Chile: Worst Act of Political Violence in Decades as Indigenous Group Sets 19 Trucks Ablaze
EspañolNineteen trucks were destroyed this weekend at a warehouse in Chile, in what is being called one of the biggest attacks in two decades.
Four hooded men reportedly burned the trucks and nine ramps at a Transportes Cavalieri warehouse, according to police and local security guards, in the southern region of La Araucanía.
The men threatened security guards with guns and forced them into a security booth after they activated an alarm. They then preceded to spray several trucks with a flammable substance, according to Colonel Juan Pablo Boetto.
The group fled soon after, leaving written messages attributing the attack to the Wenteche Katrileo sector of the Mapuche Arauco-Malleco Coordination, which has a long history of terrorist activity related to indigenous peoples’ fight for land in southern Chile.
“Sabotage and resistance to large capitalist expressions within our Wallmapu,” a banner read, alluding to the separate country of Wallmapu extremists have been fighting for for over two decades.
The attack resulted in millions of dollars in losses for the company, an official said.
“The most regrettable part of all is that we do not have a government to talk to,” said Jose Villagrán President of the Federation of Southern Truckers.
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“What happened is icing on the cake, the rule of law is not working,” Villagrán said. “That is what the government has to acknowledge, that there is terrorism in southern Chile.”
Villagrán said they are considering holding protests in view of the attacks.