Yesterday, a school (vacant for summer vacation) was burned down. Last Friday, an elderly couple were found dead in their burned down home.
It appears the seventy five year owner of the home, Werner Luchsinger, was managed to shoot one of the arsonists in the neck while defending his home and wife, Vivian McKay, during the attack. The police are believed to have detained the man who was shot, as well as his brother, as suspects.
Luchsinger’s family immigrated to the area at the end of the nineteenth century from Switzerland.
A series of arson attacks since January third, in southern Chile (just north of Patagonia), are believed to have been perpetrated by the indigenous Mapuche population, while official representatives of the Mapuches have condemned the attacks.
The Mapuches are one of the few indigenous populations in Latin America whom the Spanish were unable to subdue. They have been engaging in conflicts in the region ever since since successfully repelling the conquering Spaniards during the Conquest of Chile in the 16th century.
During a visit to the region, Chile’s President, Sebastián Piñera, boosted police presence in the region, and promised action through a little used anti-terrorism law.