Chile: Truck drivers and Mapuche radical groups clash
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Chile: Truck drivers and Mapuche radical groups clash

Truck drivers are blocking roads near the Chilean capital to protest arson attacks on trucks by indigenous rights militants.

The drivers drove hundreds of miles (kilometers) from the south-central region of Araucania, hoping to reach the presidential palace in Santiago, but they were not granted access by authorities Thursday.

The drivers are towing vehicles they say were torched by Mapuche radical groups who are demanding a return of their ancestral land and the expulsion of timber companies.

Interior Minister Jorge Burgos says he’s willing to meet with the truckers and hear their demands.

Some of the drivers’ supporters clashed with Mapuche Indians in front of the presidential palace.

Most Mapuche live in Santiago’s metropolitan area and on the fringes of timber lands in Araucania, the country’s poorest region.

Associated Press

See also:

As regional violence flares again, Chile’s Mapuche eye a political path