A group from Chile’s indigenous Mapuche community blocked the road linking Temuco and its nearby airport, Wednesday, in protest of government plans to extend Temuco Maquehue airport on what protesters state is their ancestral land. Blocking the way for at least 30 minutes along the city’s Route 5 in Chile’s Araucania Region, riot police, along with 13 armoured vehicles, were out in force to supervise the peaceful demonstration. There are a reported 1,508,722 Mapuche living in Chile, making up 9 percent of the total Chilean population. The group maintains that their rights are often marginalised by the government, specifically in relation to land ownership, as population growth and overcrowding in Mapuche reservations continues.
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