SANTIAGO, Chile – A Chilean court has acquitted 11 Mapuche Indians in the arson killing of an elderly couple, saying there is insufficient evidence they attacked the pair's home located on land the indigenous group claims as their ancestral territory.
The ruling announced Wednesday in the southern city of Temuco also said there's not enough proof that it was a terrorist attack or a premeditated plan as prosecutors had argued.
Werner Luchsinger and his wife, Vivian MacKay, died in 2013 defending their property from hooded trespassers.
The crime prompted a national debate about Chile's struggle to manage violent disputes over ancestral indigenous lands.
In 2014, a Mapuche indigenous leader was sentenced to 18 years in prison for the arson murders.