I, Leonardo Quijón Pereira, Mapuche political prisoner of the Community Chequenco, want to inform the national and international community the following:
- That from today Tuesday November 27, 2012 at 0:00 Hrs I start for 20 days a liquid hunger strike at first and then I will continue with a dry strike.
- That despite my innocence I must remain again deprived of my liberty in degrading conditions.
- I demand that I be granted immediately my freedom under precautionary measures.
- I demand that the people who have accused me of being a participant in the death of Mr. Hector Gallardo admit and say that their statements were wrong and that I am innocent.
- That in case of not reaching a solution I will start on December 17, 2012 with a dry strike.
STOP THE POLITICAL PERSECUTION, HARASSMENT AND SETUPS OF THE CHILEAN STATE AGAINST THE SOCIAL STRUGGLES OF THE MAPUCHE PEOPLE!
FREEDOM TO ALL MAPUCHE POLITICAL PRISONERS!
Leonardo Quijón Pereira from the prison of Angol, November 27, 2012
For more information contact me directly at Angol prison or my sister Cristina Quijón
Today LEONARDO QUIJÓN PEREIRA declares himself to be on hunger strike:
THE HELL OF A YOUNG MAPUCHE COMMUNITY MEMBER
(Interview with Leo)
He exposes his life so that justice can be done to him. He already was on a hunger strike together with four other Mapuche community members in order to have themselves moved to a prison that was closer to the residence of their families. They succeeded, but with serious consequences for Leonardo, who suffered cardiac and respiratory arrest and had to be treated at the Hospital of Temuco.
After turning himself in to justice to prove his innocence in the case of which he is currently imputed and after 3 months of investigation, neither he nor his witnesses have ever been taken to a hearing.
Today, November 27, 2012, Leonardo Eusebio Quijón Pereira, Mapuche community member, 20, incarcerated in the prison of Angol, started on a hunger strike asking to be granted release on precautionary measures and that the family of parcel holder Hector Gallardo of the sector of Chequenco, killed on September 1st of this year in an assault by three hooded men, tell the truth and remove the charges incriminating him as the murderer. The brother of the parcel holder says having recognized them even though they were hooded.
Leonardo has been through hell since he was shot by police on 20 October 2009, when according to his statements "he was hunting rabbits with two more friends" near Mapuche Community Wente Winkul Mapu, Pidima, Chequenco reduction, commune of Ercilla, IX Region of the Araucanía, where he lives.
Today, when the Gendarmes of the Penitentiary of Angol open the bars, he will deliver them a statement declaring his hunger strike and his request, in the case of not being accepted within 20 days, he will reaffirm it by passing on to a dry hunger strike.
Leonardo's case, handled by the lawyer Lorenzo Morales, transcended to the national and international media, because after the attack he received and for fear of reprisals his mother decided to move him to Santiago to receive specialized medical care at the Institute of Traumatology. Given the severity of his injuries, he was transferred two days later to the Hospital of the Catholic University with emergency treatment. There, one of the minor's physicians told reporters confirming the seriousness of his condition, and reporting that he was connected to mechanical ventilation in the Critical Patient Unit.
They arrest him without having recovered and for 2 years the community member is imprisoned in a juvenile prison in Chol-Chol, accused by the chief prosecutor of the Public Ministry of Angol, Luis Chamorro, for four crimes: armed robbery, repeated arson, illegal possession firearm and attempted murder.
The young man, then 17 years old, was acquitted on June 24, 2010, by the Oral Criminal Court of Angol of all charges against him. The prosecutor Chamorro asked a sentence of 10 years, maximum penalty that can be applied to a minor, but failed at not being able to prove the involvement of Leonardo in the events.
For Leonardo not all ends here. Military justice joined the persecution by the Prosecutor of Angol-on July 19, 2010 - asking the Court of Appeals of Temuco to overturn the trial that acquitted the teenager and decided to have him stand trial again 10 days after having turned 18.
However on September 21, 2010, the Oral Trial Court of Angol acquitted the young community member for the second time, on all counts.
"I am innocent."
Today, Leonardo is part of the group of Mapuche political prisoners to whom they have applied the anti-terrorism law No. 18,314, enacted during the Pinochet dictatorship, legal body never repealed by any of the democratic governments that have preceded it.
In an interview conducted a few days ago, the young community member said that "the treatment towards us is unworthy, I surrendered voluntarily to the Investigative Police of Angol, because I am innocent of the murder of which I am accused. At the moment I have never been taken to a hearing, nor have my witnesses declared. Again it is the prosecutor Luis Chamorro who accuses me and I think that having me imprisoned for a crime that I did not commit is a personal revenge of him because I was acquitted in two previous trials."
He adds that "they have always been after me, during the time I was free they raided my house, took me prisoner and after 2 days I was send away. In fact, a week before the murder of the parcel holder they had caught me and I spent a night at the PDI".
Leonardo is small, no more than 1.50 meters, he is very thin due to the earlier hunger strike, in which he tells having lost 10 kilos, he currently weighs 53 kg., when his normal weight should be 60 kg.
He looks you in the face when he speaks and even if it sounds little objective, for this journalist it is almost impossible to think that he is capable of committing murder. He says that "I've been suffering many times with depression, because being in jail is the worst thing that can happen to you and even more when I am innocent", and abounds "a week ago I went back into depression and all I wanted was to die." But when he looks at his partner who is five months pregnant, he says that he "could not do it for her and my baby. I need to get out of here to work and give them what they deserve."
He emphasizes that "I have never received the medical attention I need. I have difficulties to get around, a lot of pain and discomfort in the left leg (which had the wound made by a shotgun and over 130 buckshot embedded in it), it is terrible. The buckshot sting me, the leg wound is sweating all the time, I have wet socks all the time and I can not walk very long. When I stretch the rest of my remaining tendon in the leg, there starts a sharp pain in the sole of the foot."
"Also, the doctors who saw me in Santiago told me that I have a bad spot in the heart, but the Hospital of Temuco and representatives of the Red Cross say I'm fine. But, I have chest pain every day and often my heartbeat accelerates.My view clouds and the doctors say it's nerves. The headaches do not leave me alone, he says, and I no longer know what to do. "
At a time when Justice absolves the priest "Tato" accused of child abuse two weeks before serving his sentence and confirmed a reduction of the sentence of Spiniak tried as a pederast, Leonardo is wondering what Justice will decide to do in his case, when those who shot the parcel holder Hector Gallardo were three hooded men and he, to prove his innocence, voluntarily surrendered to the PDI of Angol a week after the incident.
For more information:
Journalist Andrea Figueroa
Phone: 09.2758263 (Chile)
November 27, 2012