The ongoing Mapuche conflict in the south of Chile has seen a significant escalation in recent weeks.
Even though fire attacks are considered to be normal in the Araucanía region, especially against forestry groups, machinery and contractors, the issue has now become a national issue.
On Thursday night, right-wing lawmakers met president Sebastián Piñera and asked for a State of Siege to be declared in the area.
The Government’s spokesperson has said no options have been ruled out, but it is unlikely that Piñera will go down that path.
This Friday, the head of State summoned the heads of the House, the Senate, the Prosecutor’s Office and the State Defense Council “to improve our coordination,” Piñera explained.
The idea is to highlight dialogue and diplomatic tools to reach a solution, but violence continues.
While Chile Vamos lawmakers were talking to Piñera on Thursday night, a video of three armed, hooded men who opened fire on a lorry driver in Tirúa went viral.
The footage has shocked many, especially due to the fact that police officers were near the site, but offered no help.
“This is what we have to go through in La Araucanía everyday,” the driver says in the video recorded Tuesday.
Despite the ordeal, the victim has no intention to report the incident to the police.
“I have the calls I made to the police when I was there. I called the police and they did not show up. Now I do not want them to show up. If they have not looked for those responsible of deaths, fire attacks, will they look for a few guys who shot my truck?,” the driver told BioBioChile Friday, requesting anonymity.
“I will not report anything, it would be stupid of me in light of the context and seeing how law enforcement in Chile has acted,” he added.
For decades, Mapuches have critised the arrival of forestry groups and big business in La Araucanía, one of the poorest regions in the country.
In the XIX century, the Chilean State annexed Mapuche lands, which kicked off the territorial dispute that lasts to this day.
The Government has made clear that they “see differences” in this crisis, and that while they support the legitimate demands that exist, they will fight tooth and nail against those behind criminal activities, usually carried out by anti-government and anti-capitalist organizations.