Thursday, November 15, 2012



Distinguished Representatives of:

International Red Cross
Red Cross Chile
Amnesty International
Human Rights Committee of the United Nations
Senate Committee on Human Rights
Human Rights Commission of Chamber of Deputies
National Human Rights Institute
Minister of Justice of Chile
National Director of the Prison
Government of Chile
Chilean Health Minister
Medical College
Human Rights Parliamentary Committee EU-Chile
Human Rights Centre, University of Chile
HR Center Universidad Diego Portales
Faculty of Social Sciences and History UDP
Human Rights Observatory
Mapuche Public Defender
All institutions and NGOs for Human Rights and Health

Monday November 12, 2012

As European organizations for human rights and contributors we address you to express our grave concern about the serious health situation in which young Leonardo Quijón Pereira, of the Mapuche community Chequenco, finds himself. As is already known he was attacked and shot by Chilean police, while still being a minor, on October 20, 2009 impacting in his leg about 200 pellets.

The Law 18,314 was applied to him, also called the Anti-Terrorism Act, which meant 4 charges of terrorists offenses of which he, in October 2010, was acquitted by the Oral Trial Court of Angol, despite the fact that the prosecution resorted to using seven protected witnesses. However, the Court, in a unanimous vote, freed him from the charges. Leonardo, although innocent, spent over a year in pretrial detention, the time that the judicial process lasted, without specialized medical care. To date without any recovery at all, on the contrary he daily suffers pain and his health is deteriorating every day.

According to a medical report of the end of 2010 Leonardo Quijón has, in his left limb, a large, deep, scar with a tibial nerve injury, altered sensitivity of the sole of the foot, about 200 pellets, spontaneous continuous pain, traumatic polyneuropathy in his foot, he requires a permanent supply of drugs and evaluation of his disability. Not to forget that Leonardo had a cardiac arrest and kept with mechanical ventilation in the Critical Patient Unit at the Hospital of the Catholic University of Santiago, (October 2009).

On September 1, 2012 the parcel holder Hector Gallardo of the sector of Chequenco died during incidents occurring in an attempted assault carried out by "hooded men". Dubious statements of the victim's brother accuse three youths: Leonardo Quijón, Luis Marileo and the minor G.V. The brother of the parcel holder asserts having recognized them despite being hooded.

The youths have voluntarily presented themselves to the PDI to make statements and prove their innocence. Leonardo, like the other two young defendants have stated that they are innocent. However, the supervising judge, Javier Bascur, left them in pretrial detention in the prison of Temuco and gave four months to investigate the facts. Again Leonardo is in custody despite his innocence without having had a trial and in serious health condition and without a court order suffers from lack of fundamental rights such as the right to health, in addition the degree of deterioration produced by the deprivation of liberty in people should be taken into account, especially at the psychological level, remembering that he already was unjustly imprisoned one year in the juvenile prison in Chol Chol, being innocent.

Leonardo joined the hunger strike in the prison in Temuco on 01.10.2012 where together with other community members he demanded to be transferred to the prison in Angol to be closer to their families. During the course of the hunger strike Carolina Marileo, spokeswoman for the Mapuche on hunger strike, confirmed that, during the night of October 21, at completing 22 days of liquid hunger strike, at four days on dry strike, at 22:20 hours Leonardo Quijón, was rushed from the Temuco jail to the Hernán Henríquez Aravena Hospital of Temuco after suffering a heart failure.

Following the prolonged hunger strike the 5 community members were taken to the jail of Angol. The poor sanitation in the prison becomes present again affecting the health of Leonardo. Following a "parasite bite" there occurs an allergy and infection that should be treated with antibiotics, he continues losing weight he has lost more than 8 kilos, at the moment he weighs about 53 kilos, he suffers from headaches, pain when breathing, stomach pains and constant extreme pain in his leg. The youth who is only 20 years old has already had two pre-strokes, is in a state of malnutrition, and the pellets, being foreign objects in his body, keep weakening his immune system to the point of risking his life. 

For these reasons:

We demand that compliance with the rights of the accused. Article 93 of the new Chilean Criminal Procedure Code, "not to be subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment..."

Article 6. - "Prison Regulations" Supreme Decree (J) No 518, dated May 22 and published in the Official Gazette on August 21, 1998 and Rectification by the Ministry of Justice: Official Journal of September 02, of the same year. The Department of Corrections shall ensure the life, integrity and health of inmates and allow exercise of the rights compatible with their procedural status."

It is inhuman, with the health condition in which Leonardo finds himself, to endanger his live because the jail does not have the specialized care and agencies to ensure the health of this young man, his condition is serious and complex.

We consider the Chilean state, the Ministry of Justice and the Gendarmerie responsible for the state in which young Leonardo Quijón finds himself, who has suffered physical, psychological and moral damage caused by the disproportionate actions of the police (2009), without being compensated in any way notwithstanding the acquittal of all the crimes with which he was charged.  

We demand that there is performed a thorough assessment by specialized physicians and that he is transferred to a facility that adequately meets the requirements, for there to be a start as soon as possible with the appropriate treatment, taking into account the exclusive consent of Leonardo and his family. In the case of no presenting an immediate solution we demand that to this youth be granted precautionary measures with house arrest and providing all support and appropriate measures as considered in the international treaties for the right to protection of the life and health of prisoners.
Leonardo should not be transferred to a hospital like Makewe, considered by the Ministry of Health itself as a rural establishment, small, with complexity type four, and, also according to the staff of the organization, it has difficulties including the referral of patients between specialists, and this is not taken into account by the ministerial standard (According to the Health Service Directorate of the Makewe Territory and the Development Division of Health Systems and Services - Pan American Health Organization - World Health Organization). 

We call on human rights organizations, especially on INDH Chile, on the International and Chilean Red Cross, on the Medical Association, on Amnesty International, on the Committees for human rights and the Elimination of Racial Discrimination of the United Nations, on the human rights commission of the Chamber of Senators and Deputies of Chile, to to take responsibility, on the NGO's for human rights to guarantee and ensure the rights of life of Leonardo Quijón and make the necessary arrangements to ensure compliance with the minimum rights of the accused as stated in Articles 34, 35, 36, 37, 38 Organic Law of Gendarmerie of Chile.

It should be mentioned that NGO's have a crucial task. By their impartiality and critical spirit they are obliged to demand of the Administration and the Judicial Power compliance with the rights of persons deprived of Liberty and to denounce all those injustices that on a daily basis go unnoticed.

"Prison Regulations"

Supreme Decree (J) No. 518, dated May 22 and published in the Official Gazette on August 21, 1998 and Rectification by the Ministry of Justice: Official Journal of September 02, of that year.

2nd paragraph: About the medical care of the inmates. (Law of Gendarmerie of Chile)

Article 34. - Inmates who require treatment and hospitalization are treated in medical units that exist in the prison. In prisons where there is executed a concession contract, it is also to what is established by the respective contract regarding health care.

Article 35. - Exceptionally the Regional Director may authorize the placement of prisoners in external hospitals, upon certification by medical personnel of the Service to account for any of the following situations:

a) Severe cases requiring urgent, or skilled nursing care that can not be granted in the medical unit of the facility.

In this case, if the urgency warrants it the Head of Establishment may authorize the departure, which must be ratified by the Regional Director, within 48 hours;

b) When the offender requires medical attention, that is not characterized serious or urgent,

Article 36. - In accordance with the provisions of Article 20 of DL No 2859, 1979, Organic Law of Gendarmerie of Chile, authorizations referred to in the preceding article shall be issued to bring the prisoners to the public hospitals that are part of the Health Services, unless the inmate wishes to be treated at some other place and has the means to fund such care.
In establishments that run a concessions contract that considers health care for inmates, the authorization for attention or placement outside the criminal unit may relate to private clinics or hospitals, without this being able to import cost to the institution.

In both cases, the proposed facility will meet security requirements that are determined by Gendarmerie.

Article 37. - The duration of the placement of prisoners in external hospital compounds, will be determined by the medical staff of Gendarmerie of Chile, which perform or seek health assessments of the intern with a periodicity that the case warrants.

Article 38. - Detainees and those subjected to preventive detention may be released from the prison by order of the trial judge in cases of serious illness or accident.

In case of serious illness and extreme urgency, the head of the establishment under his responsibility may authorize departures without judicial authorization, provided that it is unable to be collected promptly, taking steps to avoid obstructing the course of justice and giving immediate account of the proceedings to the trial judge and the Regional Director of the Chilean Gendarmerie.

Article 47. - Inmates have the right to having the Administration provide them with food monitored closely by a nutrition specialist, doctor or paramedic, corresponding in quality and quantity to the minimum standards of hygiene and diet.
The penitentiary does not guarantee these rights because Leonardo does not receive an adequate diet nor food controlled by a nutritionist, and the plague of "parasites" that produces an allergic reaction and infection is a constant threat as a fumigation must be undertaken within the enclosure. It is obvious that with the weakened immune status of this young man it is irresponsible to expose him to more health complications.

Because of the urgency of this situation, we call on you to get yourself immediately concerned and to resolve the health situation of Leonardo Quijón before it is too late and that the acts of state institutions should be attached to national law and international law in consideration that Chile is a member of the Human Rights Council of the UN, has ratified ILO 169 and most agreements of enforcing human, civil and political rights.

Yours sincerely

CEDHPA H. Edelstam of Gothenburg - Sweden

ECOMAPUCHE, Friendship Association with the Mapuche - Italy

MARICHEWEU, Human Rights Association for the Mapuche people - Germany
- "Prison Regulations" Supreme Decree (J) NR. 518
- Radiographs of Leonardo Quijón



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