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  • Today the Mapuche group counts about 700,000 people in Chile, for a total of 16 million of inhabitants for the country, with levels of poverty that double the one of the rest of the population. (Photo: EFE)

    Today the Mapuche group counts about 700,000 people in Chile, for a total of 16 million of inhabitants for the country, with levels of poverty that double the one of the rest of the population. (Photo: EFE) | Photo: EFE

The Mapuche claim their ancestral rights over lands in the south of the country, depsite regular confrontations with the Chilean police. 

A group of unidentified people set alight four trucks on Friday at dawn, close to a Mapuche conflict zone in the south of Chile, according to police reports.

About a dozen hooded people forced the drivers of the trucks to get out before setting the vehicles ablaze, said police head of Malleco province, Juan Baeza.

They set up barricades on the road with a bus in the middle in order to stop the trucks, and fired shots into the air when they arrived, he added.

The incident occurred in the Mapuche conflict zone, where regular confrontations have occurred involving the Chilean police and indigenous groups in the area, the latter claiming ancestral rights to property on the lands.

Bazea also confirmed that the police had found “two banners with captions alluding to the social and ethnic situation” in the location of the assault.

Today the Mapuche group numbers about 700,000 people in Chile, out of a total of 16 million inhabitants in the country, with double the levels of poverty of the rest of the population.


 

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