Mapuche forestry worker Segundo Catril Neculqueo, aged 66, died Tuesday afternoon after an armed attack in the Chilean commune of Lumaco, in Araucanía, while one of the two other victims is still hospitalized.
Temuco's Regional Hospital confirmed Neculqueo's death despite physicians' efforts at the ICU unit. The fatal victim had been shot in the head, it was reported.
The transport some 30 workers were riding was ambushed in the Relún sector, on the road between Capitán Pastene and Tirúa. Neculqueo was first taken to Posta el Manzanar and later flown by Carabineros to Temuco due to the seriousness of his condition.
The other workers on board the minibus took refuge in the San Óscar camp located in the area, as those injured were taken by land to a first response health care center.
After the attack, the High Complexity Prosecutor's Office confirmed that it has already launched an investigation involving the Special Police Investigations Brigade and the Criminalistics Laboratory of the PDI.
A second worker, aged 33 and identified with the initials T.N.M.C., ended up with a fractured jaw due to projectile impact, in addition to injuries to his scalp. He was reported to be stable and awaiting a transfer to the Universidad Mayor hospital.
The other victim was reported to be 25 years old and his initials were J.R.C.A. He was discharged later Tuesday with a slight facial injury.
The workers were riding a bus to a forestry site of Mapuche communities in Relún after an agreement between the native communities and the company CMPC.
After the attack, opposition politicians have asked for a tougher stance against violent groups and criticized President Gabriel Boric Font's limited state of emergency in the Southern Macro-zone, while the ruling leftwing coalition is split on the idea of extending these extraordinary measures.
Boric's administration was accused of not doing enough and of blindness regarding the severity of the situation. Meanwhile, La Moneda sources cited by local media were doubtful an effective military deployment to th3e area could be ordered, since under emergency conditions, only the protection of critical infrastructure would be allowed and a forestry company would not qualify as such.