News Alerts

27 Nov 2018 | 12:38 AM UTC

Chile: Mapuche leaders announce month of protest /update 3

Chile News Alert

Indigenous community leaders announce month of protests November 25; demonstrations, transportation disruptions, and heightened security presence expected

TIMEFRAME expected from 11/25/2018, 12:00 AM until 12/31/2018, 11:59 PM (America/Santiago). COUNTRY/REGION Biobío, La Araucanía, Los Lagos region

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Event

Mapuche community leaders declared a month of protest on Sunday, November 25, in response to a police shooting earlier in November. Representatives from indigenous groups in La Aruacanía, Bío Bío, and Los Lagos met in Ercilla (La Aruacanía) where the group indicated it would negotiate with the government if its demands were met, notably the disbanding of "Jungle Command" units in La Aruacanía and the removal of the minister of interior and head of the Carabineros de Chile, the country's national police force. It is unclear what specific protest activities will take place, though public demonstrations, strikes, roadblocks and other transportation disruptions, and a heightened security presence in the abovementioned regions are possible.

Context

Security personnel in a special anti-terrorism unit killed the son of a prominent indigenous leader on November 14, resulting in violent protests in Santiago on November 15 and 19. Mapuche, a group of indigenous peoples in south-central Chile, have along accused police forces of discrimination and abuse while the government blames some Mapuche groups for arson and attacks on government or church property. President Sebastián Piñera has taken a tougher stance and deployed the "Jungle Command" in June, resulting in an escalation of tensions.

Advice

Individuals in the affected areas are advised to monitor the situation, avoid unnecessary travel in rural areas, adhere to instructions issued by local authorities, and anticipate a heightened security presence and transportation disruptions.

 

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