Security & Strategic Review - December 2021

CHILE: State of exception in Mapuche territory divides opinions

Chile’s President Sebastián Piñera declared a state of exception in part of the so-called Southern Macro-Zone on 12 October, allowing the army to go in and support the work of the Carabineros militarised police and civilian Policía de Investigaciones (PDI) in the face of growing violence, supposedly committed by radical indigenous Mapuche groups. The state of exception has already been extended twice, with some lawmakers reportedly pushing for a third extension at the time of writing. While it has been welcomed as necessary to address public insecurity by some, particularly on the Right, this decision to resort to the militarisation of public security in the Chilean south has also been heavily criticised in other quarters.

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