Mapuche community leaders announced region-wide demonstrations to take place on December 27-28 in the Araucanía region to call for greater autonomy from the central government following the killing of an indigenous man by police in November. The announcement comes as President Sebastián Piñera removed the police chief on December 21 after it was revealed police involved in the incident attempted to cover-up the killing. The details of demonstration activities have not been released, though public protests, strikes, roadblocks and other transportation disruptions, and a heightened security presence in the Araucanía region are possible.
Security personnel in a special anti-terrorism unit killed the son of a prominent indigenous leader on November 14, resulting in sustained protest activity since the incident. 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 Piñera has taken a tougher stance and deployed the "Jungle Command" in June, resulting in an escalation of tensions.
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.
Copyright and Disclaimer