More than one million acres in the center and south of Chile have gone up in flames since July 2016, with almost 70% of the destruction occurring last month. The affected area is larger than the state of Rhode Island. At least 11 people have died and more than 1,000 homes have been destroyed.
There is now evidence that
Some fires have been intentionally set and this has elevated concerns in rural Chile about the rise in organized violence against civilians and private property by left-wing extremists aiming to topple the democracy. Ms. Bachelet was warned about the threat during her first term (2006-10), as was former President Sebastian Piñera (2010-14). Neither acted.
O’Grady writes that “left-wing extremist groups—claiming to represent the indigenous Mapuche” in La Auraucanía, Los Ríos and Bío Bío have been linked in the past to not only the Chilean Communist Party, but also to – surprise! – the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.
As you may recall from my prior post, Brazil’s largest criminal organization, the PCC (Primeiro Comando da Capital – First Capital Command) is recruiting Colombian FARC members.
InSight Crime reports,
Colombia’s peace agreement with the FARC grants the guerrillas 10 congressional seats in 2018, but their transition from illegal armed group to political movement will most likely be concentrated in local positions in their traditional areas of influence.
In plain English, that means that the FARC is well on its road to becoming a political power in Colombia . . . while its members branch out into criminal and terrorist activities throughout the hemisphere.