06 Jan '12, 8am

Chile invokes terror law after deadly 'criminal' wildfire #Mapuche #Chile

Chile invokes terror law after deadly 'criminal' wildfire #Mapuche #Chile

SANTIAGO - Chilean President Sebastian Pinera has invoked anti-terror legislation after at least six firefighters died in a wildfire authorities said may have been caused by radical indigenous activists. An unusually hot and dry start to the Chilean summer has seen more than 50 wildfires, fanned by high winds, burn down scores of homes and destroy some 50,000 hectares (123,000 acres) of woodland and brush over the past 10 days. Authorities suspect several fires that erupted almost simultaneously in the forest regions of Biobio, Maule and Araucania, some 500 to 700 kilometers (310 to 435 miles) south of the capital Santiago, were the work of arsonists. "We have reliable information that makes us presume there is criminal intent behind these fires," Pinera said Thursday. "I believe that we ought to combat not only the fires, but also the criminals behind the fires." Interior...

Full article: http://www.asiaone.com/News/Latest%2BNews/World/Story/A1S...

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