Despite the head of state's pro-Native People's rights stance, a Mapuche group in southern Chile Wednesday likened current President Gabriel Boric Font to his rightwing predecessor Sebastián Piñera and called for armed resistance in the face of a possible military deployment.
The radical Arauco-Malleco Coordinating Committee (CAM) launched an appeal to its members following the Chilean government's plan to militarize the southern part of the country where violence escalates almost daily.
CAM leader Hector Llaitul criticized Boric's proposal to set up an intermediate state, which would allow sending troops to guard public infrastructure amid increasing violence with roadblocks, fires, and shootings.
”The intermediate state is nothing more than a new state of exception. That is to say, the henchmen militiamen once again deployed throughout the Wallmapu (Mapuche territory) guarding the interests of big capital, said Llaitul, who called his own ethnic group to prepare the forces, to organize armed resistance for autonomy, for the territory and autonomy for the Mapuche nation.
The CAM is the most relevant organization of the Mapuche autonomist movement in the last 20 years. It has carried out numerous violent actions since 1997. Its most recent attack was the burning of three lorries in the Araucanía region.
Boric's initiative is a way to avoid insisting on constitutional states of exception to which the Piñera administration had repeatedly resorted. But the President's idea as such is not provided for in the Constitution. Therefore, it would require legal amendments before being set in place. Nevertheless, it has been already criticized by numerous Mapuche communities.
The so-called Mapuche conflict” in southern Chile is a territorial dispute pinning the Mapuche groups against the federal government and large economic groups exploiting lands considered ancestral by the indigenous people. Boric has also started a plan to buy the land gradually and hand it back over to its primitive owners.