A multidimensional conflict

Mr. Director,

Once again, Araucania is making the headlines due to the worsening of the violence. It shouldn’t be this way. Not only because we all want a region at peace, but because it confirms what many of us have pointed out: this problem is only addressed when the incidents intensify.

This apparent apathy, coupled with idleness, lack of agreements, unfulfilled promises and inadequate public management, only fuels the conflict. And with this, the problem becomes circular. In other words, violence turns into an instrument to draw attention.

These days, prioritized Mapuche communities with papers in order and purchase options watch disconcerted how activists from other places come to “mark” parcels. This causes non-violent neighbors to join this “marking wave” so they don’t see themselves excluded from what they believe to be, and as is wrongly speculated, potential future transfer processes.

I am not suggesting that the conditions for addressing the land demands are present today, although this is clearly a pending issue that is not exclusively related to the forestry sector as some insist on claiming. The priority is to restore order and security, a task that falls to law enforcement, prosecutors and judges. In order to act, besides operational improvements, they require a unanimous condemnation of violence, including those who intend to justify “avenging impulses”, whatever their origin.

The President is right to call for a national agreement in this sense. These serious events are not the exclusive responsibility of this administration. They are the failure of the State and the political class in every government, as Senator Huenchumilla says, but also the failure or inaction of all of us. This is worth recognizing because we can build a better solution through self-criticism. 

The so-called mixed controls, hopefully including SII and Conaf, are also an improvement, particularly in order to stop an industrial theft of timber that finances and motivates a relevant portion of this violence with over one million cubic meters a year (about 28 thousand trucks with their trailers full of timber).

We are facing a multidimensional conflict, and it can and must only be addressed as such. But we cannot allow the fever (meaning, the violence) to grow from a symptom to a cause of death for the “ill”.


Luis Felipe Gazitúa A.


Empresas CMPC