South of Chile, Mapuche independentists attacked Tuesday night one stay and burned machinery in one of the regions militarized hours before by the President Sebastián Piñera, after a worsening of the conflict between this native people and the Chilean State, authorities reported.
The Chilean Police said that six hooded men entered the ranch in the region of The Araucanía, they intimidated rural workers and set fire to four agricultural machinery and six vehicles. The attack was claimed by the armed wing of the Coordinator Arauco Malleco (CAM), an organization that seeks to create a sovereign Mapuche state in areas of southern Chile where the majority of members of that original people are, Telam reported.
In a statement sent to Chilean media, the Organ of Territorial Resistance (ORT) of the CAM said that the action was in response “to the offensive of the Government of Sebastián Piñera,” which on Tuesday ordered the militarization of Araucanía and the neighboring region of Biobio. In the note, the ORT accused the Government of sending soldiers to the area “to attack the Mapuche autonomist movement, this in defense of the interests of big capital, foresters and settlers.”
The prefect of the province of Malleco, in La Araucanía, the Police Colonel Cristian Mansilla, said that the events occurred in the Santa Lidia ranch. “Six hooded individuals, carrying firearms, entered and intimidated the forest workers and later made a tour, applying accelerant to different machinery,” he declared.
He explained that after leaving, the attackers “fired multiple shots at people.” On Tuesday, hours before the attack, Piñera decreed a State of Constitutional Emergency for 15 days, to have the participation of the Armed Forces, in two provinces of Biobío and two of La Araucanía, including Malleco.
The president explained in a press conference that he was issuing the decree due to “serious and repeated acts of violence linked to drug trafficking, terrorism and organized crime” in areas of southern Chile in recent weeks. In recent weeks, the conflict between indigenous peoples and the State has been rekindled, after multiple acts of violence between members of the Mapuche community and members of the Carabineros, the Chilean police.