"Pope's Chile Visit To Cast Light On Mapuche Indians' Land Struggle"

"BOGOTA - The plight of Chile's indigenous Mapuche people and their struggle for land rights will come under the spotlight as Pope Francis travels to the country on Monday amid growing tension between the Mapuche and loggers and farmers.

The Argentine pontiff will visit the city of Temuco, the capital of Chile's impoverished southern Araucania province, where he is expected to meet with members of the Mapuche.

The region of sweeping valleys and forested hills has been the epicentre of a long-simmering conflict and sporadic outbursts of violence between security forces and the Mapuche as part of a struggle over land they claim as their ancestral home.

The Mapuche say when the Chilean army invaded their territory in the late 19th century, their lands were taken and many given to settlers, and forestry and logging companies."

Anastasia Moloney reports for the Thomson Reuters Foundation January 12, 2018.

Source: Thomson Reuters Fdn, 01/15/2018