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he President Piñera announced yesterday that he has decided to make use of the extraordinary powers conferred on him by the Constitution to decree the state of emergency of emergency in four provinces of the Bío-Bío and La Araucanía regions, due to the serious breach of public order and of the rule of law that exists in part of the south of the country.

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The numerous examples that the president gave to illustrate this breakdown of order and security are, on the one hand, a powerful argument for a vigorous intervention by the State in a situation that has lasted for more than two decades, with a worrying escalation of violence in recent years. On the other hand, these same examples are the tacit admission of the failure of the State to put an end to serious attacks and attacks -including against the State itself and its officials-, as well as its inability to bring those responsible to justice and to make reparation. to the victims.

That said, along with detailing the reasons for his announcement, the President put a proper emphasis on explaining that his decree is not directed “against a peaceful people or group of citizens.” This is key to understanding the measure in its correct perspective: the need for peace and public order, not to set a position on historical assumptions of native peoples. Claims that, if they exist and have legitimate spokespersons, undoubtedly have nothing to do – nor could they be defended – with the crimes committed in that area, which include robbery, arson, slaughter of animals, destruction of churches and schools, and even murders, as we painfully saw again very recently in Carahue.

Thus, the reasons why the Chilean State is justified in conferring an emergency character on the situation of silence of order that exists in a part of the south were well synthesized yesterday by the President. However, it does not follow that the tool chosen by your government to face this emergency – the emergency decree – is necessarily the appropriate one, which will be addressed by our editorial tomorrow.

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