The 500-year Secret Conflict In Chile

The world is unaware of a violent turf war happening in Chile. How are the Mapuche, a group of indigenous people, involved in the conflict?

In Chile, a secret conflict known as the Arauco War between colonial Spaniards and the Mapuche people has been on-going for almost 500 years. The war started in the 1500s when the Spaniards sought to take control of Araucanía, which at the time had been the homeland of many indigenous people groups, including the Mapuche. At the end of the first 280 year battle, the Chilean military succeeded in taking control of Araucanía. Since then, the Chilean and Mapuche people have continuously clashed over land, which has led to many brutal and violent encounters between the two groups. 

Seeker Stories reporter Kyle Thiermann traveled with Nicolas Rios, a Chilean journalist to the heart of the conflict, to learn how the centuries-long war has affected the Mapuche people and the nation as a whole.