Indigenous group sets 19 trucks on fire in southern Chile

The attack took place in the norther part of La Araucanía, which has been suffering from violent land disputes for decades. (ADNradio)

The Santiago Times News Desk

SANTIAGO – Four armed men set 19 trucks alight at a warehouse in southern Chile this week, in what is being dubbed as one of the biggest political attacks in two decades.

The rioters, belonging to an indigenous group, threatened security guards with guns and forced them into a security booth at a Transportes Cavalieri warehouse, according to police and local security guards, in the southern region of La Araucanía.

They then sprayed several trucks and ramps with a flammable substance, according to Colonel Juan Pablo Boetto.

Later on, the attackers fled written messages attributing the attack to the Wenteche Katrileo sector of the Mapuche Arauco-Malleco Coordination, which has a long history of violent activity related to indigenous peoples’ fight for land in southern Chile.

“Sabotage and resistance to large capitalist expressions within our Wallmapu,” a banner reads, alluding to the separate country of Wallmapu extremists have been fighting for over two decades.

An official of the company which owned the warehouse estimated the loss in millions of dollars. “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.

“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.”