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Security & Strategic Review - May 2022

CHILE: No quick solution to Mapuche conflict

A drastic change of policy regarding Chile’s long-running Mapuche conflict was expected with the start of Gabriel Boric’s presidency in March. Where his predecessor Sebastián Piñera (2010-2014; 2018-2022) treated the conflict in the south of Chile merely as a public security issue, and called in the military to support the security forces [SSR-21-12], Boric has promised dialogue with the indigenous Mapuche, whose principal demand is the return of their ancestral lands. However, Boric’s strategy has encountered obstacles, and the public security situation in the southern Araucanía and Biobío regions is proving to be one of the biggest challenges of his first two months in office.

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