SANTIAGO, Chile – A radical indigenous group has declared war on the Chilean government in what officials are downplaying as just an angry rant.
The radical Arauco-Malleco group of the larger Mapuche tribe says in a news release it is breaking off all dialogue with the government, after a series of confrontations over the eviction of Indians from seized land. One Indian has been killed and many police and civilians injured.
The government is promising to return 81,500 acres of land to the tribe. About 700,000 Mapuches live in poverty-ridden communities in southern Chile and the capital, Santiago.
Last month, dozens of indigenous communities launched the Mapuche Territorial Alliance to fight for political autonomy and press demands to end poverty.