SANTIAGO ( Associated Press) — Ahead of President Gabriel Boric’s impending visit to two regions of southern Chile hit by frequent arson attacks, Congress on Wednesday approved an extension of the state of emergency that allows the military to ensure free transit on the region’s highways. allows for.
A state of emergency has been in force since mid-May in two provinces of Biobio, in the region of La Araucanía and 600 kilometers south of the Chilean capital, where minority areas of the Mapuche ethnic group have been forcibly demanding the return of their native territories. While the majority are about to achieve land restoration through peaceful means.
Hours after the Senate approved the eleventh extension of the state of emergency with 27 votes in favor and one against, unidentified persons burned down a house, two sheds, a truck and a sawmill with machinery on a farm in La Araucania. Also given, according to police reports, four cabins in a poor commune in the area. A day earlier, deputies had given their approval for the extension by 116 votes in favour, 20 against and 10 absent.
In a statement released on the social network, the Arauco Malleco Coordinator, an armed organization made up of Mapuche groups, called for a boycott of Boric’s visit and “not to fall into the government’s trap”, in a clear indication of a political dialogue that the presidency would take. I want to progress.
“Borick will move into our ancestral territory while extractive projects expand and prisons will be filled with political prisoners,” the note said. The government confirms that there are no political prisoners in Chile, but people imprisoned for crimes.
The details of the President’s visit to the so-called South Macrozone have been kept secret to avoid attacks on the places he will visit in the coming days.
Opposition Senator José Manuel Osandón, who voted in favor of extending the state of emergency, declared that “it is a shame that (Boric) cannot say” what places he will go to and when because of the south in the macrozone”. There is no rule of law”. “He said there are groups that have “declared war on Chile.”
Interior minister Carolina Toha, who was in the Senate room, said the latest attacks “are not going to deter the president’s presence.”
Toha specified deputies that during the validity of the state of emergency in 2021 and this year there has been a 47% reduction in attacks.
Boric was a strong critic of the state of emergency, which allows the executive to use armed forces to control public order, but two months after taking power last March, he faced increased attacks. Had to resort to the army. and the trucks that traversed the routes of La Araucania and Biobio.
However, this reduced the powers of the armed forces, which could no longer restrict mobilization and assembly rights, and ordered that they only control the main routes of the southern macrozone.
Borik’s government is working on a bill to create a variant of the current state of emergency, which has a validity of only 15 days, requiring it to go to Congress to be renewed every two weeks. The initiative will try to extend it for 60 days each time.