Indigenous protests: President declares a state of emergency in southern Chile


Chile’s President Sebastián Piñera has declared a state of emergency in the south of the country after clashes between security forces and indigenous people.
Build: AP

The military will support the police in the four provinces of Biobio, Arauco, Malleco and Cautin, said Head of State Sebastián Piñera. There are repeated clashes between the indigenous people and the security forces.

CHiles President has declared a state of emergency in the south of the country after clashes between security forces and indigenous peoples. The military will support the police in the four provinces of Biobio, Arauco, Malleco and Cautin in the next two weeks, said head of state Sebastián Piñera on Tuesday. He ordered the dispatch of soldiers to take action against “the serious disturbance of public order”.

In the four provinces there were “repeated acts of violence related to drug trafficking, terrorism and organized crime committed by armed groups”. In the region in the south of the country there have been repeated arson attacks and clashes with the police in recent years.

Mapuche demand land and autonomy

Radical groups of the indigenous Mapuche people are believed to be behind this. The Mapuche are demanding the return of the land they consider to be their ancestral property and more autonomy from the Chilean state. With 1.7 million members, they represent the largest indigenous group among the approximately 19 million inhabitants of the country.

17 people were injured and one woman was killed in a demonstration for the rights of indigenous peoples on Sunday in the capital Santiago.

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