The Chilean president, Sebastián Piñera, ordered the “militarization” of Biobío, Arauco, Malleco and Cautín, areas affected by the growing violence attributed to the territorial conflict between the State and the Mapuche indigenous peoples. However, the dispute between the two has been going on for decades.
This Tuesday, Sebastián Piñera, the president of Chile, ordered the militarization for 15 days in four southern provinces of his country. These are: Biobío, Arauco, Malleco and Cautín. This, due to the “serious alteration of public order” due to the territorial conflict between the State and the Mapuche indigenous peoples.
From the seat of government, Piñera affirmed that “this State of Constitutional Emergency Exception is to better confront terrorism, drug trafficking and organized crime, and in no case is it directed against a peaceful people or group of citizens.” This order limits the freedoms of assembly and movement.
The Chilean president added that “these serious events have not only claimed the lives of innocent people and members of the Carabineros and Investigative Police. In addition, they have involved attacks and threats against authorities such as prosecutors from the Public Ministry and members of the Judiciary ”.
In addition, he assured that “these violent events have also destroyed and burned houses, churches, facilities and goods destined for industrial, agricultural, commercial and tourist activities and public infrastructure. These attacks have also prevented the execution of court orders by the police, who have been resisted through the use of violence and the use of high-caliber firearms, including weapons of war ”.
Finally, he argued that “the inhabitants of these territories live in constant fear and with a deep sense of defenselessness, which causes enormous damage, not only to the direct victims, but also to those who feel threatened and to all Chileans.” .
Local media indicated that this decision was made by the chief of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Forces of Order and Security in the area. However, it was requested by the most conservative sectors. The opposition and indigenous movements criticized the measure.
The norm is supported by Article 42 of the Constitution, as it indicates that the President of the Republic has the power to declare “a state of emergency, in the event of serious disturbance of public order or serious damage to the security of the nation. And in case the president wants to extend the decree, he must have the approval of the congress.
A territorial dispute that prompted the drafting of a new Constitution
Most of these violent episodes are carried out by the Mapuches, the main indigenous group in the country, and the Chilean State. The Mapuches claim the lands that they inhabited for centuries and that now belong, for the most part, to large agricultural and forestry companies. The dispute became more acute in the social protests of October 18, 2019 in the South American country.
The demonstrations prompted the drafting of a new Constitution. The president of this Constituent Convention is Elisa Loncon, a Mapuche academic. Seven of 155 constituents also belong to this group. They aim to respond to indigenous demands in the new Magna Carta.
Sebastián Piñera made this announcement four days after the Justice of his country made the decision to open a criminal investigation process against him after the publication of the Pandora Papers.
In this report, some alleged irregularities committed by the president came to light. Supposedly, in 2010, it sold shares of the Dominga mining project in the British Virgin Islands, considered a tax haven, avoiding the payment of taxes.
With EFE and local media