A Chilean minister on Monday claimed that recent arson attacks in southern Chile were carried out by “terrorists” with links to Colombia’s largest guerrilla group, FARC.
Wildfires lit in the La Araucania region of southern Chile and responsible for the deaths of two people, according to Chilean minister Christian Larreoulet, are the work of terrorists with links to FARC.
“We are in the presence of an organized terrorist group with terrorist methods, international links that come with training, and contacts with the FARC,” said Larroulet.
Chilean authorities have often clashed with the Mapuche indigenous tribe in the La Araucania region and according to The Guardian, pamphlets condemning police violence and demanding the return of Mapuche lands were left at the crime scene.
According to local media, Mapuche leader Juana Calfuno Paillalef expressed her condolences to Chilean President, Sebastian Piñera. She said that the Mapuche are “the first to repudiate violence” as for 130 years they have lived with “inhumane treatment.”
President Piñera has announced an increase in funding and equipment for the police and has left open the possibility of declaring a state of national emergency.