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Chilean Church, Power Lines Hit in Apparent Indigenous Protest

SANTIAGO, Chile — Police in Chile say unknown attackers burned a Catholic church and downed two high-tension electricity towers in the southern part of the country.

Police say at least 16 Catholic or Protestant churches have been burned so far this year in the Ercilla region where Mapuche indigenous activists are demanding recovery of traditional lands.

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Police say that a message was left near the church referring to a Mapuche resistance movement.

Officials say the power lines were brought down with electric saws.

Both peaceful and violent Mapuche movements have long been seeking to recover some or all of the lands they lost to Spanish invaders and post-colonial governments.