Chile's Upper House Tuesday afternoon approved yet another extension to the State of Constitutional Exception in the provinces of Bío Bío and Arauco, in the Bío Bío region, and in those of Malleco and Cautín, in La Araucanía.
The new measure, passed by 16 votes to 11, is due to expire in 15 days.
The Lower House had also greenlighted the initiative Tuesday morning by 74 votes in favor, 52 against and 3 abstentions.
The Government of President Sebastián Piñera had been requesting this type of Congressional approvals since Oct. 12 due to recurrent acts of violence by groups claiming to be acting in defense of the Mapuche Community's ancestral rights. Most Mapuche groups seek recognition, land restitution and cultural reparation, and extremist groups yearn for the installation of a sovereign state throughout the entire territory of the “Wallmapu”, which includes the southern center of Chile and Argentina.
Due to successive extensions, the state of exception has been in force uniterruptedly in the region. (Read also: https://en.mercopress.com/2021/11/08/state-of-emergency-in-chile-81.56-in-favor-of-it )
With Tuesday's decision, six extensions have been added: one from the Government and five from Parliament.
The State of Exception allows the Armed Forces to support the work of the police in operations aimed at drug trafficking and organized crime.
Under Chilean legislation, a simple Congressional majority is required for each extension.
Chile's leftwing President-elect Gabriel Boric has long tuned in with the Mapuche political organizations, while far right candidate José Antonio Kast had won by a landslide in La Araucanía, with 42.16% of the votes in the first round.