AMERICA/CHILE - Violence in the Mapuche region: church burned and attack on police

Saturday, 18 June 2016 indigenous   violence   armed groups   geopolitics  

Araucania (Agenzia Fides) – At dawn on Friday 17 a fire destroyed a church located in the town of Collipulli in the Araucania region. The facts reported to Fides are very serious because there was a firefight in the area after the arrival of the police at the scene. A police officer was wounded in the face, while he was on board the police vehicle, attacked by strangers.
The interior minister said on Thursday that the government is drafting a plan to combat violence in the Araucania region. "What occurred last night in Collipulli is a deplorable and serious fact, not only for the fire, but also because the police was attacked", says a note, "considering these violent actions are acts of terrorism to which we must respond".
These attacks against churches in the region are attributable to the same group: writings in favor of the Mapuche cause were also found in Collipulli, a fact that has been repeated recently in different parts of the region (see Fides 26/04/2016). Parish priest, Father Enrique Catalan, said the fire destroyed the chapel of San Jose and the premises where the community gathered, "and is very sorry because this fact affects the whole community", he said. This is the 14th fire in Araucania and the Bishops have asked the appropriate political response for the area (see Fides 18/04/2016). (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 18/06/2016)

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