Saturday, December 31, 2016

CHILE - Work for Araucania go ahead despite the arson attacks on churches

"The work of all, facilitated by Mgr. Vargas, is allowing in a framework of respect and dialogue, to build future plans for Araucanía, so everyone can have rights and opportunities", said Chilean President Bachelet after the meeting with the "Commission for Araucania" which took place on December 26.

Mgr. Hector Vargas, Bishop of Temuco, in his role as "facilitator" of the table of dialogue, said he was "very pleased and grateful that each member worked hard and the proof is that we have reached consensus on each process step. The main thing is the common good of Araucania, and this should all unite us". The Prelate added that the Commission has destroyed the "prejudices" and allowed "to verify that there really are many more elements that unite us than those that separate us".

The Bishop announced that the work will continue in January without any postponement, although unfortunately arson attacks caused by Mapuche extremist groups who seek to impose in this way the ancestral rights of the indigenous have not stopped. 


Last week, on December 24, a fire completely destroyed a church and a school in the area of Chamichaco, while on December 21 the parish St. Jude Thaddeus in the municipality of Ercilia was set on fire.

In 2016, 13 churches in the name of the so-called "Mapuche Cause" (see Fides 10/08/2016) were set on fire in this area of Araucania. Mgr. Vargas on December 22 had said: "It is very serious but we must vigorously condemn this kind of facts that do not contribute to an overall solution to the problems in the area, nor of the Mapuche people, nor of the rest of civil society."

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