Chile's Undersecretary of the Interior Manuel Monsalve Wednesday announced that a red alert was being declared in the southern part of the country following arson attacks allegedly perpetrated by Mapuche rebels, it was reported in Santiago.
With the Mapuche conflict in La Araucania at its most violent point, the Army declared a red alert for the region where its forces have been deployed for almost a year to contain the multiple arson attacks against private individuals.
According to Monsalve, this security definition entails that 50% of the contingent present in the area will be deployed to carry out control and inspection tasks, in addition to the support of two helicopters and the usual Carabineros group to reinforce the response capabilities in the event of possible acts of violence occurring in the area.
We will quantify and define the way to implement between now and Monday, understanding that the only way of rapid response in terms of armored vehicles is not to buy them, but to allocate those that could be in the hands of the Army to be deployed in the South Macrozone, Monsalve detailed.
Lorries and other vehicles have been reported destroyed in the last 48 hours after attacks by groups of hooded assailants, in addition to the shooting of the house of an ultra-right-wing constitutional councilor elected last Sunday.
Monsalve insisted on the Chilean government's categorical rejection of acts of violence; violence is an adversary of democracy, this is a government that believes in democracy, we will defend it and defending democracy also implies applying the Rule of Law.
In La Araucania and other areas of southern Chile, there has been a territorial dispute for decades between the State, some Mapuche communities, and forestry companies that exploit lands considered ancestral by the indigenous people.
In this scenario, arson attacks on machinery and land are frequent. The conflict has resulted in the deaths of Mapuche community members as well as of law enforcement officers.