Mansilla Sepúlveda, Juan
Datos de publicación:
This article investigates the presence of smallpox in the region of Araucania since the second half of the 19th century, from the founding of Temuco, until 1930, a milestone that marks the end of the first process of reduction experienced by the Mapuche people part of the State of Chile. The characteristics acquired by this disease in the Araucania are approached, making reference to the different agencies developed by the State of Chile through its local authorities to deal with the spread of smallpox in the population. Lazaretos, doctors and vaccinators are studied who were in permanent tension with the central government authorities due to the insufficient resources provided by the state for the care of the sick people infected with smallpox. The study is oriented from a qualitative methodology with a historiographic design with dense descriptive scopes. Primary sources present in the Regional Archive of the Araucania have been used, and secondary sources, preferably press, existing both in the National Archive of Chile. The results show that the presence of smallpox appeared violently in the center south of Chile in the second half of the 19th century and remained in the region until the first half of the 20th century. The violence with which smallpox developed, had as one of its causes the deficient health conditions of the population, especially associated with the lack of drinking water. This situation was from the beginning of the 20th century, one of the most frequent demands of different social actors to local and national authorities. The costs of implementation and the lack of resources of the municipalities delayed the implementation of preventive measures in the region of the Araucania to stop the advance of smallpox.