SANTIAGO – Two forestry company employees were wounded Thursday in an attack at a tree farm in the southern Chilean region of Bio Bio, authorities said.
More than a dozen armed, hooded assailants entered the Mininico company’s Santa Aurora property and fired their guns, wounding two workers, before setting fire to two vehicles and a container.
“We have a couple people wounded, apparently with buckshot, nothing serious,” the deputy regional police commander, Roberto Troncoso, told the media.
The injured workers were taken to a hospital, he said.
The perpetrators could face charges of attempted homicide, Bio Bio government secretary Enrique Inostroza said.
Thursday’s attack was consistent with the tactics of Mapuche Indian militants who torch vehicles, highway toll booths and lumber shipments as part of a struggle to reclaim lands lost during a late-19th-century “pacification” campaign against the indigenous people of southern Chile.
The conflict has claimed the lives of Mapuche activists, police and farmers, while dozens of indigenous people have been sent to prison, mainly for crimes against property.
The Chilean government says that some of the violence in the region is the work of cattle rustlers and other criminal elements.