Just over 81% of the inhabitants of the La Araucanía region were in favor, in a citizen consultation called by the governor and mayors, of maintaining the state of exception that the Government decreed to militarize the area, the epicenter of the so-called Mapuche conflict. and the scene of multiple episodes of rural violence.
The objective of the consultation was to collect the perception of the population regarding the eventual extension of the constitutional state of exception that currently governs the provinces of Malleco and Cautín in La Araucanía, and that of Arauco in Biobío until November 11, a debate that will be held will give in Congress early next week, no later than Tuesday.
Completed during the afternoon, the vote, which is not binding, had the participation of almost 145,000 people who live within the 32 communes involved in the process. According to the official site of the consultation, 144,994 people voted.
The consultation, which was carried out electronically, was promoted by Governor Luciano Rivas, a member of the ruling party Evópoli, and the Association of Municipalities of La Araucanía (AMRA).
“We ask politicians, especially all Chilean deputies and senators, to hear our voice, not to be deaf,” Rivas said once the results were published.
The governor also pointed out that from his post he seeks to promote a “national pact” that considers extending the state of emergency in the area to guarantee security, as well as establishing dialogues with “everyone who wants them, without weapons or rifles on the table.”
President Piñera decreed in mid-October a state of constitutional exception in the territory, which in practice implies the use of the Armed Forces in public order tasks.
In recent weeks, southern Chile has experienced a wave of violence that is part of the so-called Mapuche conflict, which confronts the Chilean State and the country’s main indigenous group over the lands that the latter inhabited for centuries and that now “belong “mostly to large agricultural and forestry companies.
The current situation has aroused various reactions, such as that of the Office for South America of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), based in the Chilean capital, which lamented the recent death of a Mapuche community member in a security operation and expressed concern about the militarization decreed by the Government. During this day, the funeral of the Mapuche community member Jordan Llempi Machacan, who died violently last Wednesday, was also held.
The measure has been criticized from the beginning by indigenous organizations and the opposition, who argue that it is a way to further stress the bitter conflict, and various opposition deputies have already announced that they will vote against the extension.