Chubut investigators denied Monday that the Ancestral Mapuche Resistance (RAM) rebel organization had claimed responsibility for the fire in Currumahuida hill in the town of El Hoyo.
Press reports blaming the RAM had spread widely early Monday after a RAM pamphlet had allegedly been found on site.
The pamphlet is old, it was not found in the place of the fire outbreak and it is not from now. Someone uploaded it to the networks and this grew, Deputy Police Commissioner Emanuel Morales explained.
Lago Puelo Prosecutor Carlos Díaz Mayer said his office was not investigating the pamphlet's authenticity, which was in his view a matter for Federal authorities.
An image of a piece of paper went viral with a printed inscription mentioning Liberation and Mapuche national reconstruction. It went on: We will not stop until Patagonia burns and we recover our territory. This is RAM's sacred land.
The pamphlet reading This is sacred land of the RAM. Invaders are not allowed to inhabit ancestral lands does not correspond to current events, Morales also underlined.
Firefighters from various parts of Patagonia as well as hydrant planes and a Chinook helicopter were involved in the operation after the flames broke out Sunday afternoon.
Read also: Residents evacuated, lake navigation restricted due to fire in Chubut
Chubut's Fire Management Service said it was a fire of rapid propagation and generation of secondary outbreaks influenced by the meteorological conditions in the area, such as high temperatures, low relative humidity, and winds generated by the fire itself.
Eight hectares of native forests, including exotic vegetation, grasslands, and bushes were affected, while a house in the Sauzal area was also reached by the flames, it was confirmed Monday.
Other press reports mentioned several pamphlets had allegedly been found in the area and spoke of certainty regarding the intentionality behind the fire, without blaming any specific perpetrator. The pamphlets were also reported to be similar to others distributed in the region at times of conflict and witnesses claim to have seen a man with no helmet on a blue motorcycle throwing a torch at the affected hill at about 4.40 pm Sunday. After that, they felt an explosion.
Meanwhile, opposition PRO Chairwoman Patricia Bullrich, also a presidential hopeful for the 2023 elections, said enough of terrorism endorsed by the State once the RAM's alleged involvement was reported.
Bullrich criticized the Argentine Government of President Alberto Fernández for creating dialogue tables with the Mapuches in an attempt to unblock the ongoing conflicts, leaving out the non-Mapuche members of the local communities.
They had a dialogue table three days ago. What was the tone of the conversation?, Bullrich wondered through social media. Fear is still present in the south. Enough of terrorism endorsed by the State!, she went on.
Representing the government during the meeting in Buenos Aires was Human Rights Secretary Horacio Pietragalla, while the neighbors of Villa Mascardi complained because they were not invited
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