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News > Chile

Chile Extends State of Exception For 19th Time In Central Zones

  • Military officers guard a highway, Chile.

    Military officers guard a highway, Chile. | Photo: Twitter/ @DiarioNeuquino

Published 8 March 2023

Sabotage of forest machinery and property fires have occurred in La Araucania and Biobio regions, where logging companies explote territories stole to the Mapuche people. 

On Tuesday, Chile’s Lower House approved for the 19th time to extend the “State of Exception” for security reasons in La Araucania and Biobio regions for 15 days to fight violent acts caused by territorial disputes.


Chile Continues to Fight 21 Forest Fires

This initiative allows the army deployment in the area to help the Military police (Carabineros) control the area and monitor the main roads. This measure also suspends constitutional rights, including the freedom of assembly and movement.

Recently, sabotage of forest machinery and property fires have occurred in La Araucania and Biobio regions, where the Chilean state stole some territories belonging to the Mapuche Indigenous people during the 19th century to grant them to logging companies.

"Currently, companies control most of our territories. Their activities, which have caused desertification, droughts, fires, and pollution of our lands, generate a progressive and systematic extinction of our culture," the Mapuche Permanent Mission to the United Nations said.

The Mapuche mission considered that the State of Exception does not counteract violence but only boosts militarization and the violation of their community’s rights.

The Araucania Region is also under a state of exception for catastrophe reasons due to the massive forest fires. Chile’s Corporacion Nacional Forestal (CONAF) detected that some of these fires were intentionally provoked.

"There is an urgent need to identify and prosecute those responsible for the fires, which already threatens the delicate security situation in La Araucania," Interior Minister Carolina Toha pointed out.


Carolina Toha
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