Saturday, October 20, 2012

FIDH prepares lawsuit against Chilean state for violating human rights of Mapuche

October 19, 2012

So informed us Jimena Reyes, head of the Office of the Americas. The focus of the official visit to Chile by the attorney of FIDH, was preparing the process that will take place in 2013 before the Court of Human Rights and against the Chilean state for human rights violations committed from 2001 to 2003 due to faults of due process and the implementation of the anti-terrorism law against Mapuche.

The attorney Jimena Reyes is Head of the Bureau of the Americas of the Federation of Human Rights (FIDH) and accompanied on Tuesday and Wednesday to the relatives of the Mapuche prisoners on hunger strike in Temuco, in the frustrated negotiations with the Directorate of Gendarmes of the Araucanía Region to accede to the request of the strikers to be transfers to the city from the jail found in Temuco to the jail of Angol, an essential condition to end their measure of pressure.

But that was not all in her hectic schedule. Since last weekend she has been visiting various members of the Mapuche people affected by legal proceedings occurred from 2000 to 2003, who were victims of terrorism law enforcement, many of them receiving harsh prison sentences, like the lonkos Pascual Pichun and Aniceto Norin, and Patricia Troncoso, among others. Also with the lawyers who represent them in the complaints before the CIDH.

Trial against the State of Chile

As is explained by Reyes, the main objective of his visit is to prepare the process that will take place in Costa Rica before the Court of Human Rights in 2013 and "is a trial against the Chilean state for violations of human rights committed between 2001-2003 regarding convictions under the anti-terrorism law to Mapuche community members."

Tense moment because of hunger strikes

Her arrival occurs in a context strained by hunger strikes taking place in prisons in Angol and Temuco. There she was able to visit five community members on hunger striker, noting the situation of vulnerability and serious risk to their health and life if urgent measures are not taken to reverse it.

Concerned about the contradiction between the pillars that President Piñera announced in Indian policy and the treatment given to the strikers. "Piñera's visit may be an opportunity for dialog and implementation and respect of Convention 169, which he mentions in his new deal," she said.***

She considers, finally, that from 2000 to this year in Chile they continue with "the same line that we as FIDH have been denouncing since 2000 and that is a purely repressive line, applying emergency laws, like the law of internal security or anti-terrorism law in the characterization of various offenses to penalize in a more aggravated way, and that is very worrying," she said.

Reyes arrived on October 12 to Chile and visited the accused on hunger strike Leonardo Quijón, Guido Bahamondes, Cristian Levinao, Luis Marileo and the convicted Fernando Millacheo, who at the refusal of government officials to move them to Angol, reported yesterday to start a dry hunger strike from 0 hours on Friday 19 October.

By Elias C. Paillan

*** See how that turned out: 

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