Monday, January 7th 2013 - 13:03 UTC

Piñera after political consensus to declare state of emergency in Mapuche territory

President Sebastián Piñera is considering declaring the state of emergency in the Araucanía region, in southern Chile, where six arson attacks which cost the lives of two people took place since Friday, Interior Minister Andrés Chadwick said.

The Chilean president described the Mapuche attacks as “terrorist violence”

The Chilean president is also holding a round of political talks with all parties with congressional representation to form a united front against what he described as “terrorist violence”.

One of the first measures was to put Carlos Carrasco, a top official within the Carabineros police, in charge of coordinating security in the region, plus sending 400 well armed riot police to ensure law and order.

Houses, trucks and agricultural machinery were torched down in six separate attacks since Friday, in a conflict that has affected the regions of Biobío, La Araucanía and Los Ríos.

A 75-year-old businessman and his 69-year-old wife were burned alive inside their home, which was attacked by around 20 people on Friday. Their family’s vast landholdings had long been targeted by Mapuche Indians who claim ancestral rights over the land.

Demands for land and autonomy by the Mapuche date back centuries. They resisted Spanish and Chilean domination for more than 300 years before they were forced south to Araucania in 1881. Many of the 700,000 Mapuche who survive among Chile’s 17 million people still live in Araucania.

A small fraction have been rebelling for decades, destroying forestry equipment and torching trees. Governments on the left and right have sent in police while offering programs that fall far short of their demands.

“The rise in demonstrations by our Mapuche communities are due to the lack of justice and the rejection of any type of productive dialogue on the restitution of our territory,” Mapuche leader Juana Calfunao wrote in Mapuexpress, an online site that reports on the issues of the Mapuche.

Chadwick said “the government believes the timeliest, useful and necessary decision is the implementation of the Anti-terrorism law” though he did not rule out the use of “any other legal instrument provided for by the Constitution and the law”.

Several ruling party lawmakers and businessmen demanded that the government declare the state of emergency.

Chadwick said Carrasco will be in charge of the “actions against terrorist violence” in the three regions affected by the conflict and that Piñera will meet Monday with the leaders of the opposition to discuss the handling of the crisis.

The president will also meet Monday with the head of the National Intelligence Agency (ANI) and the intelligence leaders within the armed forces.

The goal, Chadwick said, is to seek a “solid unity” against violence. Chadwick’s statement followed a meeting between Piñera and Ministers Cristián Larroulet and Joaquín Lavín.

Under Chilean law, a state of emergency can be declared in instances of internal war or serious local strife. It allows the president to ban meetings and demonstrations and restricts movement of citizens for 15 days.

Piñera inherited the conflict in Araucania from successive administrations that, like his, have also been unable to successfully address land claims that have erupted in clashes with police.

Human rights and Mapuche groups criticize the use of the anti-terror law, calling it an abuse of power and say the government should instead focus on reaching out to the Mapuche.

26 comments Feed

Note: Comments do not reflect MercoPress’ opinions. They are the personal view of our users. We wish to keep this as open and unregulated as possible. However, rude or foul language, discriminative comments (based on ethnicity, religion, gender, nationality, sexual orientation or the sort), spamming or any other offensive or inappropriate behaviour will not be tolerated. Please report any inadequate posts to the editor. Comments must be in English. Thank you.

1 pgerman (#) Jan 07th, 2013 - 02:06 pm Report abuse
The accusations of alleged genocide against the Mapuche by the Argentine Governments looks a lot different now....don't you think so?

“two elderly-people were burned alive inside their home, Which was Attacked by around 20 people.” Are the “malones” back?

Thanks God the Argentina had two Presidents like Nicolas Avellaneda and JA Roca who solved this issue once and for all.

Argentina lived in peace during the Following 150 years since them onwards.

Let's sse if the current political generations (CFK) can keep the internal peace, order and law. I really have my doubts !!!!
2 ChrisR (#) Jan 07th, 2013 - 02:29 pm Report abuse

So Chile's problem justifies the glorious war of the desert by AG and killing the indiginous people (who only had hand weapons) with an 'army' who had firearms?

No wonder AG is fucked at the citizen level if you believe this.

And CFK aka TMBOA is going to restrain herself if more riots happen?

Goddess TMBO will get rid of anybody who stands in her path to total domination of AG.

You are all DOOMED I tell you, DOOMED.
3 pgerman (#) Jan 07th, 2013 - 02:39 pm Report abuse
@2 I's sorry but your comments are proof of your ignorance.

When the Argentine Army definitively occupied the territory of the Patagonia (in this case was the Campaña de los Andes) and established the sovereignty of a country with law, and civilized, rules the Mapuches had already bought the very same fire-arms as the Argentine Army.

The famous “rifle patria” that had the Argentine soldiers were also sold to the chilean native people by the same amrs brokers.

Please, I kindly invite you to read about Argentine history before posting any comment.

4 reality check (#) Jan 07th, 2013 - 02:47 pm Report abuse
There you Mr Pinera, there's the simple solution to your current problems, Genocide!

Chris R
Loved the last part of your post, filled my head with mental images of the late John LAURIE, in his private Frazer role. DOOMED, DOOMED!
5 pgerman (#) Jan 07th, 2013 - 02:59 pm Report abuse
Genocide is never a solution to a problem.

There you have the genocides of the UK in Africa and the continent is still covered by wars.

I don't agree with the cultural expressions bans applied against first nations in Canada or the ethnic and cultural cleansing against the australian aboriginal people until less than 40 years.

In Argentina the War on “malones” was considered officially completed in 1900. A serious job, as was done in Argentina (by J.A. Roca) including the tribes as part of the Argentine Army, must be made to solve these issues.

Otherwise, burining honest people in their homes might be the solution that would enjoy the sympathy and popularity of some of the people that write posts in this site. By the way the killed poeple were not Argetine ones.

Why don't you offer to this nice and civilized Mapuche people some land in the FI? I bet they are good people !!!
6 ElaineB (#) Jan 07th, 2013 - 03:20 pm Report abuse
@5 You are a very strange person with a very warped view of humans you have decided are less than human.
7 ChrisR (#) Jan 07th, 2013 - 03:41 pm Report abuse

So we are all wrong except you?

You would not be German would you with a tag such as yours.

The history you refer to would have been written by who? J. A. Roca, I bet!
8 reality check (#) Jan 07th, 2013 - 03:48 pm Report abuse
Seems that Herr Presidente Peron did a good job, never thought I would read such idoelogies again, outside the pages of a history book, where they belong!
9 pgerman (#) Jan 07th, 2013 - 04:16 pm Report abuse
@7 In your case the issue is that you ignore even the most basic facts of Argentine history. And you want to accuse and blame the Argentine society of genocide of native peoples to benefit the UK's position towards the FI.

Your position is as if I could seriously argue and discuss with about UK history with british people. I won't be able.

@8 Are you linking J.D. Peron to Nicolas Avellaneda and J.A. Roca? If so it would be another proof of ignorance. Avellaneda and Roca were democratic, republicans and free-masons. Justo the opposite to Peron who was a catholic fascist.

You are all DOOMED I tell you, DOOMED.
10 Condorito (#) Jan 07th, 2013 - 05:56 pm Report abuse
We have heard your arguments before and I agree with Elaine they are warped. The facts don’t change that. The central core to your argument is that the war against the Mapuche was legitimate because:

1) The Mapuche were Chilean (i.e. not Argentine – although Argentina didn’t exist)
2) The Mapuche were bad and uncivilized.

Even if it were true (which it is not) it is still wrong. Wars are almost always wrong, although most people understand that a group/nation has alright to wage war to protect its territory from those trying to take it. However you try to use the facts, the facts are that this was a war of colonial expansion. I am not moralising or saying it was better or worse than any British, French (or even Chilean) etc war of colonial expansion. You would do well to recognise this.

Moving to the present day issue: first of all I support the rule of law in Chile, so the criminals must be brought to justice. But beyond that, a new approach is required here in Chile. Most Chileans have Mapuche blood, some more than others. Look at your everyday Chilean, we are not European. Which makes the Mapuche cause politically sensitive. In the Mapuche heartland, those who are most Mapuche are the poorest, those who are least Mapuche are the richest, as long as this continues to be the case, the problems will persist. The violence is perpetrated by political extremists who need to be isolated and dealt with firmly. At the same time economic measure need to be taken to reduce poverty in La Araucania.


“Why don't you offer to this nice and civilized Mapuche people some land in the FI? I bet they are good people !!!”

Most of us decedents of Lautaro are good, civilized, hard working people; the motor of Chile’s economic success. Maybe if La Roca had killed fewer Mapuche and received fewer Italians, Argentina would be a more prosperous country.

And one last fact for you - the murder rate in Temuco, the Mapuche capital, is lower than in BA.
11 pgerman (#) Jan 07th, 2013 - 06:33 pm Report abuse
Nice to hear from you Condorito.

Yes, you are right, I have expresed my thoughts regarding this issue before. And among other I have already told that the expansion of the country was a process not very different from the expansion of the UK in Canada, USA or Australia. Basically, my idea is that doesnt' mean that an expasion is a Genocide.

The issue is that there is a there is an idealized concept (in Argentina with today political intentions) of the original tribes. They were not peaceful people who were victims of abuse at all. The invasion of the Ease side of the Andes by the Mapuche was violent and bloody for both, other native people and europeans. Highly destructive of assets, property and human lives. The assumptions (I consider them assumptions because nobody could yet proved with reasonable doubt there was a genocide) and alledged crimes of the Argentine goverments were insignificant compared to the cruelty of the raids (malones).

I know very little about the Chilean reality to argue and discuss about it so I can assume that what you say is true. Your words confirm mines, basically that the Mapuche are people from the Western side of the Andes.

I won't compare people from Europe to native ones, but based on the progress it seems (it just seems) that europeans are most succesfull in terms of productivity and organization.

Argentina, at that time, was a country that received europeans inmigrants at the very same rate as USA, Canada and Australia and they were from the whole European Continent. Not only from Italy or Spain. In the South of the country most of them were from Wales, England and Scandinavian.

The fact is quite evident, is that lost of british people write here about a genocide to benefit the UK's position towards the FI but they ignore even the most basic facts of Argentine history.

As regards my comment, it might not be politically correct but I have never read about a home put into fire by europeans either in Argentina or in Chile.
12 Anglotino (#) Jan 07th, 2013 - 07:23 pm Report abuse
@5 pgerman

“or the ethnic and cultural cleansing against the australian aboriginal people until less than 40 years”

Really? As recently as 1974? Please elaborate. Oh and if you are going to mention the 'stolen generation' then be prepared to actually find more than 10 of them because for some unknown reason we have a lot of trouble actually finding any here. Wonderful industry has popped up around this myth but very little actual victims.

Typically glib comment to support an earlier higly offensive one. Don't drag us into your warped view of genocide.
13 pgerman (#) Jan 07th, 2013 - 07:54 pm Report abuse
I'm not a very deep connoisseur of the Australian history so I can not bring you more information than the circulating in the media. I'm sorry I also don't know how many Aboriginal people suffered conditions of the “lost generation”.

But the last time I visited Australian in a Museum in Sydney (I can not remember its name now) was an exhibition about the “Canning Route”. You can argue that it was a crime perpetrated by a group of people and that officials were unaware of the fact.

In Canada the Act to First Nations activities banned most of the activities of them (not only political meetings but also recreational and cultural activities) was up half of last century. I would have to look for the information but at the Museum of Anthropology at UBC you can find plenty of original documents and information about this issue (please, check the web site)

In the Tepapa museum I saw the original document of the agreements between the Crown and Maori chiefts and is now regarded as dishonest and cheating agreements as contained concepts ignored by Maori leaders at that time.
14 ProRG_American (#) Jan 07th, 2013 - 10:24 pm Report abuse
There is some good news. The native peoples of Chile are claiming back by force what they have been denied by right.
15 Anglotino (#) Jan 07th, 2013 - 10:50 pm Report abuse
@14 pgerman

“I'm not a very deep connoisseur of the Australian history so I can not bring you more information than the circulating in the media.”

And yet after a visit to a museum you felt informed enough to say:

“I don't agree with… the ethnic and cultural cleansing against the Australian aboriginal people until less than 40 years.”

Asked to qualify, you talk about the Canning Route. Something that was indeed built and damaged surrounding aboriginal communities in 1910! ONE HUNDRED years ago and unused except for tourists since 1959. FIFTY FOUR years ago.

Australians are aware of our history and what settlement did to aboriginals. We cannot undo this. Even after 225 years of settlement there is a lot still to be remedied.

How well was Argentina in dealing with its aboriginals in 1805, 225 years after their European settlement?

“You can argue that it was a crime perpetrated by a group of people and that officials were unaware of the fact.”

Please don’t even presume to try and tell me what I will argue. You attempted to paint Australia in a bad light as recently as the mid-70s in a vain attempt to prove a point.

And failed.

You compounded your failure by highlighting your own ignorance of something that happened 100 years ago, not 40.

“have already told that the expansion of the country was a process not very different from the expansion of the UK in Canada, USA or Australia. Basically, my idea is that doesn’t' mean that an expansion is a Genocide.”

“there is an idealized concept (in Argentina with today political intentions) of the original tribes. They were not peaceful people who were victims of abuse at all” and for some reason the “alleged crimes of the Argentine governments were insignificant compared to the cruelty of the raids” by the Mapuche.

I see that the Argentine government only has alleged crimes in its settlement history but my country has “ethnic and cultural cleansing”.

Pathetic doesn’t even begin to cover your warped view of the world
16 pgerman (#) Jan 07th, 2013 - 11:16 pm Report abuse
Sir, it might be because I know only a little of English or because you are so sick of hatred to Argentina, and its inhabitants, that you misunderstood my words.

I have never said that in Australia a genocide was committed. NEVER. But there was a political aNd social view (organized by the government) that was very harmening against aboriginal people. BUT there were only ten people, so it's ok !!!..don't worry about them.
In addition I have never said that the Canning Route was build 40 years ago. I have never tried to paint Australia with anything. To the contrary, I visited it two times (I have a very good friend of nime living there) and its a wonderful country with very nice people.

But not a single Argentine goverment has ever declared political and cultural meetings illegal as it was declared in Canada (please, dont' say anything against Canada..I LOVE THIS COUNTRY).

The funny thing of all this discussion is that you said and applied terms such as “pathetic” or “warped view” but you were not able to said a single argument that could be a proof of genocide.

Genocide is a very serious accusation against a country or a government so as to “throw it into the air” without any material evidence or at least a reasonable doubt. Neither you, nor the rest of the people in this site. Even not your “beloved” malvinistas who hate J A Roca, Sarmiento, Mitre and love J.D. Peron and Mussolini.

Please, try to be nice or at least to have good manners with me since I have always refered about to you with respect.

It's not my fault that you can not prove a genocide or that you totally ignore Argentine history. Just don't repeat like a parrot stories written by Peronism.

Two honest elderly and helpless people were burned alive inside their house. Where is the good news?
17 Gordo1 (#) Jan 08th, 2013 - 07:58 am Report abuse
Didn't one of the UN commissions recently give Argentina a really strong admonition because its appalling continuing treatment of its indigenous citizens?
18 Anglotino (#) Jan 08th, 2013 - 09:02 am Report abuse
@16 pgerman

Your English is outstanding and not an impediment to conveying your ideas.

“you are so sick of hatred to Argentina, and its inhabitants”
I'm still trying to get my head around how anyone could possibly hate an entire country or people. Perhaps it is just me but it does seem impossible. Hatred is the exact opposite of my feelings towards Argentina.

I never accused you of saying there was genocide in Australia. And never accused Argentina of genocide either. Please reread my comments because you just negated most of your post which ranted on and on about this. I have only ever used the word genocide once on Mercopress' site and that was quoting you.

You may wish to reread your own too. “I have never tried to paint Australia with anything”. And yet you used it as an example. A false example I might add.

So while Australia was ethnically and culturally cleansing the aboriginal people, Argentina was fighting a war to establish “sovereignty of a country with law and civilised rules”.

So just to reiterate. We ethnically and culturally cleansed and Argentina established law and brought civilisation to the poor benighted savages.

You said this. Not me. Not someone else. You!

Oh and the UK was performing genocide in Africa. Seems you can use this word but no one else. (Though it seemed to work out better there with over 50 countries with nearly a billion Africans compared to Latin America).

I apologise for using “pathetic” or “warped view” because I now believe you may be a racist simpleton.
19 lsolde (#) Jan 08th, 2013 - 10:06 am Report abuse
To pgerman,
We do not hate Argentina, we just hate what Argentina is trying to do.
Argentina is trying to take our country & it seems that most Argentines think that its OK as OUR land belongs to them & we “stole” it.
The malvinistas insult us at every turn, calling us “Squatters” or thieves or liars & even some very rude names in Spanish that l won't repeat.
Because of this, naturally, we do not like Argentina & the Argentines who do this.
lf Argentina stopped all this rubbish & acted like a good neighbour(like Chile)to us, then you would find that no-one would say anything bad about Argentina.
lts all in Argentina's hands.
Treat us with respect & we will treat you with respect.
l admit that it will take time!
20 pgerman (#) Jan 08th, 2013 - 11:52 am Report abuse
Dear Anglotino,

My concept is that there have always been people moving from one place to another. (EG: the inkas were from Bolivia and they moved to the North invading the peruvian area, and finally they were invaded by the Spaniards..). So every single time a European country “landed” in America, Oceania or Africa there were problems. Basically wars. It's part of Mankind history. We cannot change that. But it doesn't mean that all these colonizations were genocides.
I do believe that the ocupation of the Patagonia by Argentina was a good thing since it brought civilization, order and law to a large area that was in a chaos without law and authority. The “Campaña del Desierto” was a militar campaign to bring Argentine sovereignty in this large and extended area. If it had not been occupied by Argentina it would be by Chile, France or the UK. In terms of a conquest it was pretty organized and humanitarian compare to others.
@17 yes, you are right the UN informed and warned the Argentine Government about the situation of the QOM people. This is happening NOWSo, no matter her “humanitarian” speches CFK must take responsiblity of this. We are responsible now, today, about the situation of these people and we are responsible for caring them. CFK, and the Peronism, like to accuse JA Roca of having commited genocide but they don't move a finger to correct and protect argentine people today.
@Isolde. You are 100% right. From my point of view the islanders are honest people that deserve respect. I have already expressed that in several posts. But I cannot change the fact that “malvinistas” like to mark islanders as “invaders”. In my case I have discussions with them and they told me that I'm a “cipayo” who live abroad. It's part of the paronist and fascist “storytelling”. The funny thing is that most of the large Argentine mid-class loves British culture. I don't know how this FI will be solve but we will have to take all the parties into account for the benefit
21 The Chilean perspective (#) Jan 08th, 2013 - 12:58 pm Report abuse
I believe that the Mapuche are a national treasure and that these problems are the result of at most a couple of hundred ultra leftist activists. The authorities are throwing in a lot of resources at this problem and because the Mapuche do not support these terrorists I'm confident the problem will be solved. In Chile the rule of law is king and all must bow before it, therefore the only way the injustices perpetrated on the Mapuche nation can be rectified is not by violence but by consensus, fairness and goodwill. I for one are extremely proud of the Mapuche and their beautiful history, they are a proud and hard working people and the taxpayers of Chile owe it to these first Chileans to modernize and mechanize their farms, improve education and health through some sustantive, effective and immediate programs. There should be no delay, pump the money in right away it's a good investment.
22 pgerman (#) Jan 08th, 2013 - 01:13 pm Report abuse
Dear Anglotino.

In today's “La Nacion” edition the following article about this issue was published:

I know that it's in Spanish but it can be easily translated with google. I believe its' a good article a reflects my thoughts regarding this issue quite well.
23 Condorito (#) Jan 08th, 2013 - 02:59 pm Report abuse
I fully agree. A big stick for the extremists and economic incentives for Araucania.

I agree with much of your post @ 20.
The article you link to @ 22 is inaccurate in many places, but interesting. Note that in 1500 the Mapuche did not have cavalry because the horse had not proliferated in the area. What is interesting is that this article uses slight manipulation of facts to fit the Argentine narrative.

According to the article the malones were Chileans who killed and raped thousands of Argentineas and then sold the stolen cattle to the British. So right there you have all the bad guys framed for Argie history: Chileans, Indios and Brits. The settlers who fought the native tribes were not Argentine. They were Europeans colonising Patagonia. The new republic took the opportunity to expand and seize more land, the same as happened in the US and all over the Americas.

What is really quite unacceptable in the article (and your credence from earlier posts) is this:

“Hay personajes que le dicen a los criollos: ¨¡Negro, esta tierra es tuya! Sacá a los gringos, poneles un piquete para que paguen peaje antes de pasar la tranquera, ocupale las casas...! ¡Que se vuelvan a Europa!”. Los que reciben este mensaje, en la Argentina, normalmente son nietos de chilenos”

Here you have the assumption that a brown skinned person in Patagonia is a recently arrived Chilean, whereas in fact they could be descended from any one of the area’s original tribes – but for white Argentines that is just not convenient to believe. This disrespectful labelling and negation of history will cause problems. The Chilean secret service has identified foreign groups acting with the Mapuche extremists, including Quebracho, so this problem has the means to morph and conflagrate on the Argie side too.
24 pgerman (#) Jan 08th, 2013 - 04:22 pm Report abuse
dear Condorito,

Let me explain to you how a see things from the Argntinean side. I'm not living in Argentina now but it's the same because I'm in daily contact with my relatives and friends. (By the way, I'm not blond with blue eyes, if it matters).

CFK and her political allies need large groups of poor people not onlt to be voted but also to use them in demonstrations and strikes. They have been fueling the anger of certain part of the society against the “mid class”.

Sadly, the usage of the color of the skin is a daily matter.

D'Elia a top K “social” leader said in the media ”I hate white and blode people who live in Belgrano (a mid class neighbourhood of Bs As)“.

Milagros Sala another ”social“ leader usually refers to herself as ”I'm a cabecita negra“. She was surprised by the media on vacations in a very expensive hotel by the beach in Punta del Este and she defended herself saying ”the fact that I'm brown with blak hair doesn't mean that I cannot came here on vacations“.

So, its' sad but saying ¨¡Negro, esta tierra es tuya” is the regular way cheap politicians and social leaders refers to their own people to fuel their anger towards mid-class who are basically the descendants of the European inmigrants. If so that some weeks ago, during a very popular demontrations against CFK, lots of people started sreamming “I'm mid- class and son of an European inmigrant What's wrong with that?”.

As you can see I don' t expect anything good from CFK and the peronist party. The best thing they can do is to desapear from the face of the Earth !!
25 Condorito (#) Jan 08th, 2013 - 08:46 pm Report abuse
Thank you for your frank explanation. I fully sympathise with what you are saying about the cheap use of skin colour to inflame political debate. It is sad that these individuals you mention act in this way. [It is not such an issue in Chile because we are more ethnically homogeneous than Argies.]

Unfortunately, one of the underlying problems to such tension is that when they say: ¨¡Negro, esta tierra es tuya”, there is a lot of truth in that, so there is always a button to be pressed. The way forward is to redress the wrongs and not suppress the problem.
26 pgerman (#) Jan 09th, 2013 - 02:21 am Report abuse

I have been reading some comments published in an Argentine news paper.

The comment says that today the marks on the ground left by the livestock (in Spanish is called the “rastrillada”) are still visible on the south side of Santa Rosa (a city in La Pampa) along the “Ruta Nacional 35”

In addition, in a place by the name of Fortin Bella Vista (located in Coronel Pringles) some human remains of the people killed by the “malones” were found reciently.

I'm sorry if you find these stories boring ones but I love history and I wanted to share them with you.

Commenting for this story is now closed.
If you have a Facebook account, become a fan and comment on our Facebook Page!


Get Email News Reports!

Get our news right on your inbox.
Subscribe Now!