Saturday, July 9, 2011
Mapuche Uprising Back in Force
Mapuche extremists broke a period of calm, mounting an attack on truckers in the south of Chile on July 8. Several hooded individuals fired shotguns and forced drivers who were sleeping inside their trucks along a road to exit their vehicles. The attackers then set fire to the four logging trucks. They also tried to attack a passing ambulance, but it managed to escape. It is presumed the attackers were Mapuche radicals, members of the indigenous people who have been waging a war of terror in hopes of reclaiming ancestral lands. The uprising -- which has tended to target logging, ranching and police in the region -- poses one of the biggest security problems for Chilean officials. The attack followed a July 1 shooting at police officers guarding a ranch that has been attacked multiple times. Meanwhile, a judge released five Mapuche activists who had been accused of murder.