After the death of Denisse Cortés Saavedra during a demonstration in favor of the demands of the Mapuche people, the Chilean president, Sebastián Piñera decreed a State of Exception for 15 days with the participation of the Armed Forces. The president also referred to the protests of Mapuche community members in the Biobío and Arauco provinces (Biobío region) and in the Malleco and Cautín provinces (La Araucanía region) as a “serious alteration to public order.”
At a press conference, Piñera justified that the decree is due to “serious and repeated acts of violence linked to drug trafficking, terrorism and organized crime”. He also explained that the State of Exception will last for 15 days, extendable for another 15 days.
The measure was widely criticized in the Andean country. The governor of the La Araucanía region, Luciano Rivas, affirmed that the measure of the conservative president “It responds to a failure that has been occurring by the State for many years in terms of security”. “They have not lived up to the situation”he added.
On Twitter, Daniel Jadue, mayor of the capital’s Recoleta commune, stated that “(Piñera) seeks to divert attention from his dark businesses discovered by the Pandora Papers, the militarization of the area is the wrong way and will have harsh consequences”.
On October 10, during a march for indigenous resistance, the 43-year-old law student and collaborator of the NGO Defensoría Popular, Denisse Cortés Saavedra, died. His death aroused a wave of indignation at the versions of the Carabineros who aimed to blame the people who participated in the march. Representatives of indigenous peoples and presidential candidates supported the opening of an investigation into the circumstances of Cortés’s death.