Chile (Security threat level – 2): On 3 November 2021, a violent confrontation between approximately 15 Mapuche community members and Chilean armed forces personnel occurred in the city of Cañete, located in the restive southern region of Biobío, amid rising tensions between the central government and a local Mapuche Indigenous group demanding the return of ancestral lands. Some reports indicate Mapuche members set fire to a local bus stop. According to an official preliminary report, assailants in a civilian vehicle fired at a military police car as it approached the arsonists. The situation led to the deployment of police and navy officers in an operation that ended with two Mapuche members killed. The Mapuche community has disputed the details within the official report.
On the same day, unidentified assailants derailed a freight train in the adjacent region of La Araucania near the South Macrozone area of Victoria. The attackers sabotaged the railroad tracks and then set fire to the train — which was transporting cellulose used to make paper — once it came to a halt. No one was injured in the attack. A banner and pamphlets demanding the withdrawal of soldiers from the area, as well as the release of Mapuche prisoners, were found near the scene.
Analyst Comment: The Mapuche communities are seeking to reclaim lands used by companies in the forestry sector. In recent years, sabotage has increased in the region, with arson attacks on houses, trucks and machinery as well as occasional violent confrontations between Mapuche members and police officers. President Sebastián Piñera on 12 October declared a state of emergency in 72 communities in the Biobío and La Araucania regions of southern Chile, allowing more military support for local police.
Colombia (Security threat level – 4): On 3 November 2021, President Iván Duque announced that as of 16 November patrons and attendees of certain businesses and events will be required to provide proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 before being allowed to enter the respective venues. The measure will apply to anyone above the age of 18 attempting to enter bars, restaurants, entertainment and sporting event venues. Currently, local authorities implement restrictions at their discretion.
India (Security threat level – 3): On 4 November 2021, the air quality index (AQI) for the capital Delhi was rated as “very poor” – the second highest level on a five-tier scale that accords ratings based on the measure of fine particulate matter in the air – with authorities expecting the AQI to remain “very poor” through at least 5 November. Pollution levels in Delhi regularly reach high levels during October and November, due in large part to crop burning activities in neighboring states. Additionally, firecrackers used during celebrations of Diwali – which falls on 4 November in 2021 – also contribute to worsening air quality, despite having been banned in recent years. Details regarding AQI ratings from the Ministry of Earth Science’s System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR) are available here.
Zimbabwe (Security threat level – 4): On 3 November 2021, authorities deployed hundreds of riot police officers and plainclothes officers throughout Harare’s central business district amid fears of demonstrations by independence war veterans and other groups due to poor economic conditions nationwide. An economic downtown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, international sanctions and reduced economic output has diminished the ability of the government to be able to pay war veterans’ pensions. On 25 October authorities arrested at least 40 veterans at a protest in Harare.
Netherlands (Security threat level – 2): On 3 November 2021, the U.K. Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) issued updated travel advice for the Netherlands, which reads in part as follows:
“From 6 November 2021, face masks are mandatory in all publicly accessible indoor spaces, including public transport, shops and museums. Face masks must be worn as well when visiting contact based professions, such as the hairdresser. If you do not wear a face mask as directed, you may be fined. For further information visit the Dutch government’s website. ”