Boric’s government decrees a state of exception in the area of ​​”Mapuche conflict” in Chile

Santiago de Chile.- The Minister of the Interior of Chili, Izkia Siches, decreed this Monday “Exception status” in two southern regions, a measure that he fiercely criticized for months, and that allows the deployment of the Armed Forces to try to appease the growing violence in the area of ​​the so-called “mapuche conflict“.

“We have decided to make use of all the tools to guarantee the safety of our citizens by decreeing a state of emergency (a type of state of exception),” he announced at a press point from the seat of government.

This measure, which implies a military deployment, will govern the entire region of La Araucanía and two provinces of the Biobío region (south) to “protect the routes, allow the free movement of people and supply,” he said after acknowledging a increase in violence in recent months.

In these 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 context, arson attacks on machinery and property, shootings with fatalities and hunger strikes by indigenous prisoners are becoming more frequent.


Until now, progressive president Gabriel Boric had been reluctant to militarize, saying it only put more tension on the conflict, and had fiercely criticized his predecessor, conservative Sebastián Piñera, for promoting it between October 2021 and March 2022.

After assuming the Presidency last March, Boric decided not to perpetuate this measure and pointed to a strategy of “dialogue” through the territorial deployment of different authorities, however, this was not well received by some radical groups, who continued to carry out attacks and they sabotaged several visits by the Executive.

In parallel, from the right and center, they pressed for more security measures and accused the president of “inaction” and being “accomplice in violence.”

In addition to the military deployment, Siches detailed other measures such as the request for a preferential prosecutor for crimes related to drug trafficking and wood theft, the promotion of the creation of a Ministry of Indigenous Peoples and the investment of 400,000 million pesos (460 million dollars) to improve infrastructure and services in the area.


The state of emergency was received with praise from the ruling party and the opposition, although it received criticism from representatives of the Mapuche communities -the majority ethnic group in the country- and some sectors of the left, who denounce a drastic change in the president’s policy.

“We appreciate that the government has realized that the state of emergency was an urgent measure for the suffering of the measures in Biobío and Araucanía,” said Senator Felipe Kast from Evópoli (right).

Former president and senator Ricardo Lagos (2000-2006) said on Twitter that he supports “the decisions that Boric makes in order to provide more security to the community and at the same time promote dialogue with a strong investment in public infrastructure and other areas.”

Last week, the Arauco-Malleco Coordinator (CAM), a radical indigenous organization that has claimed responsibility for dozens of attacks since the 1990s, called for “armed resistance” in the face of the possibility of militarization.

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In an interview with a local media, the group leader, Héctor Llaitul, made a call to “prepare the forces and organize the armed resistance for autonomy”, to which the Executive responded on Sunday by announcing that it will file a lawsuit against him. .