Chilean police today blamed anarchists for sparking violent clashes between Mapuche Indians and officers on Monday.
Around 3,000 Mapuche protesters had rallied in Santiago against the Dia de La Raza national holiday, which celebrates the first encounter between Native Americans and Europeans during Christopher Columbus's journey to the continent 520 years ago.
They also demanded the release of four Mapuches, accused of trying to kill a police officer, who have been on hunger strike for over 50 days.
Police say hooded activists who were not Mapuche had used the march to loot banks and they were forced to fire tear gas and water cannon.
"Unfortunately, these social rejects of the CRA anarchist group, who also caused damage at last year's Dia de La Raza, infiltrated the march," said military police General Rodolfo Pacheco.