Violent clashes on Wednesday between Chile’s security forces and members of the Indigenous Mapuche community resulted in two deaths.
Government officials confirmed at least two members of the Mapuche community died and three injured amid the escalating violence in Arauco, the southern province put under a state of emergency since last month.
“I can confirm two deaths so far, and I can confirm three injured who have arrived at different hospitals,” Interior Minister Rodrigo Delgado said.
According to Delgado, hooded men near Canete, 640 kilometers (400 miles) south of Santiago, orchestrated the attacks.
The attacks happened one day after President Sebastian Pinera asked Congress to extend the state of emergency and the deployment of military forces in four provinces in the Biobio and La Araucania regions, including Arauco.
In the last few years, the Araucanía region has witnessed continuous clashes between Mapuche communities, that want to take over their ancestral land, and militarised Special Forces police, who have been accused of abuses of power, human rights abuses, fabricating evidence against Indigenous activists, and killing unarmed Mapuche.
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