Sunday, April 3, 2022

Chile Ends Military's Support Role in Conflict Zone, but Armor Stays Behind

Chile's new progressive government ended on March 26 the emergency order that allowed military forces to patrol the so-called southern macrozone, where indigenous combatants have been battling police, ranchers and logging companies for years. After six months of military support, Chile is no closer to pacification than before. Some areas remain under control of armed Mapuche groups. With the exit of the armed forces, Carabineros are left to fight on their own. But the Army is transferring armored personnel carriers to the police force. Specifically 17 to 20 Mowag Piranha vehicles are now in the Carabineros' fleet. It appears they are 6x6 vehicles without the usual .30 or .50 caliber machine guns. Chile's military is still engaged in a similar support mission in the northern areas of the country, where drug trafficking and illegal immigration are blamed for a crime wave.