous group demand that the land currently owned by farms and logging companies, be restored in their possession.
"We want the logging companies to leave because they've caused a lot of ecological, environmental, cultural, and philosophical damage and the dispossession of our people," said Arauco Malleco Coordination's leader, Juan Pichun.
Aside from the restoration of the land, the Mapuche also complain about the pine and eucalyptus trees planted by the corporations cause grave damage to the native vegetation and also consume water resources that are needed by the communities.
As the group fight for the said lands, radical groups were reported to attack trucks and properties in the region over the last decade.
Recent Clash Between Chile Cops and Mapuche Tribe
Pinera's decision to declare a state of exception came days after a clash happened between the Mapuche indigenous tribe and Chilean police officers, that killed at least one and injured 17 others.
The said clash happened on Sunday, as thousands of activists marched near Plaza Italia in Santiago, AFP reported.
Metropolitan Area police chief Enrique Monras Alvarez said that a hooded group attacked the police with fireworks. The attack on the authorities left 17 cops injured.
The clash also caused a 43-year-old woman to be rushed to a hospital and die during the intervention.
Authorities confirmed that at least 10 individuals were arrested in connection to the incident.
Meanwhile, Chile's Minister of the Interior Rodrigo Delgado noted that the Prosecutor's Office opened an investigation on the recent incident, which he called "disproportionate violence."
This article is owned by Latin Post.
Written By: Joshua Summers
WATCH: Chile's Mapuche People vs the State: A Battle for Ancestral Lands - From Al Jazeera English
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